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"Improvements like these can make a big difference in area economic vitality but such plans cannot be viewed as revenue enhancers. In fact such plans are invariably costly for the cities which implement them properly." 
Hey Brandie - the City won an HSIP grant to redesign MacArhtur Blvd from Market St to MLK. It will include removing one vehicle lane in each direction, adding left-turn pockets at intersections, and adding bike lanes. It's a pretty long process, so I don't think construction is supposed to start until 2016. For the section between MLK and Telegraph, BART will take out a vehicle lane and add bike lanes as part of their work on the MacArthur BART transit village. The end goal for those two projects combined is make MacArthur look the same all the way between Broadway and the Emeryville border.
Dwight - in addition to the East Bay Greenway, the bulk of which will run through and serve East Oakland, there are bike facility projects in design for:
- Camden Street, from Seminary to Bancroft
- San Leandro Street, from 66th to 75th
- MacArthur Blvd, Coolidge to Midvale; and
- the LAMMPS project, which will provide new trees, street lighting, landscaped walking paths, and bike facilities on MacArthur Blvd between High Street and Seminary, connecting Millsmont, Maxwell Park & the Laurel.
Art - people who ride bikes do pay for the bike lane, since all local roads in Oakland are paid for through property and sales taxes. Gas taxes, vehicle registration fees, etc are only used for the highway system - a system bicyclists are not allowed to use. Even so, user fees on drivers pay for less than half of the cost of maintaining our nation's highways. In that light, it's actually bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit users who are subsidizing highway drivers with our tax dollars.
Open Disclosure Oakland lists 50.25% of Libby's contributions coming from Oakland. While others raised more within Oakland (Quan 55%, Tuman 64%), Libby raised far more money within Oakland than others (Kaplan 37%, Siegel 32%).
If there is a data source elsewhere claiming more of Libby's donations came from outside of Oakland, I'd like to see it - and I'd like to see it in context to other candidates that did significant fundraising.
I find it hard to understand why Hobart would claim Libby Schaaf "doesn't get it" about either modern urban planning or bicycling.
It was this spring that council member Schaaf worked directly with Walk Oakland Bike Oakland to introduce and pass Oakland's Vulnerable Road Users Ordinance, providing more protection to bicyclists and pedestrians on our streets.
She was also the sole mayoral endorsement of Transport Oakland, an organization solely focused on improving transit, walking, and biking in Oakland. The membership of Transport Oakland is made up almost entirely of young urban planners - I doubt they would endorse a candidate who "didn't get" modern urban planning principles.
I commend Mr Allen-Taylor for bringing attention to the issue of redistricting. As equal representation is the cornerstone of government, it's essential that council members represent similar numbers of residents. A few points of clarification on this story:
-Ms Santana's July memo stating that no council districts required redistricting was a product of faulty math. When calculating the difference between the largest (D3) and smallest (D2) council districts, her office divided the result by the population of the entire city, rendering a difference of 4% - under the 10% requirement. When dividing this difference by the average council district size, as her office should have, the difference was in fact 20%. Under the faulty math, one council district would have needed at least 20,000 more residents than the average council district size to qualify for redistricting. This should have been an immediate red flag to anyone reading the memo with a critical eye.
-Ms Santana's office worked off of this faulty assumption until late in 2012, when it was pointed out to them by multiple source. This placed the City well behind a typical timetable to do redistricting according to best practices. Berkeley, on a similar deadline, has been doing redistricting outreach since early 2012. This may partially explain the rush to approve a contract.
-Only 3 of the council districts (2, 3 & 5) met the threshold of a 10% population difference (+/- 5%), when compared to the average council district size. While such limited redistricting is hardly normal, it could technically satisfy the requirements of the City Charter. It's my understanding that the original decision to limit the redistricting to only these 3 council districts was an effort to spare the expense of a full redistricting - cost cutting also being a rationale in the July 2012 memo for not doing redistricting at all. But once the ball was rolling on redistricting, it doesn't surprise me that enough political pressure built up to expand to a citywide process.
I attribute this debacle to faulty math in the Administrator's office that wasn't questioned because it told them that they didn't have to spend money. As for council "not having input", they received the faulty memo in July of 2012. All it would have taken was some basic math and critical thought over the summer to ensure enough time for a standard council oversight process. They have only themselves to blame.
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