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Friday, August 11, 2017

Follow Up Friday: EBI Pedestrian Path

EBI Path Traded Away, Nothing Gained

City Hall Promises Forsaken

Introducing a new Tattler feature: Follow Up Friday.  We look back on previous stories; what's happened after our spotlight shined on it?  If there was a problem identified, has it been solved?  Has there been no change and the amount of elapsed time made the issue newsworthy again by virtue of that fact?  Look to Follow Up Friday to wrap it all up or to highlight for us all how lame our city can be.

The City of Emeryville has reneged on its own requirement to spend $525,000 to build a replacement pedestrian amenity, money made in trade for removing a developer's requirement to build a bike path at a San Pablo Avenue construction project in 2016.  The EBI pedestrian path, a General Plan mandated pedestrian corridor would have connected 45th and 47th streets and helped pedestrians in the Triangle neighborhood make north/south connections in that notoriously disconnected neighborhood.
The EBI Path was "in the can", all the details worked out and ready for construction.  Residents in the Triangle neighborhood would now be using the path except the City Council in April of 2016 voted to amend our General Plan to remove the path at the insistence of the Escuela Bilingue Internacional, a private school on San Pablo Avenue.
At the time, the City Council told Triangle residents they needed more exercise and the removal of the short-cut path would force them to walk more, a good thing.  Providing other reasons to remove the pedestrian amenity, the Council also stated the path would be a safety risk and asserted gang rapists would be lurking there.
Nonetheless, after giving away the path, the Council told Emeryville residents they would use the in-leau fees paid by EBI to instead make a replacement path connecting the same streets but further east.  The Tattler reported that switch would cost an additional million dollars at least but the City officially continued to work towards that goal.
Until recently.
The mid-block replacement connection nixed, City Hall has now also ruled out using the EBI money to open the long lost "Pickle Works" path connecting Doyle and 53rd streets, long a source of frustration for bikers and walkers seeking convenience in our town and once talked about as an alternate thing to spend the EBI money on.  High costs associated with seizing the property from a private land holder is cited as the reason.

Any replacement path would cost more than the $525,000 the City got from EBI and the budget being in turmoil at City Hall such that it is, it appears pedestrian needs, once traded away, will not be addressed by Emeryville. City Hall has no plans whatsoever to replace the lost EBI pedestrian path, the money remains unspent and pedestrian needs unmet.


  1. One fact you're not telling your readers is the vote on the city council was unanimous. Even Jac Asher voted to delete this problematic path. Not all bike ped paths are good you know. This one presented a clear danger to the children. You should report both sides of the story and not this biased B.S.

    1. The fact that the vote was unanimous is not germane to the story. The story is about how the people of Emeryville were promised a specific pedestrian amenity in trade for the EBI Path and about how that is now not going to happen. RE: "biased"- I did report that the (former) City Council made findings that the path was a safety issue...did you not read the part about the gang rapes predicted for this and other paths in town? That's the 'other side', the side that won...and the Tattler reported it. You've lost your case.

  2. The gang rapist thing was just councilwoman Nora Davis spouting off trying to scare people. Ridiculous. That was never a real reason to get rid of this path. Kudos to the Tattler for telling us this story but you never really found out why the council voted to get rid of this path. Your usual reason cited, that the council loves developers doesn't work in this case because as the previous commenter said, even Jac Asher voted to get rid of the path. So why really did they do it?

  3. They never explained why they wanted to get rid of it. They did sign a document, produced by Charlie Bryant, head of the Planning Department, that made a finding that the neighborhood would be much improved without the path. But your frustration is noted and appreciated. All we can do is speculate. I think they owe us an explanation because counter to Charlie Bryant, we the people of Emeryville decided collectively the EBI Path would be a neighborhood improvement. That's how it made its way into our General Plan. For the City Council to vote to get rid of something we said we want without an explanation is an example of (soft) tyranny. They have the power to do it but to do it the way they did is unethical in my opinion.
    Of course this sort of behavior is standard operating procedure for the Emeryville City Council as we've learned. We remember when Scott Donahue and Dianne Martinez promised voters they would provide Level Four traffic calming for the Horton Street Bicycle Boulevard as the General Plan says must be done. After they got elected they quickly reneged on that and offered no explanation at all. And these are RULE Council members.

    So we can't answer your legitimate question....maybe it's something in the water.