Traffic Plan and Message About New Housing, August 24, 2010 - Candidate Daysog's website

As a mayoral candidate, I believe it is incumbent upon me to explain major initiatives I will pursue. That’s why I am writing about the need for new housing at Alameda Point, and how I will deal with traffic. Rest assured: there will not be 5,000 homes like SunCal wanted – but a reasonable number of new homes is critical for reasons below.

Much of the former military base is in poor physical condition – dilapidated, substandard residential and industrial facilities that do not meet building codes. Facilities are not in a condition to attract top-quality industries with high- paying, career-track jobs. Substandard sewage, water, and electrical infrastructure need to be replaced.

As important, Alamedans want top-notch recreational amenities, including: multi-sport complex for youths; waterfront paths with stunning views of San Francisco; open space such as mini-parks throughout the Point.

The San Francisco Chronicle captured local sentiment as early as April, 1997 in an editorial on the former military base: “Above all, expectations should be high, standards unyielding. If Alameda succeeds, it can be justly sentimental about its Navy days, but even more grateful about the day when the chain-link fences came down.”

But all this takes money. New housing is critical : property taxes generated by new homes at the Point will pay for the new infrastructure and recreational amenities. Annual fees on new homes at the Point will pay for public services.

What’s the alternative? My opponents propose that a non-profit should manage the former military base, leasing existing residential and industrial/commercial space in what I refer to as the “re-use” strategy. The problem is that we’d never charge a high-enough rent to accrue enough revenues to pay for new infrastructure and new recreational amenities. Right now, tenants pay below-market rents because the site is mostly sub-standard.

And, with the non-profit re-use leasing strategy, you cannot charge enough in rent to fully recover the cost of police, fire, and other public services. Taxpayers in historic Alameda will thus continue shouldering the cost of municipal services at the Point in the non-profit re-use approach. Alameda Point must pay for itself – a policy I created when on Council.

To be sure, there are valuable businesses right now at the Point, such as a winery, a distillery, a sport merchandise warehouse, and Antiques by the Bay. But these quality businesses are the exceptions to the hundreds of industrial/commercial acres that remain in deteriorated, substandard condition.

Thus, new housing is essential to create the tax base to get Alameda Point going. As Mayor, I will take the lead in hiring the right private developer, and I will keep them on track. I championed Bayport, but now I want a mix of homes including stylish lofts, townhouses at the Point: as Mayor, I will make the case to the public to modify Measure A. Let’s redevelop the Point as a well-planned area – recreational amenities, senior housing, open space, housing for families with school-age children, and stylish lofts and townhouses for young adults. Let’s attract quality, high-paying industries.

As the Councilmember who championed Alameda Point’s Bayport neighborhood from inception to implementation, I can do this job. I ask for your vote. Thank you for your consideration.

My Traffic Plan: While I take bus to BART to get to work, I know driving our cars is in our blood. So here’s my traffic plan: the final one-third of the two-lane outbound Posey Tube is under solid ground. In that portion, I will knock down the left wall to create a third lane, thereby expanding the capacity of Posey. The left and center lanes will veer left to a new road that briefly travels under and then connects with 880 via a new on-ramp, allowing quick access to San Francisco or Berkeley. Coming out of Posey, drivers can still take a right around the Chinese-American park to get to SF. My plan improves traffic flow to handle future homes at Alameda Point, and is much cheaper than a new bridge or tunnel. (PS: I will also implement alternative transit plans, i.e. bus rapid transit, new ferry terminal)

Candidates 2010: