Letters to the Editor: Say yes to Site A

Letters to the Editor: Say yes to Site A

Letters to the Editor

The Alamedan got several letters last week regarding Site A. For your convenience, we're printing all of them in one handy post.

Dear Editor,

Riding the ferry on my commute to and from the city is one of my favorite things about living in Alameda. I work in San Francisco, and the unique, beautiful ride was a huge selling point for me when I first moved here two years ago.

In the short time that I have lived here, ferry ridership has increased dramatically. Parking is at a real premium and capacity is stretched to the max at the Alameda Main Street ferry terminal. The lots are completely full by the time the 7:45 a.m. ferry departs, forcing many commuters to park a huge distance away on the dirt shoulder of the road. Our Island city needs a new and expanded ferry terminal that can accommodate more routes, more riders, and more transit connections to local bus routes, providing an easier way to drive, bike, walk, and take public transit to and from the ferry.

I have been following the latest plans to redevelop the old Naval base at Alameda Point, and I think the proposals for Site A are the first, critically-needed step to truly bring change for the city. The plans include a new ferry terminal, which will be at the heart of a waterfront district of mixed-use development that will be connected to our local transit grid in a number of ways.

Alameda is one of the most public transit-oriented communities in the Bay Area, and the planning being done for Alameda Point is an investment in our city’s future. I look forward to a ferry system that can accommodate Alameda’s growing ridership of water commuters like myself, and to be able to get into the city more easily and efficiently. I think Site A at Alameda Point is a great step towards making that a reality.

Alyssa Galloway

Dear Editor,

This past week, San Francisco hit a record high for median rent prices. For my generation of young professionals, making ends meet is an ever increasing challenge in an era when wages haven’t even come close to matching the rising cost of living. As our group of young Americans graduates, launches careers, and begins to build our lives, it doesn’t take a research study to tell you that it is becoming harder every day to make ends meet.

I grew up in the East Bay and I’m proud to call Alameda home. One of the benefits of our unique corner of the region is a lower cost of living than the city – but that is changing fast. With more and more San Francisco residents moving east to our sunny side of the bay, and jobs moving along with them, we need more housing in Alameda and beyond to accommodate this growing population and workforce. In comparison to our neighbors to the north and east, rent is rising at an unsustainable level partly due to an ever increasing demand for property and a static supply.

It’s a more competitive housing market than perhaps we’ve ever seen – but more housing is on the horizon on our Island, and that’s why I’m excited about development plans for Site A at Alameda Point. Plans will bring 800 residential units to the market, with one-third of them for sale and two-thirds for rent. Two hundred of these units will go on the market at affordable rates, and there will be no displacement of the community at the Main Street neighborhood.

As a resident and regular patron of Alameda's West End, I’m excited for the future development and where we’re headed, and I think the plans for Site A at Alameda Point deserve final approval by the City Council on June 16.

Annie Tegner

Hello,

I’m a young professional living in San Francisco. With my business in Alameda, I spend a lot of time commuting across the Bay, tracing the paths followed by so many generations of Bay Area residents. If there were an easier way to cross the bay, I would use it. I’m always looking to the future and recently began planning to move to Alameda to make my commute that much shorter.

I’ve been reading about plans for Alameda Point, and one positive thing that has stood out is the new housing. There has been a lot written and said about the prospect of new housing on the Island, but the reality is that Alameda needs more residential properties for its current residents and those of us who would move to the island if there were more available and affordable units. The plans for Alameda Point center on the addition of hundreds of new residential units desperately needed in the Island City.

In the city and across the nation, people are keeping their cars at home and using transit and other greener modes of transportation when it makes sense to do so. I would love to be able to walk or bike to work, and if plans go through for Alameda Point, I will move there and buy a home in one of the new properties where I could someday raise a family. I am excited about the prospect of the project’s new ferry terminal and the comprehensive new transit plan envisioned for Site A that will truly allow our community to plan for future growth and transit habits in and around Alameda.

Site A presents an opportunity to create a transit-oriented culture that promotes job growth by supporting our Island’s businesses and their workforce, and is in line with the direction we are already headed as a community in embracing more green and sustainable lifestyles. I urge this city council to vote YES on Site A on June 16.

Chris Granger

Dear Editor,

As an Alameda native, I’ve always cared about the future of this community. Even when I moved away, I stayed in touch with local issues and news on the Island. My parents still live in Harbor Bay, and I think Alameda is one of those communities that brings people back year after year, whether to make it their home or to visit and enjoy our endless beaches, trails and pathways, and the bay breezes and palm trees that have always been home.

It’s because I care so much about this Island that I support the current proposals to add to the housing supply that Alameda critically needs. Alameda is in dire need of more residential units not just for people who commute elsewhere, but for employees who work on our island every day. Building more housing in Alameda will be a shot in the arm to all businesses, improving the workplace culture with an easier commute, and generally incentivizing doing business in Alameda. People want to live close to work, and more housing will allow those who work at any of the workplaces popping up around the Island to do that, without adding to traffic.

The efforts at Alameda Point to redevelop the footprint of the old base will bring not just housing but also new commercial and retail space, with a whole new infrastructure – almost $100 million in water, sewer, electric, and road improvements. The plan includes a critically needed expanded transit grid which will encourage more businesses to move to Alameda to continue the strong tradition of small business and innovation. Our city cannot go any longer without the boost to our economy that development at Alameda Point represents. As a native, I would be proud to see Alameda move forward and show the region the true potential of our Island city.

Zac Goldstein

Dear Editor,

As a native Alamedan, I’m encouraged by the concern a couple of recent developers have shown for my generation. Both at the Del Monte project and at Site A at Alameda Point, significant consideration has been shown for providing access for seniors from all over the Island.

My parents raised us to care about where we live in terms of how people are treated, and I recall growing up here, swimming at South Shore when it ended where the lagoon is now, eating at Ole’s and Tillie’s, and attending school here, graduating from Alameda High a few decades ago. The town is rich in history as a terminus of the Transcontinental Railroad, as a base during World War II, Korea and Vietnam, and even as a fun destination while we still had Neptune Beach. Today, as you can see, many people enjoy our amenities all along both Park and Webster streets.

So, I’d really like to stay here when my current home outgrows me, when stairs become cliffs and shopping becomes a challenging trek. Both of the projects mentioned have shown that they understand this thoroughly.

Site A, particularly, is providing a good number of housing units for seniors, families, and provides affordable options as well. There’s shops, eateries, parks, open space, and bay trails reminiscent of my swimming years! It would be wonderful to take my grandchildren down to the water, as I was taken as a child, and have them enjoy the same benefits you and I did, growing up here.

When you’re working with a legacy as rich as ours, I think it’s important to remember how we came this far and to keep the humanity that brought us here intact. Don’t you?

Penny Stanley

Comments

Submitted by Bill2 (not verified) on Wed, Jun 10, 2015

Alameda Point Plan A must move forward before the economy takes a turn for the worst and we miss out on the opportunity to ignite development there. The positive impact to our economy hear is far more important than the concerns about traffic. Congestion is a part of every town in the Bay Area and it won't stop. If we do not proceed with Plan A we will simply force businesses and companies to set up business elsewhere and we will wander in to the future.