BART has issued the following advisory:
Maintenance delays between North Berkeley, El Cerrito Plaza on Nov. 10
We are conducting track maintenance between North Berkeley and El Cerrito Plaza stations on Sunday, November 10 which may affect your travel. From 9 am to 3 pm you may experience 10 to 15 minute delays.
We appreciate your patience as we work to keep providing you with the high level of service you rely upon.
You can get BART Service Advisories (BSAs) on your phone. To sign up for BSAs, please visit us on the web at www.bart.gov/advisories. You may also call 511 to get up-to-date service information.
Posted on Thursday, November 7th, 2013
Under: Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito, Richmond, transportation | No Comments »
North Berkeley and Albany (and the southern part of El Cerrito) still did not have direct dialing in 1939, and it looked like they would have to wait until 1940 for it.
Pacific Telephone & Telegraph received a permit from Berkeley to construct a $100,500 exchange (prefix) building at Solano and Ventura avenues that would provide the first dial service to the area, as the Oakland Tribune reported on New Year’s Eve of 1939 (above). The ornate brick building, still standing today and now carrying the AT&T logo (the historic name of Pacific Telephone’s parent company), is one of the more overlooked structures on Solano, even though it is at a prominent corner. You may recognize it from the Google Street View at this link.
The (52) LAndscape telephone exchange is still used in Albany, North Berkeley and El Cerrito and the post office across the street at 1831 Solano is called the Landscape Station.
So why is part of El Cerrito included in the exchange? When PT&T was wiring its network early in the century, the southern part of El Cerrito was connected out of Berkeley, the northern part out of Richmond. As a result, well into the 1940s, the southern part of the city could call Berkeley and Oakland with no added charge, while the northern part had to pay toll fees. The phone company, through its many changes of ownership in the last 30 years, still continues this division by distributing Oakland telephone directories to the southern half of El Cerrito and West County (Richmond) directories to the northern half.
By 1943, cities from Oakland through Richmond had dial service and new seven-digit phone numbers. (Cities in less populated central Contra Costa kept six-digit phone numbers into the 1950s.)
Those who wonder what telephone exchanges are can learn about them at this link.
PT&T explains service areas, exchanges and toll charges in its 1943 directory.
Pacific Telephone explains to customers how to properly use dial telephone service.
Telephone etiquette tips from PT&T in 1943.
Posted on Monday, November 4th, 2013
Under: Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito, History, Richmond | No Comments »
The following notice was sent out today by the Albany Community Development Department:
Notice of Public Hearing of the
City of Albany Planning & Zoning Commission
Date & Time: Wednesday, November 13, 2013, 7:00 pm
Location of Meeting: City Hall, 1000 San Pablo Avenue
Applicant: Oppidan Development (retail)
Belmont Village (senior housing)
Subject of Meeting: 1075-1095 Monroe St/1100 San Pablo Ave
UC Village Mixed Use Development
The 6.3-acre project site in University Village is located to the northwest and
southwest of the Monroe Street/San Pablo Avenue intersection. The proposed
project includes a 27,500 sq. ft. grocery store, 18,000 sq. ft. of retail space, and
a 175-unit senior housing project. Action may be taken on applications for
tentative parcel map and design review.
Posted on Friday, November 1st, 2013
Under: Albany, development | No Comments »
Solano Avenue at San Pablo Avenue is not the busiest intersection in Albany today (that honor goes to Buchanan and San Pablo), but it was in 1939.
Traffic was so heavy that the city considered building a pedestrian underpass so safely cross San Pablo to and from school.
There had been a jump in residential development on the west side of San Pablo, meaning an increasing number of children who had to cross San Pablo and Solano to get to and from school. Buchanan Street at that time was a two-lane road that was located farther north of its present location, unaligned with Marin Avenue as it is today. The USDA lab on Buchanan was seven months from completion and another development, a horse racing track at Fleming Point on the waterfront, was being debated. Albany was already discussing relocating Buchanan and years later would claim a slice of the Gill Tract to build the thoroughfare we know today.
The Eastshore Highway was two years old at the time the underpass proposal was made and the main route to get to the highway (and the Bay Bridge) from Albany and North Berkeley was to cross San Pablo on Solano up and over Albany Hill to the highway entrance on Pierce Street.
The underpass idea was floated in October of 1939 and gained some traction, but attempts to get state or federal assistance lagged and two years later there was a war to deal with.
This section of an early 1940s map of Berkeley is one of the few to show both the Golden Gate Turf Club (Golden Gate Fields today) and the El Cerrito Kennel Club. Neither were in operation at the same time. The El Cerrito dog track closed in early 1939, while the Albany horse track closed after less than two weeks in early 1941. Note that what is now frontage road through to Emeryville was then a one-block stretch named Front Street.
An enlarged and numbered view shows that Marin Avenue (1) and Buchanan Street (2) are still unaligned. Buchanan only runs to Cleveland Street and does not enter the highway. A separate section of Buchanan does go from the highway to the race track. Crossing Solano at San Pablo (3) leads to Pierce Street (4) and access to the highway. Note the size of the Gill Tract, which had previously included the USDA lab site.
Posted on Tuesday, October 29th, 2013
Under: Albany, community, History, transportation | No Comments »
Albany Haunt as it looked Friday morning with the donation barrel to the right.
If you are looking to do something for Halloween for the family or even just yourself, consider going to Albany Haunt, a homemade attraction at 1048 Peralta Ave. in Albany that will be open from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. this Saturday and again on Oct. 31. You’ll have some homegrown fun and feel good about it at the same time because admission is a donation — canned goods or monetary — to the Alameda County Food Bank.
You’ll feel even better because the attraction is the creation of a teenager wanted to do something for Halloween, but also wanted to help people in need.
From Michael Altfest, communications manager of the Alameda County Community Food Bank:
There’s a 13 year old boy building what seems to be an elaborate haunted house in his driveway – and he’s asking for food and fund donations for the Food Bank as the admission. He’s a really neat kid – seems to be really talented (you can check out his haunted house facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Albany-Haunt/127487577452389). When I asked him why he was doing this he said he really loves Halloween, but he also “realizes that there are a lot of people in our community who are struggling and he wanted a way to help.”
You know the food bank would love to see a full barrel.
The attraction looks much spookier at night.
Posted on Saturday, October 26th, 2013
Under: Albany, Art and entertainment, community | No Comments »
Here are the agenda for the Albany Planning and Zoning Commission meeting at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 30 at City Hall, 1000 San Pablo Ave.:
Planning & Zoning Commission Meeting – Rescheduled from 10/23/2013
Date: 10/30/2013 6:30 PM – 11:00 PM
Location: Albany City Hall – Council Chambers
1000 San Pablo Avenue
Albany, California 94706
Add to my Outlook Calendar
Planning & Zoning Commission Meeting: Wednesday, October 30, 2013, 6:30PM, Albany City Hall – Council Chambers, 1000 San Pablo Avenue, Albany, CA.
This meeting includes discussion of UC Village Mixed Use Development Project, Conditional Use Permit for after school program at 1109-1111 Washington, Study Session for new home at 850 Hillside, Study Session for 2nd story addition at 1501 Visalia, Design Review & Conditional Use Permit for two-story addition at 1008 Ordway, and status report on Public Works Service Center at 540 Cleveland and Resolution of Intention to amend Planning & Zoning Code related to fully animated signs.
Posted on Friday, October 25th, 2013
Under: Albany, development, government | No Comments »
One section of the eastern (cantilever) half of the Bay Bridge remains to be built in this aerial view published February of 1936 in the Oakland Tribune Yearbook. The wake of a ferry that has passed through opening is visible.
In the background, the two towers of the Golden Gate Bridge are visible, but no roadway has been constructed yet.
Alcatraz Island is in the background at the right.
Posted on Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013
Under: Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito, History, Richmond, transportation | No Comments »
The Albany Police Department issued the following announcement:
SPECIAL TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT AND CRASH PREVENTION
October 23, 2013
On Friday, October 25, 2013, the Albany Police Department will have additional officers assigned to traffic enforcement within the city limits. Officers will be concentrating their enforcement efforts on speed, red light, and stop sign violations, as well as seat belt and child safety seat violations.
The Albany Police Department has been awarded a $49,160 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) for a year-long program aimed at preventing deaths and injuries on our roadways through special enforcement and public awareness efforts.
The grant received by Albany will aid in the city’s ongoing effort to improve traffic safety and the quality of life. The Albany Police Department will use the funding as part of an on-going commitment to keep our roadways safe through both enforcement and education.
Funding for this program is from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
For additional information, please contact Sgt Chris Willis, 510-525-7300, email@example.com
Posted on Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013
Under: Albany, Crime | No Comments »
It’s easy to look at the BART strike and the possible AC Transit strike and pine for the “good old days” of public transit in the East Bay. But an earlier generation might laugh at that.
In 1953 the personnel of the Key System went on strike for 76 days, two-and-a-half months, bringing public transit to a halt in the East Bay.
Some key differences:
* The Key System was privately owned, rather than a public agency.
* Its workers did not receive nearly the compensation given to BART workers.
* The Bay Area population was much smaller. (Though so was the roadway system feeding commuting workers to the Bay Bridge or downtown Oakland.)
But at the time the Key System was the equivalent of BART and AC Transit, running streetcar and bus lines.
The workers walked off the job July 24, 1953 and residents — surprise — began forming car pools, something many of them became familiar with during World War II.
Businesses howled, commuters and shoppers complained loudly. (Click the pictures for a larger version if you want to read the articles.)
But the strike dragged on and drew attention in Sacramento after it entered its third week, as Gov. Earl Warren called a special session of the state legislature to consider a government seizure of the system. Legal representation of East Bay cities and Alameda and Contra Costa counties had met in Richmond and gave their approval to the governor’s plan. The government threat to seize the Key System didn’t happen then, but it laid the groundwork for the creation of AC Transit seven years later.
Our friend and El Cerrito rail buff John Stashik writes: “The long Key System strike in 1953 was the company’s undoing. Legislation enacting the AC Transit District occurred after the 76-day strike and in October 1960 AC Transit was running the bus lines.
“Privately owned transit could not make a profit. Today everything is publicly owned. Muni was one of the first to be a publicly owned system and it began in 1912. The city bought out the Market St. Railway in 1944 and finally the California Street Cable Railway in the early 1950s.”
The consortium of automotive-related industries that controlled the Key System also wanted out by the late 1950s and the system would make the conversion from private to public ownership.
The strike finally ended on Oct. 4, 1953 — the 73rd day of the walkout. But it was announced that it would take three more days before trains and buses would roll again, compared to having limited service the next day after the settlement of this week’s BART strike.
Posted on Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013
Under: Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito, History | No Comments »
It’s red flag weather and the El Cerrito Fire Department issued the following notice:
The National Weather Service has declared that there will be a Red Flag Warning in place from 1800 hours (6:00 pm) tonight through 0600 hours (6:00 am) Saturday morning. This is the most dangerous point in the fire season when cool temperatures and sparse amount of rain can lead to complacency. A north wind (off shore) event with the predicted wind conditions, critically low humidity and low fuel moisture is a very serious condition.
The Fire Department will be placing signs in the Parks to notify the public against the use of the BBQ’s or any open burning. Please report any signs of smoke and in the event of any type of fire or downed trees, assume a power line is involved until proven otherwise. Insure all your co-workers and personnel maintain their Situational Awareness, keep a lookout in the hills and surrounding areas when outside, call or report any problems and maintain a safe distance from any incident.
The following weather report is from the National Weather Service:
EAST BAY HILLS AND DIABLO RANGE-…RED FLAG WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING (Thursday) TO 6 AM PDT SATURDAY FOR GUSTY WINDS AND LOW HUMIDITY FOR THE EAST BAY HILLS ABOVE 1000 FEET…
* AFFECTED AREA: FIRE ZONE 511 EAST BAY HILLS AND DIABLO RANGE. THE HILLS OF CONTRA COSTA…ALAMEDA AND INTERIOR SANTA CLARA COUNTY ABOVE 1000 FEET INCLUDING MOUNT DIABLO AND HENRY COE STATE PARKS.
* TIMING: THE STRONGEST OFFSHORE WINDS WILL DEVELOP TONIGHT INTO FRIDAY MORNING WITH VERY LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY VALUES FRIDAY AFTERNOON. CONDITIONS WILL ONLY SLOWLY IMPROVE OVER THE WEEKEND.
* WIND: NORTHEAST WINDS 15 TO 25 MPH WITH FREQUENT GUSTS 35 TO 45 MPH AND LOCAL GUSTS IN EXCESS OF 50 MPH ABOVE 2500 FEET.
* HUMIDITY: 20 TO 30 PERCENT TONIGHT…DRYING TO 10 TO 20 PERCENT BY FRIDAY AFTERNOON
* IMPACTS: THE COMBINATION OF DRY FUELS…STRONG WINDS AND LOW HUMIDITY WILL CREATE CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS WHERE ANY NEW IGNITIONS COULD SEE RAPID FIRE GROWTH.
A RED FLAG WARNING MEANS THAT CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EITHER OCCURRING NOW…OR WILL SHORTLY. A COMBINATION OF STRONG WINDS…LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY…AND WARM TEMPERATURES CAN CONTRIBUTE TO EXTREME FIRE BEHAVIOR.
Posted on Thursday, October 3rd, 2013
Under: Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Kensington, Port Costa, Richmond | No Comments »