Letters to the Editor
The Alameda Sun received a copy of this letter addressed to “my elected officials.”
What do I want? I want my elected officials to discontinue promoting the policy of, “we have to get people out of their automobiles.” I want to drive my automobile in and out of Alameda. I am fortunate and proud to live in Alameda, to own an automobile and to be an American.
America is about automobiles; I do not want my elected officials to continue depriving me of my privelege to drive my automobile.
I want no approval of any further home construction, including the approval of home construction at Alameda Point, not until the effect on traffic resulting from the completion of the hurried current projects can be properly studied, preferably through a non-fiction version of a traffic study.
We do not need a traffic study now, we need one after the current projects have been completed. A study now would be nothing more than costly self-serving speculation.
I want no further constriction of the streets in Alameda; no reducing of four lanes to two or one to none. The goal of such a construction is to “get people out of their automobiles.” The results of the last election should convince my elected officials to cease and desist the approval of further housing and constriction of streets; if not, I, and I trust many others, will see you at the polls.
I realize I could be mistaken, but I beleive the view I express here is the majority view in Alameda respecting futher housing and restriction of our streets, including our street parking spaces. Whatever your view, let it be known.
I recently visited the “open-forum” for the Central Avenue project. It was certainly not open to diverse viewpoints and was a forum only for the pro-bicycle coalition. I, therefore, developed my own list of priorities for the city staff to consider:
- No more bike lanes.
- No traffic calming on Central east of Webster Street.
- Respect the disabled and the elderly.
- Stop wasting tax payer dollars.
- Stop pandering to a vocal, law-breaking often obnoxious but well-organized minority.
- Recognize that traffic will not disappear; it will only be diverted.
- Do not ruin Central Avenue like you ruined Shore Line Drive
The city administration should recognize that people live here so they can enjoy the shore line, parks and tree-lined streets. Making it more difficult to drive on the Island will only benefit the limited number of bike riders. If drivers are forced off Central, they will move to other streets.
They will not take non-existent public transportation. Thinking that the thousands of new houses planned for the base and other areas will not increase traffic is, at best, naive and, more likely, dishonest.
Before spending ridiculous amounts of money to hire a consultant and then move forward with a predetermined plan, the City Council should consider simple steps to improve safety on Central. Have the police actively and continuously enforce speed limits and stop signs. Place crossing guards at intersections around schools. Crossing guards and police should ensure that students use cross walks and bike riders and students alike obey traffic laws.
It is surprising that the city has not yet been sued under the Americans with Disabilities Act for limiting access to Shore Line. Residents of streets that will be adversely impacted by the changes proposed for Central Avenue (Otis Drive, Santa Clara Avenue, and so on) should organize to take legal action.
The City Council’s obligations are to all the residents of Alameda. Spend money on solutions to traffic problems not on schemes to make them worse.
I have watched Andrew Thomas operate at City Hall for many years now, and I simply do not trust him. Frankly, whenever I think of his name, the phrase, “Prevaricator! Prevaricator! Trousers aflame!” comes to mind.
To illustrate, let’s consider just one point from his letter, (“City planner responds,” April 30) about BART being a long-term transit option for Alameda. Officials have gone on record saying that BART-to-Alameda is “decades” away, if it can be done at all. The reality is it’s probably 20 to 30 years away, just like it took more than 20 years to build a new Bay Bridge after Loma Prieta.
The first passenger ride on a BART train out of Alameda will be long after many of your readers retire and no longer commute on a daily basis. And yet, Andrew Thomas speaks as if it’s going to make a difference in response to projects on the table now.
Readers would be well-advised to consider Thomas’s writings with a highly critical eye.