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Saturday, April 24, 2010

How They Voted

Announcing a new Tattler Feature-

Emeryville Child Development Center

At the Tattler, we've noticed the city council and other deliberative bodies in Emeryville make controversial votes that get forgotten by the residents over time. In deference to the general edification of public policy and to strengthen Emeryville's democratic institutions, we will start occasional short reminder burbs on how the Power Elite in town have voted on these controversial issues.

In 2006, the issue before the city council was the Infant Program at the Child Development Center. The vote was; should the city eliminate the Infant Program entirely?

Nora Davis - YES
Dick Kassis - YES
Ruth Atkin - YES

John Fricke - NO
Ken Bukowski - NO

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

'Drive In & Drive Out' Condos: Emeryville's Alienating Architecture

'Auto Centric' City Subverts Our Goals

Public Policy Analysis
By Brian Donahue

Emeryville has had a 15 year period of explosive residential growth planned in conjunction with the growth in commercial development that has been going on even longer. The newly approved General Plan calls for more growth in the residential sector albeit at a slower pace than what we've experienced up till now. The use of the word 'planned' should be qualified since only the idea of adding more residences has been considered by the decision makers. The actual type of housing we've been getting has been supplied by the developers themselves with no intervening action on the part of City Hall. The type of housing they've been building has been what they have seen fit to build here in Emeryville; what they've estimated will maximize their profits. City Hall has kept out of their way.

Podium Development
The buzz word heard from city planners at City Hall and around the nation for that matter is 'Smart Growth'. This is the idea that cities should increase in density by 'urban infill', with use of 'mixed use zoning' so as to discourage suburban sprawl; a decidedly unsustainable growth model. Out of this noble concept has arisen a variation on an old idea: the podium development. Essentially, this is a building over a parking garage. What makes it 'smart' is the addition of so called 'liner retail' fronting the sidewalk and shielding the parking garage from view. If the building is housing, this would be called mixed use; a mix of retail and residential in one zone. Much hyperbolic rhetoric flows from planners about this whole concept; flighty talk of activated pedestrian experiences and it's inherent nexus to civic engagement. The problem is it never seems to quite pan out the way it's sold. The reason? Podium development by its very nature has systemic problems that subvert the lofty goals it aspires to. Emeryville's developers for their part have settled on this kind of building as the simplest way for profit maximization.

Drive In, Drive Out Development
This ubiquitous architecture subverts the livability goals of the City of Emeryville by taking pedestrians out of the public realm and by disengaging and estranging the condo dwellers from the greater city. The condos all come with at least one assigned parking space and the residents come and go exclusively by use of the car. These condo developments function like little gated communities, their backs turned away from the town. Some architects, aware of this glaring problem have attempted to ameliorate this civic disconnect by placing some of the units front doors facing the streets like the 'City Limits' project on 67th Street. These doors are not used by their owners since the project was designed for use by cars. There's never a reason to use the front doors and they function as a curiosity like some half remembered archaeological artifact from a bygone era.

Is there another way of building cities that encourages real civic engagement among its residents?

An Alternate Emeryville:
An Architecture Of Civic Engagement
Imagine if we could plan how our city were to look and feel, how it actually worked for the residents. Imagine if we could make a city with full realization of the benefits of the engaging psychology of space. Imagine if the sidewalks were really fully "activated" instead of the empty rhetoric we now get from the developers. Imagine coming home from work and walking a block or two to your front door. You run into friends and neighbors on your short walk, they also are heading home. You stop by a green grocer on the corner and pick up something for dinner, perhaps stopping by the neighborhood florist to pick up a few flowers for the table.

Condos With Real Front Doors
We could have all this by directing developers to build a different type of condo (or apartment) building. It would mean the end of earmarked parking spaces on site for each dwelling. Instead, residents would park at parking structures peppered throughout the city, built and paid for by the developers. These new Emeryville residents would walk a block or two from the parking structures to their front doors, right on the sidewalk, just like how our grandparents used to do, coming home from the street car stop. Each building could have a few parking spaces on site for the elderly or the infirm and a place for temporary parking for drop off. Everyone else would walk. When it's raining, people would learn to use umbrellas. All this new pedestrian traffic would lure real sidewalk retail; in addition to helping civic engagement (and exercise), we would be helping create an economic flowering as well. This new type of building would also dovetail nicely with the regime of Transportation Demand Management (TDM) the city has been touting. This is a mandated set of restrictions the city places on a developer to try to encourage use of alternate transportation by residents. Up till now, TDM's have been competing against development that intrinsically favors car drivers and these mandates haven't worked very well. Since all residents would have to walk the last block or two anyway, more residents might see benefit in not using a car at all opting instead for walking, biking or mass transit.

No More Free Ride For Developers
We would have to stop the politics as usual and embrace a more democratic development model to get there from here. We can't wait for developers to give us this style of housing, after all they've already worked out the best way to maximize their profits and it's this drive in drive out development model they keep pushing. Instead, it's going to take the city council deciding we want a livable city. The council has to take a new path. They need to tell the developers that the old way isn't working for us, the residents. The developers are going to have to accept the new awakening in Emeryville. Instead of two dollars of profit, they're only going to make one dollar of profit. The old ways of the decision makers giving away the store are coming to an end.

If we build less alienating residences then everybody wins, even those who don't live at the new condos. With a more connected and engaged citizenry, other aspects of life in Emeryville improves as well, the schools, the business sector and the government. All this far reaching civic improvement can be attained by the very simple policy of forcing people to walk a block or two through the neighborhood by not putting parking in the condo buildings. To those who might think this idea too radical, remember, this is how all cities were built for generations. The idea that cars should be incorporated into the buildings is relatively new. Our grandparents built cities like this, they used front doors. It's time we take the good ideas they left for us and incorporate them into a new ethic on how to build livable cities ourselves.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

History of YMCA Complaints Raise Questions About Child Safety Should it Take Over ECDC

City Looks At Turning Over School To Berkeley YMCA

By Brian Donahue
Facing a budget deficit, city officials hope to farm out the care of local toddlers to an outfit with a solid reputation that doesn't match reality.
According to critics, the Berkeley/Albany YMCA is an irresponsible, corner cutting daycare operator that has amassed a litany of complaints. The city has fast tracked "outsourcing" as a way to make the Child Development Center pay for itself. Parents and residents have been chagrined by a refusal to consider other options. Many have noted that the city doesn't seem to want to entertain any idea other than immediate outsourcing. The Berkeley/Albany YMCA has stepped into the breach and has been championed as the best operator to take over running the Center, which the City has run since 1979.

In the rush to outsource, the city takes as a given that the YMCA would be just as qualified to run our Child Center as the City itself despite that outsourcing removes accountability to the parents and taxpayers who are footing the bill.

Emeryville resident Brian Carver, a parent of a child at ECDC and a professor at the School of Information at U.C. Berkeley, has noted the city's failure to quantify how outsourcing will affect child welfare. Mr. Carver, after researching the Berkeley/Albany YMCA's record, released a letter showing Emeryville parents and residents the litany of problems at the existing Berkeley/Albany YMCA. Here are some highlights from the letter:

April 6, 2010

Members of the City Council,

As you know, parents of children at the Emeryville Child Development Center (ECDC) have been in discussions with the City Council and City staff to oppose the idea of turning over operations of ECDC to a private provider since parents were informed of this possibility in late December 2009.

ECDC parents were told at a March 25, 2010 meeting that the City Manager currently intends to recommend that the City move ahead with a plan to turn over the ECDC facility to the Berkeley- Albany YMCA.

Until now we have largely opposed this move due to the harm that would come from firing all the excellent teachers at ECDC, many of whom we believe would be unwilling or unable to accept a position with the YMCA—if offered—due either to the lower pay and benefits or to the speed with which certain educational requirements would be mandated. However, we now write to inform you of some facts—surprising to us—that suggest that the very safety and well-being of Emeryville's children may be seriously jeopardized by such a change.

Accompanying this letter are copies of public documents retrieved from the California Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing Division (CCL). The documents detail a pattern of substantiated complaints and other cited deficiencies at the Berkeley-Albany YMCA's local facilities. The deficiencies cited range from minor lapses to the truly horrifying. To summarize a few that give us the greatest concern:

An incident in which a 3-year-old walked out of the Ocean View facility unnoticed by staff and was discovered by a stranger down the street and later returned to the facility by Berkeley Police. (pp 75-76).

An incident in which a teacher at the Berkeley YMCA 10th St. facility used a threatening voice and caused a child to urinate in their pants. (pp. 46-51).

A report of a director withholding her attention from a child as a form of punishment and proceeding to ignore the child for an extended period of time. (pp. 39-40).

An incident in which a teacher at the South YMCA location hit a child in the back of the head during circle time to get the child's attention. (pp. 27-28).

It boggles the mind to entertain the thought that a parent might go to pick up their child and find that the center's staff has lost their child. However, what we believe the accompanying documents reveal is not an unfortunate string of individually horrifying incidents, but rather a systemic unwillingness or inability to operate child care centers within the licensing framework established by California law.

To view Mr. Carver's research and analysis on the subject in its entirety, visit (94 pages of public documents from CCL).
and (15 pages of public documents from CCL).

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Bay Street Crime Exceeding Projections; Rising

D.C.-based Mall Developer Gives Bill to Emeryville Taxpayers

Emeryville residents may have noticed a marked increase in patrol cars at the Bay Street Mall in recent months. It's the result of a stepped up police presence there as police attempt to deter crime and cut response times. “Police are called to secure that mall almost every day,” said Adrienne Robinson, Crime Analyst Technician at the Emeryville Police Department.

Many residents feel as if crimes are increasing at the mall. Those feelings are borne out by the facts. “Crime is going up,” Ms. Robinson said, “especially at the Bay Street Mall." 'General calls for service' have steadily climbed since the mall opened in 2003, rising from 241 then to 357 in 2008.
Particularly troubling is a rapid increase in assaults and instances of grand theft. Only one assault was reported in 2003, compared to ten in 2008. The number of grand thefts (valued at $400 or more), rose from 19 to 28 over the same period. The number of burglaries also increased, jumping from eight in 2003 to 22 in 2008. While there were no reported incidents of battery 2003, there were four in 2008.

Chief of Police Ken James noted that much of the increase is related to the mall's growing popularity, especially young people on (warm) weekends. “It’s become the ‘go to’ place for juveniles,” Mr. James said, noting that Bay Street has become a regional draw for teens.

When the mall was being planned a decade ago, officials anticipated an increase in crime and recommended that the police hire an additional "Police Service Technician (PST)," to handle the additional cases. Mr. James now confirms that the estimate was too low. The department has added a four-person detail on the weekends, bumped up from the normal patrol compliment. “It works out to about 20 extra hours of police overtime pay, just for Bay Street” Mr. James said. “It’s costing us more money than we had anticipated," he added.

Mr. James was quick to add that residents are not experiencing fewer services or longer response times in the rest of the city, since all of the extra police hours spent on Bay Street is paid for in extra over-time. James added that the promised Police Service Technician has not been hired yet.

In stark contrast, back in 1993 when the East Bay Bridge Mall, (best known for its anchor tenants--Home Depot, and Pak 'n Save), was being planned, city officials urged the hiring of 12 additional ‘sworn’ officers and four PSTs to handle an expected increase in crime created by that mall. The difference in the projections is especially noteworthy as the crime rate is lower at the EastBayBridge mall than at Bay Street. Mr. James said he could not say for sure explain the large discrepancy between the police staffing estimates at the two malls, hinting that perhaps politics were at play.

Bay Street Mall developer Madison Marquette, a Washington D.C.-based real estate investment corporation, refused to comment for this story.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

City Bestows Upon Chamber of Commerce Free Rent For Its Office Space

Decade Of Free Rent For Private Business Group

It takes money to make money, the saying goes and in Emeryville those with the most, naturally deserve generosity from City Hall.

Last Tuesday your city council agreed to provide free rent for the Emeryville Chamber of Commerce----for another five years. Call it the gift that keeps on giving. The agreement comes just as the Chamber's current five year period of free rent was about to expire.

The Chamber of Commerce, which represents business interests in the city and boasts a roster of more than several multi-million dollar corporations as members, made its pitch for continued public largess in a letter to City Manager Pat O'Keeffe dated February 18. In the letter, Chamber CEO Bob Canter said the city should give his organization a gift of rent at no charge because the Chamber made improvements to the space by putting up "high-quality window blinds and having nice-looking Chamber branding on the windows." Mr. Canter added that the Chamber has been "a good neighbor."

Things must be tough for Disney, Wareham Development, Novartis and other Chamber members. After all, "a good neighbor," wouldn't ask to feed at the public trough if it wasn't absolutely necessary. Meanwhile, as the Chamber enjoys it's storefront space free of charge, city officials are enacting all sorts of austerity measures---raising taxes and fees, cutting and privatizing programs and eliminating services because there isn't enough money to go around.

At the same time 31 Emeryville residences have fallen into foreclosure. It's doubtful the City Council will step forward with free rent for any of those homeowners.

The Chamber has enjoyed a cozy relationship with those at city hall for some time.
For many years, taxpayers paid over $40,000 annually to the Chamber of Commerce to cover the costs associated with printing and distributing its newsletter, which trumpeted the Chamber's political views and demonized those who failed to agree. The Chamber also enjoyed exclusive space at City Hall and other city buildings to distribute the newsletter.

The payments were stopped in 2008 under pressure from residents and the formerly glossy newsletter reverted to cheaper newsprint. Mr. O'Keeffe, the city manager, banished all publications from city owned real estate last year after a group or residents asked permission to offer their own publication along side the Chamber's newsletter.

The city insists that the Chamber of Commerce gets no special treatment and is treated like any other private business.

The new arrangement covers the Chamber's rent on its office at 3980 Harlan Street until May 31, 2015. Taxpayers will not be responsible for the Chamber's utilities or janitorial services.

According to a report prepared by city officials for the council; the city for its part gets the advantage of "an ongoing and viable use" for space adjacent to a community room the city leases from Catellus, which built the BridgeCourt complex on 40th Street. The community room was created by negotiation under the development agreement between the city and Catellus in 1998. It is used mostly by the city's recreation department. The city's report says it is important that the room near the community room is occupied. Other private companies, including non-profit resident advocacy groups were not considered for the free rent by the city.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Your Tax Dollars at Work

As April 15th approaches, take a look at what your tax dollars have been paying for overseas. Yes, death from above. It seems that to spotters on US attack helicopters operating in Baghdad, a news photographer's camera looks just like an AK-47 or Rocket Propelled Grenade.

From the cockpit, it just looks like a computer game. For the innocent Iraqis and reporters below, it's game over.

Follow this link for some graphic footage.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

'Gunners' Death Wish For Emeryville Residents

Violence Fantasy Loosed On Our Town

NRA backed "gunners" are licking their wounds in the wake of their defeat at the April 6th Emeryville city council meeting (see Tattler article). Their fight against the approved gun store ordinance, primarily co-ordinated at the blog site featured much ruminating about the loss, including a death wish fantasy about Emeryville residents from a 'senior member'.

The member, code named Road Runner said Emeryville residents now won't be able to defend themselves against criminals since gun stores have been regulated by the new ordinance. Road Runner tried to console his colleagues by offering "I have no problem with them (the Emeryville residents) making an environment that causes antigunners (sic) to become thinned out through somewhat of a culling by the criminals".

The full text is re-printed below:

Initially, I considered joining the fight, however, when I watched the last meeting and I saw all of the residents that were so willing to give up their rights, I just turned it off and decided to let them have their hearts desire. We know that people in places that have draconian gun laws, regret allowing it to happen, and we know that after Emeryville passes these ordinances, and crime remains unchanged or goes up, people will regret these ordinances, especially when they choose to get a firearm and have to drive a distance to get it. Unfortunately, people refuse to see the need for an item until they actually need it. Unfortunately, by that time, it's too late. As evil as it may sound, I have no problem with them making an environment that causes antigunners to become thinned out through somewhat of a culling by the criminals. The people in Oakland and Emeryville need to get a clue and throw out the antigun politicians that make laws that create the environment that allows violence to thrive. Until they become more discerning when choosing their politicians, they will suffer the consequences through their own loss.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Chamber Head Equates Parking Tix to Nazi Genocide

Nobody likes getting a parking ticket. And while motorists may have strong feelings, Tuesday was the first time I've heard someone equate parking tickets with the Nazi genocide of 12 million people.
At Tuesday's city council meeting, Emeryville Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bob Canter, urged the city council to act cautiously. "You've heard the Holocaust parking stories from some of our neighboring cities, especially in the Lakeshore area of Oakland," Cantor said while addressing the City Council about meters.
Now, I hate parking tickets a lot. I've gotten three in over 20 years of driving. Two of them were flimsy and unfair, I thought. People may have colorful words to describe meter maids but likening parking tickets to the Holocaust is beyond the realm of decency. It cheapens the deaths of 12 million people, killed for being Jewish, Soviet Prisoners of War, Gay, Romani (Gypsy), Disabled, Polish, Jehovah's Witnesses or Freemasons.
Perhaps worst of all, our council said nothing. Not a peep or gasp, despite the fact that four of them are among groups sent to Hitler's gas chambers.
I believe Mr. Cantor misspoke and used a word he didn't intend. I do not believe that Mr. Cantor is prejudiced. This misstep should not be blown out of proportion. I am not calling for his resignation. Mr. Canter does a fantastic job representing his members, even if I rarely agree with him.
I am calling for a public apology.
It would be nice to hear one by HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY, which falls on Sunday April 11 this year.
You can find the video here click on the video for the April 6 meeting, advance the stream to 36:30 to hear Mr. Cantor.
Here is a longer excerpt from Mr. Cantor's comment
"...let's learn a lesson from our neighbors to the north of us and especially to the south of us on what not to do. Certainly we need to enforce the meters and violations. If someone is parked and expired they need to be cited. If they haven't paid at all they need to be cited. Let's do it fairly and reasonably. You've heard the Holocaust parking stories from some of our neighboring cities, especially in the Lakeshore area..."

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Gun 'Nuts' Go Out With A Fizzle

'Bad Boy' Gunners Impotent; Shooting Blanks

It turned out to be a bluff. Gun enthusiasts vowed to swamp City Hall Tuesday night with over 100 speakers to try for a reversal on the gun store ordinance that passed 'first reading' by the council on March 16. As it turned out, not even one speaker addressed the council against the ordinance. Two speakers from the Legal Community Against Violence affirmed the modest nature of the regulation proscribed by the new ordinance.

All the threats and intimidation from the gunners turned out to be just a bunch of heat and light amounting to nothing. Emeryville residents were more than a match for a co-ordinated effort by the NRA. The council passed the second reading of the ordinance 5-0, and the ordinance is now law.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Falsified Traffic Report No Impediment--Office Tower Approval Will Stand

Wareham Benefits From Fake City Document

Despite admitting that officials presented false documents to help win approval of a towering office building and parking garage, officials said they will not reconsider or revisit the decision. "It's already been approved," said Charlie Bryant, Emeryville's planning director.
Bryant cautioned that any new information arrived too late to make a difference for the so-called "Transit Center," an office tower and parking garage that violates the city's zoning and general plan in several respects. The building will rise along Horton Street, Emeryville's only Bike Boulevard. Opponents have claimed that the building will attract so much traffic that Horton Street will no longer be safe for bicyclists. Bike lanes were removed from most of the route since it was declared a Bike Boulevard.

In documents submitted for the proposed building, analysts said that not a single commuter to the new building would use the northern part of the Horton Street Bike Boulevard, a fact later disproved.

The Tattler alerted county officials to the error and city officials were forced to compile new traffic figures. Mr. Bryant on Monday said that the new numbers released in a memorandum would not affect the decision since the increase in traffic for Overland Avenue would be small enough to not constitute a 'negative impact'.

Responding to questions raised by the Tattler, Mr. Bryant told the City's Pedestrian/Bicycle Committee that "in retrospect, it's doubtful 100 percent of the cars from the project would use Powell Street," instead of Overland Avenue.
Oakland-based traffic consultant AECOM recalculated the numbers at Mr. Bryant's request after public pressure grew. The firm stated in a report "we recognize that it is certainly possible, and probably likely, that some level of project traffic may use Overland Avenue". Upon completion of the calculations it was found in fact the original Mitigated Negative Declaration was in error. Mr. Bryant said he was unwilling to comment as to why he didn't investigate the curious no traffic finding on his own after Planning Commissioners expressed disbelief. "I choose not to answer" Mr Bryant exclaimed.

Negative Declarations are documents generally issued to non-controversial projects unlikely to damage the local environment. An Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is required in cases where a project may cause such damage. Activists maintain that an EIR should be completed because of the project's location and size. The Negative Declaration document was used by both the Planning Commission and the Council and it informed them of important environmental impacts and as mandated under the California Environmental Quality Act. The document was ultimately used to approve the nine story project.

It is still not known why Mr Bryant and the Planning Department believed that no cars would use Overland Avenue from the proposed Transit Center even as the Planning Commission asked for clarification.

Planning Commission members had dismissed the traffic analysis. At the January 28th meeting, Commissioner Jim Martin joined two of his colleges and said the analysis was "not credible". Now, three months after the Tattler first raised the issue, it is undeniable that Mr Martin was correct; the main environmental document for the subsequently approved Transit Center project was flawed.

In response Mr. Bryant released the memorandum Monday that acknowledged the Mitigated Negative Declaration, was indeed flawed.

At the January 28th meeting, Commissioner Martin said the document's finding that no project generated traffic would use the contested Overland section of the Horton Street Bike Boulevard was "simply not credible". Mr Martin said "cars use the Overland section right now when Powell Street gets clogged up. Clearly Transit Center traffic will also use Overland". He added the Negative Declaration document might have purposely left the traffic off Overland Avenue to make the project more politically palatable owing to the sensitivity the council has shown to not giving the impression that the bike boulevard is expendable.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Gun 'Nuts' Reload for Showdown Tuesday

They're Going To Have Every Council Member Removed

High noon will come at precisely 7:15 P.M. Tuesday. That's when the final showdown is scheduled in an epic battle pitting the National Rifle Association, an organization devoted to preserving one of our Constitutionally guaranteed rights, versus the Emeryville city council, a group hell bent on eviscerating that right.

At least that's how NRA members are characterizing the proposed gun store ordinance. The city council, for its part, sees a set of reasonable and rationed regulations similar to rules applied to other businesses. The regulations have the backing of the City Attorney and the Chief of Police.

The proposed ordinance forbids those under age 18 from going inside any store selling firearms in Emeryville, requires criminal background checks of store employees and other limited regulations. Residents at a March 16th council meeting on the subject called the proposed ordinance 'benign' and 'reasonable.' At the same meeting, gun rights advocates chastised the proposal as 'invasive' and 'draconian,' a 'government usurpation of Second Amendment rights.'

The council's second and final reading of the ordinance is scheduled for Tuesday night April 6th. Gun lovers have promised to double their numbers from the first reading (see the Tattler story on March 16). Firearms enthusiasts have threatened, if the council goes through with the ordinance, to unseat every one of our council members either by recall or by getting pro-NRA candidates to replace them in future elections.

The city council will take up the issue at 7:15 Tuesday night.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Councilwoman Killed in Freak Accident

A long serving Emeryville Councilwoman was killed early this morning in a freak accident authorities say was caused by high winds. A sudden gust knocked a modest local home from its foundation, causing the tragedy.

Despite a heroic and fast response by first responders, including mutual aid from Oakland, the councilwoman could not be freed in time. The councilwoman's name is being withheld until family members can be notified.

West & Brinkman: Bike Boulevard Should Stay

Bicycling takes a hit
What are they willing to do now to save biking on Horton?

Council members interviewed
Emeryville's newest council members said they would do what it takes to keep bicycling safe on Horton Street, even if that means forcing cars from the narrow street.
Both said they would support the installation of traffic barricades or "diverters" if recommended by a traffic engineering firm set to study travel patterns.
Recently elected Councilman Kurt Brinkman praised 'traffic calming' measures taken in the Triangle neighborhood, saying they have made the area a "safe place to walk" and that prior to the installation, Adeline Street, was "nothing less than a drag strip with cars racing through the neighborhood." The comments suggest Mr. Brinkman would support moves to bring a similar level of safety to Horton Street, the city's main crosstown bicycle route.

Both Mr. Brinkman and colleague Jennifer West agreed that the recently approved 'Transit Center' office tower will bring a large number of vehicular commuters to the Horton Street Bike Boulevard, where the nine story office tower and garage will be built. Both support the city's hiring of a traffic engineering firm to address the problems. Both also said that safety is paramount to encourage cycling on Horton.

The two council members back a unanimous decision by the city's Bike/Ped Advisory Committee that Bike Boulevards should have consistent standards for vehicle speed, volume and signage, across municipal boundaries. A consistent East Bay network of such roads improves safety and encourages regional bike commuting.
Both council members told the Tattler that they will give great deference to traffic experts, especially when taxpayer funds are spent to implement their recommendations. Both also said they would support diverting traffic if that is what is recommended.

For decades advocates on the city's Bike/Ped Committee have worked to create a viable, direct and safe bike corridor through Emeryville.

Planned bike paths and routes along a former railroad spur just east of Hollis Street and a second route along Shellmound Street were cast away by city officials believing the codified plans impeded development. The committee floated a 'Horton Street Bike Boulevard' as a third best alternative.

Hoton, once connected to Overland Street is the last such route possible for cyclists traveling north or south through Emeryville. After the committee completed planning the bike boulevard in 2003, it received a series of rebuffs from the council. Horton Street it turns out, is highly contentious. Developers demanded the council scale back bike route plans in favor of maximizing the street for cars.

Safety concerns; cars to flood Horton Street
The Bike Committee unanimously voted that for reasons of safety and to encourage regional bike commuting, city council action needs to protect Horton Street for biking. The problem now is what to do with the many hundreds of cars that will use Horton Street generated by the freshly approved Transit Center at Horton and 59th Streets. Without the application of traffic calming methods, Horton is now on a path to go the way of the other streets; not safe for bike use.