Tag Archives: Joyce Roy

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

MTC approves move to San Francisco, triggering Senator DeSaulnier to commit to drastically overhaul the agency

29 Sep

Sadly, but unsurprisingly, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) voted yesterday to approve the purchase of 390 Main Street in San Francisco for their new headquarters. I attempted to listen to the audio of the meeting while it was happening yesterday, but once again the MTC’s audio feed was faulty (the same thing happened during their last meeting about the move) so I was unable to.

I was able to follow the meeting yesterday on Twitter, thanks to San Francisco Chronicle reporter Michael Cabanatuan @ctuan. (If you’re not following him on Twitter, you should.)

And thankfully, Joyce Roy attended the meeting and wrote this report: 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

Joyce Roy: City to decide fate of Film Center on Army Base

5 Apr

This guest post was written by Joyce Roy, with an introduction from me. 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.

The Army Base’s development, whose main objective is the creation of good jobs, is on tonight’s (4/5) City Council agenda. It.is voting on changes in the Exclusive Negotiation Agreement (ENA) with the potential developer group AMB/CCG, lead by Phil Tagami. These changes are:

  1. Extend their ENA until April 22, 2012
  2. Allocate almost $18 million for planning the infrastructure.
  3. Eliminate the requirement to accommodate the Oakland Produce Market and the Oakland Film Center on the base.

Continue reading

Joyce Roy: Urge the Council to approve higher density on Broadway & Telegraph

6 Feb

This guest post was written by Joyce Roy, with an introduction from me. 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.


For the past couple of years, Oakland has been working on a long overdue zoning update. As John Gatewood explained in 2009:

As some of you know the city has finally started the Zoning Update for the commercial and residential areas of Oakland. This process should have started in 1998 when the city adopted its latest General Plan but, for a number of reasons, it did not. This lack of agreement between the General Plan and the Zoning is what has led to so many conflicts over new developments in Oakland. Our existing zoning is patchwork created over decades to respond to immediate concerns rather than long-term goals. The 1998 General Plan spells out where the city wants to focus growth in Oakland. To their credit the writers of the 1998 General Plan focused this “growth and change” on the major transit corridors in Oakland.

The Zoning Update is our opportunity to bring zoning, the details of what can be built where, in alignment with the vision of the General Plan. Updating the zoning to allow for the higher density envisioned in the General Plan will be one step in turning Oakland away from the path Detroit is on. Our city is at the heart of the East Bay. We already have the public transit infrastructure to support more residents using it. We were once a denser, more walkable city. We now need to update our land-use rules so that we can build higher density housing on our transit corridors to respond to how we live today so that we can rekindle the walkability and vibrancy we had 60 years ago.

After many hearings before the Planning Commission’s Zoning Update Committee (ZUC), the zoning update is coming before the Community and Economic Development Committee this week and the full City Council next week.

Here is Joyce Roy’s post about why you should attend and/or send emails about the zoning update:

Urgent need to support higher density along Telegraph and Broadway:

Most concerns have been resolved at the Planning Commission’s Zoning Update Committee meetings. But two points of contention may be the 60-ft heights along Telegraph other than the historic districts, which are 35-ft to 45-ft, and only 45-ft rather than 60-ft on Broadway between Whitmore and 40th.

From the staff report (warning – LARGE PDF):

Staff’s recommendation for Telegraph Avenue is consistent with citywide height mapping principals that applied a 60-foot height maximum on wide corridors that are adjacent to lower-density residential neighborhoods. This height limit creates an appropriate “wall” to contain the wide street space on Telegraph Avenue. The updated proposal also allows the density that fulfills General Plan policies encouraging development at major corridors to promote infill development, increase transit use, and revitalize retail districts. Regulations proposing a building stepback from the rear setback line of corridor sites will significantly lower the impacts of taller corridor buildings on adjacent residential neighborhoods.

Staff agrees that the same reasoning applies to Broadway, but staff needs to be able to show it has the support of the community.  The City Council has the final say. So we must fight for a 60-ft height limit on Broadway and to maintain it on Telegraph by sending emails to councilmembers. It is very important that the councilmembers receive many emails. So even if you are planning to go to the meetings, send emails.

Please come to the meetings:

  • Community & Economic Development Committee mtg: Tues. Feb. 8 at 1:45 pm in Hearing Room 1
  • Full Council: Tues. Feb. 15 at 7:00 pm in the Council Chambers

Here are email addresses for the Council (the first four are on the committee, but I would advise sending to all):

  • Jane Brunner   <jbrunner@oaklandnet.com>
  • Patricia Kernighan <pkernighan@oaklandnet.com>
  • Nancy Nadel  <nnadel@oaklandnet.com>
  • Ignacio De La Fuente <idelafuente@oaklandnet.com>
  • Jean Quan  <jquan@oaklandnet.com>
  • Desley Brooks  <dbrooks@oaklandnet.com>
  • Larry Reid  <lreid@oaklandnet.com>
  • Rebecca Kaplan <rkaplan@oaklandnet.com>
  • Libby Schaaf   <lschaaf@oaklandnet.com>

For more background on the process, please read an article on the zoning update in the Sierra Club’s Yodeler.

Covering November’s transit measures & candidates

20 Oct

There are several local and state transit issues that Californians will vote on this November, and each of them have been generating a lot of discussion in the blogosphere.

With the vote on Measure KK in Berkeley just a couple weeks away, it seems like everyone’s talking about Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). V Smoothe wrote two must read posts over the past week, making strong arguments for BRT. First, she explained that the main advantage of BRT is not speed, it’s reliability. Today, she followed up by debunking the myth that the proposed BRT line is redundant to BART. Raymond at Oakland Space Academy is open to the idea of BRT but is a bit more skeptical than most of Oakland’s bloggers.

Shockingly, the Berkeley Daily Planet distorted what happened at Jane Brunner’s recent BRT meeting in North Oakland. I attended the meeting and wrote here that the overwhelming sentiment of the Oakland community was in support of BRT. Yet Jesse Douglas Allen-Taylor claimed that Oaklanders at the meeting were as divided as Berkeley is on the issue (which couldn’t be much further for the truth). Luckily, in the same issue, dto510’s excellent opinion piece on BRT was published, along with a letter to the editor from me contesting Allen-Taylor’s claims about the meeting.

BRT is not all that’s at stake for transit on this November’s ballot. Prop 1A would authorize the sale of bonds to finance a high speed rail system from Los Angeles to San Francisco. While I agree with V Smoothe’s assessment early this year that the Altamont alignment of the rail line would have been much more favorable for the line as a whole and for Oakland in particular, I think this project is still worthwhile under the chosen Pacheco alignment. Robert’s been following this initiative closely for months now over at his California High Speed Rail Blog, making several convincing arguments about why we need high speed rail now. I especially appreciated his recent post explaining that the high speed rail project will provide needed economic stimulus to our state, much like bridges and dams did during the Great Depression.

Though at first thought it might not seem relevant to Oaklanders, Santa Clara County will be voting on Measure B, which would increase the county’s sales tax rate to fund the extension of BART to San Jose. Eric at Transbay Blog has embarked on an in-depth series of posts dedicated to explaining the history of this project and to making a clear argument about why BART to San Jose is a bad idea for the Bay Area’s regional transit system. 295bus agrees, arguing that the local transit agency’s obsession with the BART extension has gotten in the way of other opportunities to improve transit in the county.

And while we’ve all been distracted by the presidential race and the at-large city council race, there’s another important race happening in Oakland. At-large AC Transit Director Chris Peeples is being challenged by Joyce Roy, an Oakland resident who has staked her campaign on complaining about Van Hool buses and opposing BRT (PDF). Needless to say, I’m voting for Peeples, and Jeff Hobson from the Transportation and Land Use Coalition is too.