Street Smarts: Multimodal Island

Street Smarts: Multimodal Island

Jon Spangler

Welcome to Alameda Street Smarts, a new blog about Alameda transportation issues, news, and views.

I walk, bicycle, take transit, and drive. This blog will cover and discuss all aspects of local transportation and every mode — including your views and questions about them.

Most of us are, in fact, multimodal,” as they say in transportation planning lingo: we walk through airports, to bus stops, or across parking lots; we drive to work or to a BART station, we take train or plane trips, bicycle to work, or rollerblade along the beach. Sometimes we use several modes in one trip or during one day.

How multimodal are you?

Here are some additional questions for you to get us rolling:

  • How do you get around Alameda? What (modes) move you?
  • How do you like to navigate our islands?
  • Are you primarily a pedestrian? A BART rider? A driver? A wheelchair user?
  • How well do you get around Alameda on foot? By car? Bike? Bus? Scooter?
  • What would you need to navigate Alameda’s streets better and more safely? (On a bike? By car? By bus? On foot? With paratransit? On a skateboard?)
  • What are Alameda’s transportation issues or problems?
  • What does Alameda need to “fix” those problems?
  • How well do you think we get along together on Alameda’s streets and roads?
  • Do we “play well with others” or do we run/drive/walk/BART with scissors?

I will try to raise issues, inform, offer insights, ask (and answer?) questions, and otherwise promote the common (transportation) good.

Your help and engagement on this journey is crucial. Your constructive questions and comments are always welcome. Please be respectful of each other and of all of our readers.


The Planning Board meets at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 30, at City Hall. Every land use planning decision has transportation implications (and vice-versa) so the PB may be as important to most Alamedans as the City Council is. Here’s the PB agenda.


1. Northbound (outgoing) AC Transit buses (51A, and W, O, or OX Transbay) move faster thanks to Alameda County’s first installed transit signal priority signal (TSP) at Webster and Stargell. The Webster Street SMART Corridor Project will bring more TSP signals — and faster bus service — along Webster Street.

2. The Estuary Crossing Shuttle is currently carrying an average of 177 passengers and 10 bikes every weekday — with an almost no marketing budget.

3. BikeAlameda counted over 1,000 Bike to Work Day participants on May 10, up about 29 percent for 2012 over 2011, which also set new records. The East Bay Bicycle Coalition counted 17,500 cyclists at its 143 aid stations, also a new high.