30 June 2007

Ballpark plan leaked - er, linked?

The overview planning document that was shared with the Fremont Unified school board is now available, courtesy of the Merc and Barry Witt.

Witt's article has quotes from former Fremont mayor Gus Morrison, including a "scathing critique of Wolff's proposal." The excerpt:

Morrison, the former mayor, said he doesn't see how a shuttle bus system would function from the remote lots given their distance from the park and the absence of mass-transit close to the stadium.

'You've got to move about 500 people a minute' into and out of the stadium, he said. 'It just doesn't work.'

That assumes a shuttle bus system is in play. There's certainly no guarantee of a shuttle bus going to the remote parking lots. Should the Warm Springs BART extension materialize, it is thought that shuttle buses would be running from the station, which would be 1.5 miles away. Add shuttles from the remote parking lots and the area traffic associated with the existing shopping center, and you have a recipe for gridlock. When Wolff mentioned "a comfortable walking distance" previously, I think it means walking, not shuttling. I'll let the individual decide if 3/4-mile is overly arduous.

In reference to the proposed school site, Vice Mayor Bob Wieckowski asked,
"Who wants to be next to the dump?" He argued that the community will not support the proposed site.

Another coming bone of contention is the layout. The light green areas are housing sites, while the dark green areas are parkland of some sort, whether they are pocket parks or greenbelt space. 14 acres of parkland are in the plan. My worry is about the greenbelt established at the edges of the housing area. To preserve the wetlands area next door, there should be a much larger buffer, and I sense there will be an active fight to expand and define that greenbelt, at the expense of land available for housing and potentially for other public purposes, such as a school.

The plan looks similar to the mock-ups I've put together in the past, but there's a surprise. The parking area closest to the ballpark village includes the concrete plant, but only a portion of the Brandin Court properties. The Scott Gas property, in particular, is not included in the parking assessment. Is that a sign of continuing uncertainty regarding negotiations, or is it simply that those properties are currently occupied? An additional 1000 spaces are available if the entire Brandin Court area is included.


TikiPundit said...

Well, shuttle systems work in Germany, every Saturday, all over the country for football (soccer) matches. Some from several miles away, such as access points off the Autobahn. Cities subsidize, if not outright fund, them because having 50,000 people descend on your town for about four hours can create a bit of congestion. Busing fans (many consuming alcohol) in and out also helps keep the peace, keep noise down and keep streets open for locals. Who says it can't work here, again?