City Collecting Input on Aging Infrastructure

The city is inviting its residents to “Join the Conversation.” City staff is engaged in sharing a presentation called “Repairing Alameda’s Aging Infrastructure” not only at Board and Commission meetings, but with civic and business organizations, and at community events as well. 

As part of the dialog, city staff gave the presentation before the Planning Board at its Monday, Jan. 22 meeting. The presentation points out nearly two-thirds of those living in the Island City approved of the job the city government is doing and of the direction the city is heading. Some 77 percent said that they are interested in local funding options to address the city’s aging infrastructure, the rising cost of housing and traffic congestion.  

According to the city, the bill for unfunded infrastructure needs would total $200 million, an amount the city could not afford to pay on its own. City staff has prioritized infrastructure needs to include: repairing potholes, maintaining and repairing public storm drains to keep pollution out of San Francisco Bay, maintaining the condition of neighborhood parks and improving traffic flow and traffic safety. 

In the presentation city staff pointed to Alameda’s aging storm drains and the problem they have handling heavy rainfall like we experienced last winter. According to staff, properly maintained storm drains not only are key to preventing flooding but offer other benefits as well.  These include maintaining property values, protecting marine life and bird sanctuaries and conserving clean water in the San Francisco Bay and the city’s lagoons.

In the presentation staff pointed out that Alameda is home to 21 community and neighborhood parks and beaches. Park maintenance needs include not only upgrading and repairing park facilities, such as the popular recreation centers, but addressing necessary earthquake retrofit and complying with American with Disabilities Act issues.

The report also included some surprising numbers. The city oversees some 125 miles of publicly maintained streets, 260 miles of sidewalks and 25,854,000 square feet of pavement. Repairing potholes on these streets remains at the top of the list of needed repairs, staff reports.  
City staff hopes to hear more from Alameda residents about their infrastructure priorities. To accomplish this, the city is reaching out to neighborhood groups, boards and commissions, business and civic organizations to better address these needs. 

The city has set up an online community survey at www.survey monkey.com/r/94501. Alamedans can learn more at www.alamedaca.gov/JointheConversation. In addition staff is sending a mailer to residents. The mailer includes a card to return to the city with priorities and comments. City staff wants to know your priorities.