Tweeting BRT

22 Apr

Tuesday night’s Council meeting was long and contentious. I’d love to blog about many things that were discussed, but sadly don’t have the time for it. Instead, I offer you tweets on the BRT discussion.

But before I do, I want to thank everyone who spoke in support of BRT at the Council meeting. There were 45 speakers total, and most were supportive of BRT. I especially want to thank TransForm, and particularly Joel Ramos, who did a kick ass job organizing folks to attend and providing talking points. It was so inspiring to see so many people speak at a Council meeting for the first time. You all did a great job!

Thanks also to everyone who tweeted. If you’re not on Twitter yet, join already! You don’t even have to tweet. Just follow Oaklanders and you’ll see how easy it is to keep up with meetings, events, and local breaking news. Some regulars are featured below – Vsmoothe, dto510, das88, lotormatic, and me. MaxAllstadt and jawnie also regularly tweet Oakland meetings.

I’ll post some video of the discussion next week because some of the comments need to be seen and heard, as Twitter can only capture so much.

OaklandBecks OMG – Reid trying to shift items around to have BRT heard before Central Estuary Plan! Prob hoped advocates wouldn’t have arrived.

lotormatic 45 speakers on BRT – why does this worry me.

OaklandBecks Was it really worth it for Council to take off a week when it lead to this mtg from hell? We’ll be here all night at this rate.

OaklandBecks I think I’ve heard the presentation on BRT so many times now that I could probably give it with help of slides.

Vsmoothe BRT up. Crazy northgate lady speaking now. Big surprise, she’s against it. BRT is redundant b/c she can already take BART to SF.

Vsmoothe Why are Oaklanders so hell-bent on opposing any change to anything ever? Our citizenry is united against all progress. Depressing.

Vsmoothe Senior opposed to BRT: “Seniors don’t need BRT because we are not in a hurry to get anywhere.”

OaklandBecks Joel from TransForm refutes previous anti BRT arguments with map showing convenience of BRT to senior services.

Vsmoothe Joel Ramos of TransForm up now. Talks about extensive outreach, corrects inaccurate information about BRT. Great speech.

dto510 The head of the Slow Food Drive Fast association dramatically decried the possibility of putting people before cars!

lotormatic These commenters on BRT are making me reconsider a career in transportation planning

Vsmoothe Merchant: BRT will put us out of business. We blocked parking in front of our store for 30 minutes and store went completely empty.

Vsmoothe Terence Candell opposes BRT. Infringes on people’s right to walk across the street. Well, he won’t be getting my vote for Mayor.

dto510 CM Larry Reid is way pissed off about BRT and especially transit advocates. Something to do with the OAC perhaps?

Vsmoothe CM Reid repeatedly interrupts, insults, and attacks pro BRT speaker during his speech. Rudeness is shocking, even for Reid.

Vsmoothe CM Kaplan lists things she wants included in BRT project: repave entire street, pedestrian lighting, signalized crosswalks…

OaklandBecks Kaplan mentions that BRT will have service every 5 min. That is the kind of service I dream of.

Vsmoothe CM Kaplan, cont: emergency vehicle access, impact area hiring, preserve nice medians, new nice medians, etc.

Vsmoothe CM Reid: BRT will destroy East Oakland, ruin chance of retail in East Oakland ever.

OaklandBecks You know what else I dream of? Crossing Telegraph w/o fearing for my life. The BRT ped improvements will make that a reality.

OaklandBecks Reid – BRT will destoy East Oakland community. Oh, but the OAC will do no harm?

Vsmoothe CM Reid’s obnoxious self-righteousness is really off putting. Says transit advocates never take bus to his District. I do.

OaklandBecks Reid saying he wants vital retail in East Oakland. Um, BRT has increased retail vitality in every city.

dto510 I also take the bus to D7. i don’t think the enormous road capacity is good for the area.

lotormatic Reid says AC Transit should provide more frequent bus service instead of BRT. Um…

Vsmoothe Now CM Reid is just straight up making shit up. Claims AC Transit will eminent domain houses near BRT route.

OaklandBecks Reid says he’ll take us on tour of his district to prove us wrong. Strange, since he consistently refuses mtgs w transit advocates.

OaklandBecks De La Fuente thinks Oakland should look at all options, which is what staff and and advocates want.

das88 Why is CM Reid so upset? Is OAC on the agenda? Did he receive some secret tweets?

OaklandBecks Note – Reid has never attended the BRT interagency steering committee that he sits on.

OaklandBecks Staffer Bruce Williams explains that Oakland will get to weigh in again after EIR, AC Transit can’t move ahead w/o them.

Vsmoothe CM Kernighan to staff: Are you sure AC Transit does not have eminent domain power to take over our street? Answer is yes.

OaklandBecks Why does everything confuse Brunner? How does she not know what a locally preferred alternative is?

Vsmoothe Jesus. I know the Council doesn’t often deal w/transit, but it’s bizarre to watch them all be so flummoxed by the concept of an EIR.

Vsmoothe CM Kernighan: I don’t really think having buses on the main street is the same as building a freeway through your neighborhood.

Vsmoothe Jean Quan apparently did not bother to read or learn anything about BRT before the meeting. I suppose I should not be surprised.

Vsmoothe Staff tries to explain possible mitigations to CM Brunner, she talks like she didn’t hear one word.

OaklandBecks Kaplan proposed center boarding, which would save half the parking spots. Also, lost parking will be mitigated.

Vsmoothe CM Brunner: I support idea of transit, would like us to be like Portland. But transit seems to cause many problems.

OaklandBecks BRT locally preferred alternative passes unanimously. Yes, even Larry Reid voted for it.

OaklandBecks  OMG – Reid trying to shift items around to have BRT heard before Central Estuary Plan! Prob hoped advocates wouldn’t have arrived.

lotormatic 45 speakers on BRT – why does this worry me.

OaklandBecks  Was it really worth it for Council to take off a week when it lead to this mtg from hell? We’ll be here all night at this rate.

OaklandBecks  I think I’ve heard the presentation on BRT so many times now that I could probably give it with help of slides.

Vsmoothe BRT up. Crazy northgate lady speaking now. Big surprise, she’s against it. BRT is redundant b/c she can already take BART to SF.

Vsmoothe Why are Oaklanders so hell-bent on opposing any change to anything ever? Our citizenry is united against all progress. Depressing.

Vsmoothe Senior opposed to BRT: “Seniors don’t need BRT because we are not in a hurry to get anywhere.”

OaklandBecks  Joel from TransForm refutes previous anti BRT arguments with map showing convenience of BRT to senior services.

Vsmoothe Joel Ramos of TransForm up now. Talks about extensive outreach, corrects inaccurate information about BRT. Great speech.

dto510 The head of the Slow Food Drive Fast association dramatically decried the possibility of putting people before cars!

lotormatic These commenters on BRT are making me reconsider a career in transportation planning

Vsmoothe Merchant: BRT will put us out of business. We blocked parking in front of our store for 30 minutes and store went completely empty.

Vsmoothe Terence Candell opposes BRT. Infringes on people’s right to walk across the street. Well, he won’t be getting my vote for Mayor.

dto510 CM Larry Reid is way pissed off about BRT and especially transit advocates. Something to do with the OAC perhaps?

Vsmoothe CM Reid repeatedly interrupts, insults, and attacks pro BRT speaker during his speech. Rudeness is shocking, even for Reid.

Vsmoothe CM Kaplan lists things she wants included in BRT project: repave entire street, pedestrian lighting, signalized crosswalks…

OaklandBecks  Kaplan mentions that BRT will have service every 5 min. That is the kind of service I dream of.

Vsmoothe CM Kaplan, cont: emergency vehicle access, impact area hiring, preserve nice medians, new nice medians, etc.

Vsmoothe CM Reid: BRT will destroy East Oakland, ruin chance of retail in East Oakland ever.

OaklandBecks  You know what else I dream of? Crossing Telegraph w/o fearing for my life. The BRT ped improvements will make that a reality.

OaklandBecks  Reid – BRT will destoy East Oakland community. Oh, but the OAC will do no harm?

Vsmoothe CM Reid’s obnoxious self-righteousness is really off putting. Says transit advocates never take bus to his District. I do.

OaklandBecks  Reid saying he wants vital retail in East Oakland. Um, BRT has increased retail vitality in every city.

dto510 I also take the bus to D7. i don’t think the enormous road capacity is good for the area.

lotormatic Reid says AC Transit should provide more frequent bus service instead of BRT. Um…

Vsmoothe Now CM Reid is just straight up making shit up. Claims AC Transit will eminent domain houses near BRT route.

OaklandBecks  Reid says he’ll take us on tour of his district to prove us wrong. Strange, since he consistently refuses mtgs w transit advocates.

OaklandBecks  De La Fuente thinks Oakland should look at all options, which is what staff and and advocates want.

das88 Why is CM Reid so upset? Is OAC on the agenda? Did he receive some secret tweets?

OaklandBecks  Note – Reid has never attended the BRT interagency steering committee that he sits on.

OaklandBecks  Staffer Bruce Williams explains that Oakland will get to weigh in again after EIR, AC Transit can’t move ahead w/o them.

Vsmoothe CM Kernighan to staff: Are you sure AC Transit does not have eminent domain power to take over our street? Answer is yes.

OaklandBecks  Why does everything confuse Brunner? How does she not know what a locally preferred alternative is?

Vsmoothe Jesus. I know the Council doesn’t often deal w/transit, but it’s bizarre to watch them all be so flummoxed by the concept of an EIR.

Vsmoothe CM Kernighan: I don’t really think having buses on the main street is the same as building a freeway through your neighborhood.

Vsmoothe Jean Quan apparently did not bother to read or learn anything about BRT before the meeting. I suppose I should not be surprised.

Vsmoothe Staff tries to explain possible mitigations to CM Brunner, she talks like she didn’t hear one word.

OaklandBecks  Kaplan proposed center boarding, which would save half the parking spots. Also, lost parking will be mitigated.

Vsmoothe CM Brunner: I support idea of transit, would like us to be like Portland. But transit seems to cause many problems.

OaklandBecks  BRT locally preferred alternative passes unanimously. Yes, even Larry Reid voted for it.

7 Responses to “Tweeting BRT”

  1. Joel Ramos April 22, 2010 at 10:03 am #

    Thanks for the compliment, Rebecca! We couldn’t have done it without you and everyone else who came through!

    Anyone have any friends or family Berkeley? While BRT moved forward in Oakland, it continues to hit a wall of mis-informed opposition in Berkeley.

    At the Ella Baker Center’s protest at Valero on Telegraph Ave. this morning, I spoke with a resident of South Berkeley who said she was opposed to the “Rapid Bus” because “educated people” that are her neighbors and whom she trusts are against it. She says she doesn’t want the high-speed bus that will bring more pollution and make Telegraph more dangerous for pedestrians.

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW?!?!

    This is a woman who spent a good amount of time with Berkeley City Councilmember Kris Worthington this morning (who represents that district) and was also at the protest, and told me to work it out with her!

    I’m convinced that the opponents that showed up and railed against the project in Berkeley last night are being lied to about the project. I’d be angry too if someone was proposing a dirty diesel bullet bus that would careen through my neighborhood!

    Berkeley votes next Tuesday (April 27th). Please help by spreading the word!

  2. Karen S. April 22, 2010 at 1:30 pm #

    What great tweets! I am inspired to activate my twitter account which I have never used. Even though I am a technoramous, this senior citizen tries to keep up; I’m just a little slow.
    As a senior advocate having a relationship with several of the anti speakers, I was hesitant to speak on Tuesday because I know my friends are taking a position based on misinformation, and a public debate is not the place to appeal to their better nature. As you can see, the folks take things very personally, and are fearful of change. Then, being agitated by city leaders who feed on their fears makes them as scared as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs, or a pensioner at a Tea Party rally. I shall try, one on one, to discuss BRT with them.
    By the time I had decided on a diplomatic one minute little speech to ask to study their concerns, the last group was speaking and I hadn’t heard my name called. Just as well, my thoughts were well covered by others.
    Seniors may be very difficult to deal with, but they are not insignificant. Of all demographics, a larger percentage of older voters consistently turn out for elections. They demand, and deserve, to receive respect, while they present a dichotomy: age does impart wisdom, and the value of experiences and history imparts special knowledge, and at the same time slower reflexes and memory confusion may appear as addle-braininess. Stubbornness is a reaction to too many changes, and gives us the label of old fogies. I had my own personal senior moment recently. When I became eligible for MediCare, I sort of ignored Part D and refused to sign up, considering it a relic of the Bush administration that needs to be repealed. Then, Social Security assigned a drug company to me, and I was furious, but then I saw myself as a silly old lady worrying unproductively. So I made an appointment with HiCap to analyze my options. Now I can do something real instead of tilting at a windmill of my worst fears.
    Joel is right, people are being lied to, and politicians are exploiting them outrageously. It’s a sorry sight to see a temper tantrum being thrown in chambers, and I’m not talking about public speakers.
    What is destroying our East Oakland neighborhoods is the inability to quit turf-fighting and the refusal to bring diverse visions to a cooperative table.

  3. Joel Ramos April 22, 2010 at 3:16 pm #

    Whoops! Correction!:
    The Berkeley City Council will vote on BRT next THURS. 4/ 29 at a special meeting at Longfellow School (1500 Derby St., btwn. Sacramento and California Sts.). Please join us if you would like to see BRT go to Berkeley!

  4. len raphael April 23, 2010 at 9:56 pm #

    what was the significance of the brt vote. reading above, gives the impression that the oakland cc fully supported the Max proposal. But doesn’t the vote just mean that cc wants brt but wih significant modifications? including ACT providing off street parking that it won’t get funding to acquire/lease?

  5. Joel Ramos April 24, 2010 at 11:47 am #

    @Len: The City, nor AC Transit never intended to change any parking without mitigation. The vote effectively means: Yes, we understand that this project may require changing parking, and YES, find some solutions to the parking that may need to be moved or located and YES, present those solutions (called “mitigations” in the Final Environmental Impact Report (anticipated as early as the Fall). Then, the Council can review how those changes or modifications to parking on the corridor will be dealt with, and THEN they’ll give the final word on BRT, in the form of an agreement with AC Transit.

  6. Joel Ramos April 24, 2010 at 11:48 am #

    …if those changes are acceptable.

  7. Dr. Terence Candell May 27, 2010 at 7:11 am #

    Vsmoothe:
    Terence Candell opposes BRT. Infringes on people’s right to walk across the street. Well, he won’t be getting my vote for Mayor.

    The People’s Mayor:
    I don’t want your vote. You, obviously, put your wants and desires above the needs of the people of Oakland. Those of us who were born and raised here and run businesses you do not care about destroying with the BRT in that East Oakland area are outraged by people like you.

    Simply put, why don’t you encourage your city government and AC Transit to put the BRT Development on the street behind E. 14th? I’ll tell you why. You are probably one of the vultures who is waiting for the project to put the area’s independent small business owners out of business, so you can gentrify and do a land grab.

    That’s what happens to us in Oakland. If you knew your history, and you really cared about us, you’d be against that, too.

    No. I don’t want your vote; because, unlike the city council members, whose butts you’ve been kissing, I don’t give to the greed … I give to the need.

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