Letters to the Editor
Why didn’t Ron Cowan and his team ask the membership of the Harbor Bay Club what they want? I am a member and I was told the new club would be better. Nobody asked for my opinion.
The number of letters written to Alameda newspapers regarding the future of Harbor Bay Club indicates the sensitivity of this issue for the community. What needs to be remembered is that this issue supersedes the interest of club members and employees.
Any decision will affect not only the entirety of Harbor Bay Isle, but the larger community of Alameda in general. It is sheer nonsense to suggest that adding 80 to 160 new housing units, all with multiple cars and working people, will not impact city traffic.
Any person living in Harbor Bay Isle knows that traffic in the area during commute and school drop-off time is nearly at a standstill. Trading minimal club traffic for traffic generated by 80 to 160 housing units will only make an existing problem even worse.
Furthermore, this is not just a Harbor Bay problem, but a city-wide problem. The overarching issue is people trying to get off/on the island during commute times. Alameda’s ingress/egress capacity via its streets, bridges and tube is already maxed out. No matter how you spin it, putting more commuters on Alameda’s streets will only make traffic worse. The quality of our life in this city will go down.
The proposal by Ron Cowan to build a new club in the business park is obviously a land grab, trading valuable, waterfront property for a windy, noisy, jet-fumed property he doesn’t know what to do with. One could easily conjecture that the club was intentionally allowed to deteriorate over the years as an excuse for tearing it down so that lucrative housing could be built on the property.
People oppose the moving of the club for many reasons, but it is not because they are anti-progress. Everyone would like to see upgrades in Alameda, but not at the expense of the people who already live here.
The people of Alameda spoke loud and clear in the last election: they do not want out-of-control housing development. The island is congested enough already. I urge our elected city officials to act in the best interest of the people of Alameda, not for the promotion of moneyed special interests. That’s what we elected them to do.
It bewilders me how decisions are made to spend a significant amount of our taxpayer dollars on some of the street "enhancement" ideas that I have seen recently.
Specifically, the city’s current idea to reduce the number of lanes on Central Avenue between Main Street and Sherman Avenue to "make the street safer for bicyclists, pedestrians and motorists" does not make any sense.
In looking at a map that plots recent pedestrian and bicyclist accidents, not one incident has happened on Central Avenue on that stretch. All incidents have occurred once Central turns onto Main. If you study that map, there are many more streets that need attention than this one — which appears to be one of the safest stretches on the Island.
The similar project on Shore Line Drive looks absolutely terrible. Now, all you see is a long stretch of parked cars on a narrow street. This should be one of our most picturesque views overlooking the bay. I don’t know how Alameda can possibly make that bay view less of an asset. I strongly urge the city not to mar the beautiful tree-lined stretch of Central Avenue.