Remember in December when I wrote about the anti-pedestrian design that had been approved by the Planning Commission for the McDonald’s at Telegraph and 45th? Remember how a bunch of us (including many Living in the O readers) joined together to file an appeal of this decision? Well after many months of working with staff and talking to councilmembers, our appeal is headed to the City Council next Tuesday, May 3rd.
I had hoped to write a more extensive post this week to go over the staff report, which recommends the Council reject our appeal and approve the McDonald’s design because apparently to staff, circulation of cars is more important than the pedestrian experience and pedestrian safely. But I just haven’t found the time this week so you’ll just have to wait until Monday for that.
I did want to at least let folks know that the appeal is moving forward, and that we could use some community support for the appeal. About a dozen of us have been meeting with councilmembers about our appeal, but it’s important that the Council hears from many Oaklanders about why the approved design is bad for Temescal and bad for Oakland.
Please email or call the Council before Tuesday to express your support for our appeal. Here are some points you can make:
- The approved design is the worst proposal McDonald’s initially proposed, for pedestrian experience, pedestrian safety, and the overall look and feel of this vibrant part of Temescal.
- The approved design creates a moat of cars around the entire lot, placing the drive through directly next to the sidewalk on Telegraph, which has heavy pedestrian traffic at nearly all hours of every day.
- Advocates do not oppose a redesign of the McDonald’s – we just want to find a design that works both for McDonald’s and the community.
- Telegraph is designated as a “Growth and Change” corridor in the Land Use and Transportation Element (LUTE) of the General Plan. The approved design does not offer growth (except more cars) and could disincentivize future growth by making the corner less pedestrian friendly and by increasing blight.
For more ideas on what to cover when you speak to the Council, read our appeal. And, for reference, here’s the anti-pedestrian approved design:
The group of residents working on the appeal have not put forward our own design alternative. We’d like to work with McDonald’s to find a design that works for their business and our community. That’s why it’s so important for the Council to provide direction on this issue and to accept our appeal.
If you can, please also plan to speak at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, May 3rd. The non-consent calendar part of the meeting start at 6:30pm in the Council Chambers in City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza. Our item is first on the non-consent part of the agenda so please arrive early, and know that the item will be done by a reasonable hour.
Here is contact info for the Council:
Rebecca Kaplan, At-Large
RKaplan@oaklandnet.com or 510-238-7008
Jane Brunner, District 1
JBrunner@oaklandnet.com or 510-238-7001
Patricia Kernighan, District 2
PKernighan@oaklandnet.com or 510-238-7002
Nancy Nadel, District 3
NNadel@oaklandnet.com or 510-238-7003
Libby Schaaf, District 4
LSchaaf@oaklandnet.com or 510-238-7004
Ignacio De La Fuente, District 5
IDeLaFuente@oaklandnet.com or 510-238-7005
Desley Brooks, District 6
DBrooks@oaklandnet.com or 510-238-7006
Council President Larry Reid, District 7
LReid@oaklandnet.com or 510-238-7007
If you send an email, I’d appreciate it if you could copy me (oaklandbecks at gmail dot com) or better yet, if you could post it in the comments here to inspire others to write. Thanks, and I hope to see you on Tuesday at City Hall!