Tag Archives: ABAG

Joyce Roy: Senate Public Hearing on Regional Governance in SF this Thursday

6 Dec

This guest post was written by Joyce Roy. As a retired architect, Joyce has raised her sights (or sites?) to the whole city of Oakland and so has been active in advocating for better transit, the right development in the right place and the reuse of existing structures.  She is an active member of ULTRA.

This is for those of you who were disturbed by the recent decision of MTC (Metropolitan Transportation Commission) to leave the headquarters they share with ABAG (Association of Bay Area Governments) and use Bridge toll funds for real estate speculation by purchasing a too-big warehouse in a transit-challenged location. It was not just in itself an unwise, and possibly, illegal action, but a loud and clear symptom of the Bay Area’s transportation/land-use disconnect due to the difficulty of comprehensive planning without regional governance which would combine the functions of MTC, ABAG, the Air District and BCDC.

Here is your chance to have your concerns heard by our State Senate:

Senate Transportation & Housing Informational Hearing-
SUBJECT: Regional Governance and Bay Area Economic Development

December 8, 2011
10:00 am – 1:00 pm in the Legislative Chamber of San Francisco City Hall, Room 250

You can be assured that your comments will be given serious attention because the Chair of the Senate Transportation & Housing Committee, Mark DeSaulnier, has served on MTC, ABAG, and the Air District so he understands the dysfunctional separation of those regional agencies. Continue reading

Despite ongoing state audit, MTC poised to move to San Francisco; ABAG unlikely to join them

27 Sep

You might remember that two months ago, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) voted to move their headquarters from Oakland to San Francisco. After the City of Oakland raised questions of Brown Act violations in this initial vote, the MTC voted in August to rescind its initial vote and to create a committee that would review the decision and return with a recommendation to the MTC within 60 days.

To recap, in case you missed the excellent guest blog post from Joyce Roy about this issue a month ago, the MTC has been searching for a new headquarters for MTC and the Associations of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) – who currently share offices next to the Lake Merritt BART station – as well as the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (Air District). The plan for the three agencies to locate together makes total sense, as they work together frequently and it would make it easier for the public to interact with the three agencies. MTC narrowed down their location search to two options – building a new building on top of the 12th Street BART station in downtown Oakland at 1100 Broadway or purchasing a 1940’s warehouse half a mile from BART in San Francisco at 390 Main Street. At the meeting in August, East Bay officials and advocates turned out in force, advocating for the Oakland site, and State Senator Mark DeSaulnier – chair of the Senate Transportation Committee – sent a letter informing the Commission that his committee would audit their proposed use of bridge toll funds for the move to San Francisco.

It hasn’t been 60 days yet, but the committee appointed at that August meeting has apparently completed its work and recommended that the MTC move forward with its initial plans to move to San Francisco. The MTC will be voting tomorrow, Wednesday morning, September 28th on whether to move forward with the San Francisco building purchase (meeting details at the end of this post). Continue reading

MTC does the right thing, rescinds vote to move to San Francisco

19 Aug

I’ll have a more complete update in the coming weeks, and I realize most have already heard what happened, but I wanted to give an update on Wednesday’s Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) meeting. I attended most of the meeting and spoke but had to get to work before the commissioners spoke or voted. Luckily, others were able to stay and shared the good news that the MTC voted to rescind their July vote to purchase 390 Main Street in San Francisco and to set up a committee to further research the relocation of their headquarters.

This is huge and I want to thank everyone who helped make this happen. Thanks to Joyce Roy for writing an excellent guest blog post here that mobilized dozens to write the commissioners or to speak on Wednesday. Thanks to everyone who spoke on Wednesday, including many elected officials and advocates. And thanks to State Senator Mark DeSaulnier and the several senators who signed on to his letter to the MTC questioning this purchase and the use of bridge toll funds.

Now on to the updates. The first one is from Joan Lichterman: Continue reading

Joyce Roy: MTC stealth action contradicts sustainability policy

16 Aug

This guest post was written by Joyce Roy. As a retired architect, Joyce has raised her sights (or sites?) to the whole city of Oakland and so has been active in advocating for better transit, the right development in the right place and the reuse of existing structures.  She is an active member of ULTRA.

With little public knowledge or input, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) voted on July 27 to purchase a 1940’s warehouse in a desolate San Francisco area, a half-mile from BART, for a new headquarters to share with other regional agencies.  This violates their own land use policy of locating ”job centers within a quarter mile of transit.”  And it will take many years and more than the $180 million allocated to transform this 8-story humongous plug-ugly warehouse into humane habitable office spaces. No matter how much money is sunk into this building, it is doubtful it can be rated a Class-A office building because of its location.

MTC has another choice, a superbly sustainable one, for $153 million—a proposed new, fully entitled, 20-story Class-A office tower above the 12th Street BART Station at 1100 Broadway in downtown Oakland which will be LEED Platinum certified! With 310,000 square feet of office space and 10,000 square feet of public/retail space on the ground floor, it would more than meet the needs of all three (or four?) regional agencies—it would become a signature regional center.  And the façade of the attached Historic Key System building, the birthplace of Bay Area mass transit, would be restored! What better demonstration of sustainable development could there be? Continue reading

March 8-14 Oakland Political & Community Events

7 Mar

Monday, March 8th – Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board Meeting

This month’s Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board (LPAB) meeting has several items of interest on the agenda. First, there’s the report of the initial staff research into view corridors. Staff analyzed 5 corridors across the lake — 3 views to City Hall and 2 views to the Tribune Tower. Staff will present on their determined maximum heights that could be allowed to preserve the view corridors. Next, there’s an item on proposed heights in historic districts as part of the commercial corridor zoning process. Also, there will be a sub-committee report on the Broadway-Valdez Specific Plan. This is important because there will be a full LPAB review of the plan for April and public input can help guide the process. The meeting takes place at 6pm at Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza, Hearing Room One. You can also watch it on KTOP. For more information, see the meeting agenda.

Monday, March 8th – Oakland LGBT Roundtable

Topics will include:
– The Survey Committee will give an update about the status of the needs assessment survey.
– Oakland Pride committee will give an update on the developments of East Bay Pride.
– Presentation about the history Oakland’s 1879 “Immoral Dress Code.” And update on getting this ‘cross dressing’ law ended in 2010.
– Councilmember Kaplan’s intern, Stephanie McLeod, will give a presentation about her trip to Washington DC’s LGBT Community Center.

This meeting takes place from 5:30-7:30 pm in Hearing Room 4, Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza. Contact Ada Chan in Councilmember Kaplan’s office at 510-238-7083, or Achan1@oaklandnet.com, if you have any questions about the roundtable.

Wednesday, March 10th – Public Meeting to Discuss Options for Setting Bay Area’s Target For Curbing Greenhouse Gases from Cars and Light Trucks

MTC and ABAG will host a public meeting to learn about and comment on options for setting a “target” or goal for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light trucks for the San Francisco Bay Area. To reduce greenhouse gases, a major goal set by state legislation, regions will be given specific targets by CARB to meet for reducing vehicle-related emissions. Senate Bill 375, signed by Governor Schwarzenegger in 2008, requires that CARB set such a target by September 30, 2010. A draft target is expected by June 30, 2010. The law also, among other things, calls upon regional agencies to develop a Sustainable Communities Strategy, or SCS, in conjunction with the long-range regional transportation plan. That effort is slated to begin this spring, with an SCS and updated transportation plan adopted in 2013. This meeting takes place from 2-4pm at Joseph P. Bort MetroCenter, Lawrence D. Dahms Auditorium, 101 Eighth Street (across from the Lake Merritt BART Station).

Thursday, March 11th – Mix It Up East Bay

Join us for a monthly happy hour bringing together young activists, organizers and leaders in the East Bay. Oakland City Councilmember At-Large Rebecca Kaplan will be the featured speaker, giving a talk entitled, “It’s the Economy, and We’re not Stupid: Creative Approaches to Job Creation.” Free Snacks! Drink specials ’til 7 pm! Speaking program begins at 7 pm. Mix It Up East Bay is held every 2nd Thursday of the month from 6-9pm at Shashamane at 2507 Broadway. It’s accessible by 19th Street BART station or by AC Transit lines 1/1R, 51, 59. For more info and to RSVP, visit the event’s Facebook page.

Friday, March 12th – Estuary Art Attack

First Fridays are not the only day of the month to check out art galleries. Jingle Town and Alameda artists have joined together to start the Estuary Art Attack, a monthly event held on second Fridays to showcase the area’s galleries, restaurants, and bars. The Art Attack will be held from 6-9 pm throughout Jingle Town and Alameda. Check out their website for more details.

Saturday, March 13th – Screening of FRESH:  New thinking about what we’re eating

Come see a screening of FRESH the MOVIE, food-friendly documentary. Sign up for a CSA that delivers fresh food in your neighborhood like Eatwell Farm featured on the History Channel or Shooting Star CSA located only 40 miles from Berkeley. Talk to Farm Fresh to You about having a CSA box delivered to your door, or sign up for a special heirloom tomato CSA with Tomatero Farm of Watsonville. Volunteer for a community garden like Funk Town Farm or meet urban farmers from Phat Beet Produce, a North Oakland non-profit. Enjoy food from Oakland vendors like Taco Grill, proudly serving Neiman Ranch Beef in Fruitvale. Free Valet Bike Parking! Doors open at 6pm for “DIGEST” an Art Show , Food Vendors, CSA Info booths, community garden booths and other Oakland food organizations. The event takes place at Regeneration Church, 238 E 15th St. Oakland. Suggested Donation at the door: $5-$10. Proceeds will subsidize CSA food boxes for low income families.  For more info and to RSVP, visit the Facebook event page.