11 December 2006

Newswrap for 12/11

A few worthwhile news items came in over the last week.

Fremont officials and representatives from several public transportation authorities have had three roundtable discussions since August about the challenges presented by the Pacific Commons site. Among the solutions being considered are a system of shuttles, a monorail, or a people mover. I'll present a people mover option later this week.

Meanwhile in San Jose, the city council approved the last $20,000 to be spent on the mostly dead ballpark study to formally complete it. Some of the environmental impact details, especially research into historic buildings in the area, will be useful for the next project that is planned for Diridon South - whether it's a stadium, concert hall, parking lot, housing, or anything else.

Last but not least, the Raiders vs. Oakland saga has finally come to an end for now, with the Raiders choosing not to appeal the outcome of a legal decision that struck down a $34 million award to the Raiders. Chip Johnson's column notes that Al Davis has put a 31% stake (likely non-controlling, of course) in the team on the open market, but so far there are no takers. To get the Coliseum up to the standards of the rest of the league, it will take far more than the $50-100 million or so that could be available from the NFL's G3 loan program ($150 million is available to teams that are building a new stadium from the ground up). Football has only three two-team markets (NYC, Baltimore-Washington, SF-Oakland), and one of them has a shared facility. Is it time to start thinking that way here?