Part of the Bay Area News Group

Southland woes and potholes

By Eric Kurhi
Wednesday, April 1st, 2009 at 3:57 pm in Business, General, Hayward, Odds & Ends, Transportation.

A lot of people are noticing that roads around Southland Mall are in a state of disrepair. One caller to the paper said his car’s alignment was knocked out of whack by a huge pothole, and at a council meeting last week, Councilwoman Barbara Halliday asked city staff to talk with General Growth Properties — which owns the mall and the adjacent roads — about fixing the cracked, pitted asphalt.

Could be a symptom of a larger problem. Business writer George Avalos wrote a story about GGP in Monday’s Business section. The company is in the hole for billions of dollars after a rapid expansion. A loan recently came due on Southland, meaning the lender could take possession of the property if GGP doesn’t pay up.

“We are still in possession of Southland Mall,” said the GGP spokesman. “It has not been seized. We continue to lease it. We’re continuing to sign deals. It’s business as usual.”

[You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.]

  • justwatching

    Your right. This is just only one area throughout Hayward that has issues with road that are in disrepair. But don’t worry, Hayward will have a one way loop downtown

  • J. W. Kyle

    Oh my gosh!

    The April first post might at first glance be seen as an April fool joke! Pot holes on the ring road at Southland Mall are going to become worse than just a few bumps. Think ’deep ruts’, if one understands the word ’study’ which has been cast upon the table at recent meetings of the Alameda County Congestion Management Agency, (ACCMA)!

    Worse yet, the paving of the parking lot areas erre not designed nor constructed to support those heavy vehicles which might soon be parked upon those acres intended for the light weight vehicles of typical mall customers.

    Let me begin by drawing attention to the agenda of ACCMA for the meetings of November 4, 2008 and December 11, 008. In the first instance a report was presented to the Board of Directors which is composed of the hired executive, a County Supervisor and representatives of all the Counties Cities. That report included a proposed solution to the truck parking problem existent throughout the whole of Alameda County.

    The report consists of something well in excess of 125 ‘leafs’ suggesting something well in excess of 100 pages, not including the reverse side of the three ‘foldout pages. Cal-Trans sponsored the project using Federal funds which were passed through a State Planning and Research Grant. The cost is reputed to have cost about $170,000. The advisory Committee was composed of folks from areas well outside of Alameda County!

    The only accurate part of this useless, expensive report, are the statements derived from interviews of unidentified truck drivers who complain, rather just ably, that ( in the vernacular), ‘there ain’t no safe places for a driver to park in Alameda County at the end of the ‘work’ day or night. So they unnecessarily add to the air pollution problem by joining the inch worm traffic condition of the evening commute. Thus increasing ‘trip time’ for all involved. ( Given the fuel price levels in 2008, did that expense affect foreclosure counts in places such as ‘Mountain House‘, Tracy and Stockton ?)

    The interesting thing about the ACCMA solution to the truck parking problem is that the 33 sites listed at Exhibit I , in the professionally prepared report are quite scattered, unacceptably small such as to be economically obsolete as to their ability to earn a return on investment or even to pay for their upkeep.
    Does ACCMA and/or Cal Trans envision these to be operated in the fashion of rest stops observed along the interstate highways? Do they recognize the fact that drivers are unable to engage in prolonged visits to this that or the other stop in search of a vacant stop? Who pays for the reservation system? I are the these small sites able to meet demand?

    How does all this affect Southland Mall? Well, begin by observing the fact that the Chairman of the Board of Directors at ACCMA is also the Mayor of Union City. It is well to note that ‘Union Landing’ is not on the list of selected sites!

    Of the 33 sites listed in Exhibit one of the ‘study’,, four are in other counties, (2 are in Richmond at a location which is widely known to be downright dangerous!.) In a ,most ridiculous example another is located under the Center Street overpass at I-580 in Castro Valley, still another is to be situated at Oak and Foothill in Hayward. Isn’t that the site for the proposed construction of a new kitchen to be operated jointly by Meals on Wheels and Hayward Unified School district? Another is the absolutely absurd identification of the Walmart ‘Big Box’ store at Hesperian and Lewelling in San Leandro. Did they ignore the fact that Kaiser Permanente’s new 250 plus bed is to be located upon the site identified as item # 18 ? .

    The upshot is that Hayward will be asked to accept 25% of the suggested sites listed as being in Alameda County? Well, we are not the Heart of the Bay so much as we are recognized as the ‘Doormat’ of the Bay. Why has Hayward’s representative to ACCMA raised hell on the subject of using Southland as a night time truck stop? Does he fail to understand the problem?

    Southland Mall used as a truck stop will be a disaster simply because it’s open proximity to the Bars in or outside of restaurant facilities along Hesperian and West Winton are numerous and attractive to Truck Drivers. Some will engage in a practice not permitted at well runs financially productive, professionally truck stops. Which is to say that the horrors of the long gone John’s on Davis Street will become present in Hayward when unscrupulous drivers rent out their employers ‘western cab trucks’ to ladies of the night in need of a place to conduct business services while their pimps peddle drugs when ostensibly doing ‘guard duty‘!

    Lay the police expense problem aside and consider damage done to the Southland Mall Parking lot by overweight vehicles. The ‘pot holes’ may seem a good place to dump condoms and needles, especially when the Carnival rides make their periodic presence visible on the mall’s parking lot!

    May I suggest that an alert citizenry marshal sufficient resources so that a real truck stop can be erected on the now defunct Golden Gate Fields Horse Race track. At 160 acres in size, situated directly adjacent to the I-80 lifeline into the bay area, there is adequate space to accommodate upwards of 1500 trucks. If that opportunity is suggested to professionally operated Truck Stop operators we will all benefit by the presence of at least 1500 jobs needed on the site during it’s 24 hour x 365 day operations.

    A truck stop of that size will need a 300 seat restaurant, five double sided fueling pump positioning, a general store, pharmacy, Shower and Laundry facility, engine diagnostic facility, weight scales and at least 250 rooms in a site dedicated hotel. Drivers do like to leave the cab bunk for a short relief ! Especially the family guys whose wives involve themselves with ‘team driving’ advantages of a family owned truck. They may Easily stay over for a night or two to see what we offer to tourists.

    Folks, leave the blog and use the ‘public speaking‘ opportunity at City Council meetings to ask why Hayward is being honored. With 25% of the sites proposed for Alameda County. Our Council members are well and sufficiently paid so that they ought be made aware of the defects in the ACCMA planning process.

  • J. W. Kyle

    In the first sentance of the second paragragh, Mr. Kurhi memtions symprooms of a larger problem. It is a leading question and I womder why the comntents of the ACCMA report, cited at #2 above was not openly discussed at Council meetings.

    I understand fully the paradox that All Newspappers are currently facing. I suggest that too much reliance is placed on ‘news’ as reported by TV Electronic media.

    The loss of real investigative reporting is not yet fully apperciated by the general public.

    YToo bad! Investigative reporting was the chief instrument in kieeping government honest….. is that an underlying cause of our present economic condition.

    Wake up America…. support the print media and especially those newspapers which engage in investigative reporting.

    Then too…. why did our Council represenhtative at ACCMA not raise some hell when the report lay in front of him at the ACCMA meetings?

    Had he done so, the problem would have been resolved earlier!

  • http://flickr.com/people/alexh1013 Alex Harmon

    AC Transit’s new bus stop can not be used anymore because of the condtion of La Playa Dr. Line 391 uses it. Since April 2008 lines 92, 97, and 386 have been using the old and better bus stop by Mervyns.

  • monica ruiz

    The Southland signs on Winton and Hesperian are embarassing; so TACKY!

  • monica ruiz

    And the entrances to the mall are so unattractive. The whole mall needs a facelift.

  • http://flickr.com/people/alexh1013 Alex Harmon

    I like the entrances to the mall but paint the arches to their old colors and put the flags. They could also make the signs look better.

    When is Kohl’s opening in the former Mervyn’s?

  • monica ruiz

    I’ve read that Kohl’s will open at the end of the year.