15 October 2007

NY Times article

A NY Times article (reporter Dan Reed) about Cisco Field has the rather sensationalistic headline, "Oakland's Dream Stadium, or Traffic Nightmare?"

The article only briefly mentions the traffic problem and gets a quote from long-time fan Erin Hallissy, who I assume lives in Contra Costa County:
“For the loyal fans who live east of Oakland,” said Hallissy, who edits the alumni magazine at Saint Mary’s College, “it would just be too far to go to a game, especially on a workday when we’d be stuck with all the commuter traffic fighting their way home.”
Unfortunately, I saw this article at 7:00 p.m., at the tail end of evening rush hour, which was a bit messy thanks to a light shower and the astounding inability of many Californians to drive in inclement weather. Nevertheless, I immediately went to and took a snapshot of the traffic map. I queried the drive time from Lafayette to Fremont (Mission Blvd. South/680), which is a bit past the Auto Mall/Durham exit that would lead fans coming from 680 to Cisco Field. Here's what I plotted (click image for bigger version):

35 minutes. The blue line indicates the route. As I've said before, southbound 680 in the evening is often not the nightmare many make it out to be. Much of the ballpark traffic will run opposite commute traffic, plus it will be distributed among 4 separate freeway segments plus some larger area thoroughfares.

But who am I to argue? A spicy headline beats dry analysis for reader attention any day of the week.


Jeffrey said...

I understand the concern with 880.

680 Southbound is a red herring for people who don't want the team to leave Oakland under any circumstance. I drive the thing everyday from San Jose to Pleasanton and it takes 45 minutes to an hour at peak commute time going northbound while there is regular moving traffic south bound.

From Pleasanton to the Auto Mall/Durham exit it takes me 20 minutes on a bad day going south during the morning commute and less on weekends when I go to visit friends.

It will be interesting to see how the 880 traffic challenges will be mitigated.

anon-a-mouse said...

You have to hand it to the OAFC. Their disinformation campaign is working. Repeat the lie enough times and eventually people will believe it. It worked for the neocons and now it's working for them. They're even getting coverage in the same organ (did Judith Miller happen to write that one, ML?).

When the A's were drawing 40K+ crowds, was the Oakland-only crowd screaming about traffic and how this nightmare was going to drive everyone away from the Coliseum? No, of course not. Making things up didn't support their desires then. Well, take away the BART population from those crowds and you have more than the amount of people driving to PC in the future. In other words, there will be fewer cars trying to get into PC than there were getting into the Coliseum for years.

Anonymous said...

Good article. And once again marinelayer is attempting to spin criticism of cisco field. I’m beginning to wonder who marinelayer is and what their connections to the city of Fremont are. He may have an arrangement similar to what bandwagon blez has over at an. the a's knowing the success of his blog grant him information and press credentials (first blogger to get MLB press credentials) in exchange for free promotion of the a's at the blog. I wonder if marinelayer has the same deal. While not a paid member of the a's, he does access to insider information and other such things in exchange for promotion of cisco field on the blog. It’s a win win for both blogger and the a's. However this is all conjecture considering that no one really knows who marinelayer actually is considering they hide under the handle "marinelayer."

But one person who we might know is Steven R. Lloyd. Steven R. Lloyd is the person who is behind the "A's to Fremont support group" ( Now a Google search of "Steven r. Lloyd" and Fremont comes up with real estate connections. It kind of sheds light that this project is might actually be...a real estate development with a ballpark attachment. wolff in exchange for putting Fremont on the major league map will get entitlements, tax breaks and subsides unheard of for real estate developers, making the cost of the stadium itself seem almost minor for the subsides he will receive to build condos/townhouses in Fremont and Dublin.

one last thing before I log off and get productive the ken pries quote (Ken Pries, the vice president for broadcasting and communication for the A’s, acknowledged that the team might alienate fans from north and east of the park. “We may lose a few,” he said. “But the ones we do lose, we’ll gain in the South Bay) this is exactly what I’ve kind of been saying for some time now. With the a's cutting back on payroll, staffing, customer service and other things makes you wonder what the a's actually thinks of us, the loyal customer.

Anonymous said...

yes, I believe Erin lives in Contra Costa Co. and is a major lontgtime A's fan. It would be a longer drive for her. She used to be a reporter for the Chron and her husband is Henry Schulman, who covers the Giants for the Chron. Wonder how the New York Times found her?

anon-a-mouse said...

I love it. An anonymous poster wondering who marine layer really is and what his true, nefarious purpose might be. ML's posted plenty of his background on here, even some pictures. It's not a mystery to most of us, hypocrite. And then a shot at Blez? Where the hell did that come from? Maybe you just hate all bloggers?

Oh and congratulations, Columbo, on figuring out that this is a real estate deal to fund the ballpark. Of course, the rest of us figured that out pretty much right away when Wolfe said this is a real estate deal to fund the ballpark.

anon-a-mouse said...

Ah, but the other anon uncovers an actual "conspiracy." It turns out Erin is not only an ex-Chron reporter, but still married to one. And the Chron has persistently been against the A's moving to a new park. Why I don't know. Perhaps because they don't want the A's to better compete with their precious, lesser NL team? Could be. But one thing is sure: she's doing her part to fulfill her husband's employer's bidding.

Jeffrey said...

That was really insightful... a real estate development with a ballpark attached? No crap.

It's odd that someone ridicules someone else for hiding behind a handle and then posts without so much as a handle.

It's also odd that someone would post, without so much as a handle, that marinelayer is a spin artist and then spouts a well known fact (the real estate development will pay for the stadium) and spins it as if it is part of a conspiracy.

Boy my opinion of this blog and the A's has been completely reworked as a result of this brand new information.

This stuff is getting laughable.

Marine Layer said...

Wow, I thought having a nom de guerre was simply a clever way of avoiding repeated misspellings of my first name.

FWIW the A's denied me media credentials for the one event I tried to get access to. I had to get in via a craftier method.

Jeff said...

Now I'm confused. Is anonymous trying to convince me that Lew Wolfe is going to sell houses in order to build a ballpark? And the son of a bitch is going to make money doing it? Mother of God, this is a scandal of the highest order. Especially the flippant manner in which anonymous makes such a heinous accusation. It's almost like he thinks this sort of nefarious deal goes on everyday. Well, thank God most people in business aren't doing it to make money.

I think he's got you pegged ML. You're really Lew Wolfe....aren't you?

Anonymous said...

I live in Central Contra Costa County and I will NEVER attend a game in Fremont.

That's a nice little blue line through all the desired demographic communities. The A's are a bunch of elitist and superficial phonies and so are you. Where is your little line from East Oakland? That's right, poor and middle class people don't count in Wolff's elitist world. Enjoy your little sterile bandbox populated by well healed elitists from Silicon Valley. Wolff is destroying a once proud franchise. Walter Haas must be rolling over in his grave.

Marine Layer said...

Boy, do some people jump to conclusions. That blue line represents the quickest route. Nothing more. Good lord!

Funny, I remember that it was during the Haas era that modern skyboxes were introduced at the Coliseum. You know, the skyboxes used to attract the "well healed" (sic)? I also remember that the A's also had one of the highest payrolls in baseball including the first $3 million player. Sorry, Wally Haas helped jumpstart the modern era of big money baseball. He simply got out before it could overtake him and he knew it.

I also remember that at UC Berkeley there's a school named after Haas. It's not the Haas School of Egalitarianism, or the Haas School of Social Welfare. It's the Haas School of Business.

James said...

Oh Pahhleaze... If Anon 3:51 is from CC County, I'm from Mars.

It shows right through that East Oakland remark. That sad thing is it's obviously one of Lil's li'l minions! As usual, they can't come up with a credible argument, so they resort to name-calling.

anon-a-mouse said...

The funny thing is that this anon doesn't even see the supreme irony in invoking the name of an insanely rich and elite deceased person in his scorching (and hopelessly misplaced) tirade against the rich and elite. I have news for you: Mr. Haas had a lot more in common with those you obviously hate than he did with you or me.

Anonymous said...

You think people in Contra Costa County don't have compassion for the less fortunate?

That little blue line on Marine Layer's map represents the thinking behind this move. It represents the attempt by this elitist organization to circumvent Oakland and capture the wealthy Oakland suburbs consisting of the Walnut Creek/Lafayette area, along with the 680 corridor, without having to deal with the "great unwashed masses" of inner city Oakland.

This move is also an attempt by this arrogant, and once again, elitist organization to shut out Oakland of any economic benefit this 500 million infusion of capital may bring. This will not fly for many socially and environmentally conscious residents in Contra Costa County.

There are many former Oakland residents living in Contra Costa who still have an affinity for their hometown, and who don't look too kindly on what Lewis Wolff is doing to Oakland, and will not partake in this disingenuous and ill-conceived misadventure.

Also, Mr. Haas was a great man, who despite being very wealthy, was also a benevolent individual who understood the meaning of community. That's precisely why he sold the A's to Schott, at a discount, with the promise that he would keep them in Oakland.

Wolff, on the other hand, is an opportunist from Los Angeles who was able to purchase the A's only because of the tabled offer from the pro-Oakland Dolich/Piccini group and the machinations of his college frat brother Bud Selig.

Wolff has always been of the Schott and Selig mindset to get MLB out of Oakland. It looks like he will succeed with the help of Oakland's good neighbor the City of Fremont.

In time, Fremont will find out what Oakland already knows about Mr. Wolff. By then, it will be too late, and the A's will be sold to out of Bay Area interests.

BTW, has anyone seen a development application laying around the house? Fremont is missing one!

Marine Layer said...

Yes, I'm sure the good folks that run would love to hear that they are "elitist." Anon - you remind me of the character Buggin Out from the film "Do The Right Thing" - nothing but misdirected energy and a motormouth.

That $500 million infusion of capital has been long established here and in other responsible sites as a money pit. Who would you rather have ponying up for it, the A's or the public? That's really what it comes down to.

Yet you say that "the A's will be sold to out of Bay Area interests." I'm certain that Cisco loves being strung along so that they can generate negative PR for moving the team out of the Bay Area. Or maybe Cisco is part of the preposterous plan? That's even better! *shakes head*

Anonymous said...

Fremont should've been working with Oakland making sure to secure the future of the Oakland A's in the centrally located capital of the East Bay region.

Instead, Fremont sat in on Wolff's bogus presentation in Oakland, with covetous intentions, knowing full well the presentation was a complete charade intended as an alibi for the consumption of Oakland A's fans.

Let's be honest Marinelayer, the reason that Wolff is relocating the A's from Oakland is because of his long-held infatuation with the supposed corporate riches of the South Bay. The excuse that Oakland is "built out" is ludicrous since there are many underutilized parcels along the waterfront, Jack London Square, and the Lake Merritt/Auto Row area.

It's funny that many people in the A's organization, and on this board, feel that Oakland is a hindrance to the A's in reaching their full potential. The Warriors are proving that mindset to be completely wrong. The Warriors have become one of the most successful franchises in the NBA. Their season tickets sales are among the highest in the NBA and they have sold over 14,000 season tickets.

Oakland, and its central location, along with its great mass transit network, should be viewed as an asset, NOT, a liability in selling your product to the 6.7 million residents of the Bay Area. Only foolish, shortsighted, and elitist ownerships, like Lew Wolff, view Oakland as a liability.

Marine Layer said...

First of all, the W's comment is ludicrous. Finally making the playoffs once after a lengthy period of mediocrity does not make a team "one of the most successful franchises in the NBA." Give the fans a sustained run of playoff appearances or even a championship and then W's can be discussed in hallowed tones.

Second - DUH. I've always been consistent about Wolff's desire to get fans and sponsors from the South Bay. Now I'm confused. Initially it's a ruse to get South Bay interests, then it's a ruse to move them out of the area. You conspiracists can't even get your conspiracies straight.

And how should Fremont work with Oakland to make a new stadium a possibility? Fremont's not going to give up land and rezoning unless there's something in it for them. As for Oakland's underutilized waterfront, you should check with those properties' developers about where they are with their projects. It has nothing to do with Wolff.

These constant cries of elitism and the victimization of Oakland are willfully ignorant of how difficult it is to get such a large project done. As long as this ignorance continues critics can continue to throw out baseless allegations. If it makes you feel better...

Anonymous said...

First of all, I'm speaking of the Warriors success in drawing customers to their Oakland venue. I'm not speaking of their recent success on the basketball court.

Secondly, the conspiracy consists of Selig tabling the Dolich?Picinni pro-Oakland offer so that Selig's good friend and anti-Oakland conspirator Lewis Wolff could purchase the team and relocate the franchise from Oakland.

Also, if Oakland was "built out" why was Wolff initially putting out Oakland sites and then quickly dismissing them? Why did he say he wanted someone at City Hall to help him in his great crusade to build a ballpark in Oakland? Why did Wolff initially cry for help, but when he got it in the form of the Oakland group headed by Dick Spees, he then quickly dismissed them? Why did Wolff propose the 66th to High Street plan (with a required BART station of its own)when he knew full well that it would cost 60 million more and possibly derail the entire project? Why did he propose a site which would require dealing with dozens of property owners, demolishing hundreds of structures, relocating a PG&E plant, along with relocating dozens of high power utility towers running through the property?

Only someone very naive, or someone working for Lew Wolff, would believe that was a sincere effort made by Wolff to build a ballpark in Oakland.

The "conspiracy" has always been to get the A's out of Oakland. Fremont has been an enabler in this respect. If and when Fremont can't deliver the profits Wolff is demanding threw his rezoning scheme, then it will be goodbye Oakland (which BTW many of you here agree with) but ALSO, goodbye "Bay Area," which is all many of the Oakland haters in the Bay Area and on this board really care about.

This scheme will eventually fail because its foundation is built on lies and deceit and because the Oakland A's are part of the history and fabric of the city of Oakland. This heritage and tradition is a bid part of baseball and can't just be thrown aside as easily as Wolff wants to do.

Jeff said...

Why is it that the Oakland supporters fault everyone else under the sun except their own community and/or local political structure? To a man/woman every single post seems to paint the city of Oakland as some powerless entity at the mercy of developers and/or the media. I find that position slightly incredulous.

The city of Oakland could have made an offer so lucrative that Wolfe couldn't have refused. Oakland wisely choose not to do so. The Oakland only crowd seem to want the A's on their terms and begrudge Fremont for making a better offer. As I understand them, the A's are a disaster for Fremont, yet they are beneficial for Oakland. How can you have it both ways? I have yet to see a single post that contains logical reasoning in lieu of bitter vitriol.

In the end it comes down to simple economics. The Bay is a large geographical area with specified population centers. The Giants have one end of the spectrum locked up for the long term future. With two teams in the area, it's only logical to shift one of them to the other end of the spectrum, or as close to it as politics will allow. Really, this isn't a move to Fremont so much as it is a move to the south bay. If San Jose were politically feasible, it would have been the hands down first choice. Luckily for Fremont, they get to reap the benefits of compromise.

Why is this so hard for Oakland supporters to see? It's not so much that MLB hates Oakland, it doesn't. The politics of the entire process aren't personal. It's merely a reflection of economic reality. It's Oakland's bad luck to be located right next to SF and Fremont's good fortune to be located right next to SJ. One is going to market central and north while the other is going to market south and central. No hate involved. Just a reflection of what is and what is not.

anon-a-mouse said...

I don't know about them, but it makes me feel better knowing they have mostly pledged to swear off the A's. The fan base will become instantly more learned and intelligent the moment they make good on their promises.

Marine Layer said...

Anon - you can try to ascribe some kind of conspiratorial tone to my posts, but I've always been consistent in saying that Wolff ran out the clock. Funny, no one in Oakland called him out on that when he was proposing Oakland sites, all of the pols played nice with him and said that something could get done. Neither Oakland nor Wolff actually put much effort into it. Why? Because it's a major uphill battle in Oakland that would not be politically popular.

For all the bluster about the Piccinini group, there's a bit of reality that proponents didn't want to face - what if a ballpark couldn't get done in Oakland? If Piccinini got the team, Jerry Brown would still be in office, Robert Bobb still would've gone to DC, Uptown still would've gone to Forest City, and the other sites would've evaporated due to ongoing developer actions. Then what would've happened? There were already rumors about Piccinini looking towards Vacaville. The eventual path could have just as easily been away from Oakland, and then who could you blame for the team leaving?

Anonymous said...

Of course the pols, and even Dick Spees, played nice with Wolff. They were told by Wolff not to negotiate in the press.

Also, Spees, Dellums, and Larry Reid, were wined and dined by the great schmoozer himself... Mr. Lew Wolff. Both Spees and Dellums were spotted sitting behind the A's dugout with Wolff. These celebrity sightings were made after Wolff had made his intentions to leave Oakland public. They weren't there to work with Wolff to keep the A's in Oakland, they were there being pacified in order to keep their mouths shut and not raise a fuss.

Also, Jeff, you seem to think it was a good idea for Oakland not to make Wolff an "offer he couldn't refuse," but, you're ecstatic that Fremont did exactly that.

It must be the "you have other priorities" and the "don't break your pick on this one," Lew Wolff logic.

Yes, you and Wolff, would love nothing more than to see Oakland roll over and hand the Oakland A's to the South Bay. Yes, Oakland shouldn't have something which makes a city more interesting, more vibrant, and more livable. Maybe Oakland should tell the newly resurrected Oakland Ballet to get lost because we "have other priorities." These institutions are part of the fabric of a city and are part of what makes a major city great. These institutions are worth keeping and worth fighting for.

Unfortunately, Wolff never had any intention on building this ballpark in Oakland. Wolff spent his energy greasing his way out of Oakland instead of working with the city to find a site which would be beneficial to both parties. Oakland never had a chance and was rebuffed at every opportunity.

BleacherDave said...

Nasty Nimitz? Who the hell calls it that?!

Marine Layer said...

Let's see. So the blame game goes like this:

Wolff for his dastardly plan.
Jerry Brown for hating the A's.
Dellums and Spees for either being at best duped or at worst complicit.
IDLF and Reid for blowing smoke.
Selig for wanting to destroy Oakland.

While you're at it, why not blame other East Bay developers such as the Ghielmettis for not throwing themselves at Wolff? Then there are the Giants/Magowan for pulling the strings, and the Raiders/Davis for the poisoning the well. Might as well throw in your favorite deity too.

I guess it's simply not enough to admit that the climate in Oakland was severely terrible for any kind of deal. It absolutely has to be someone's fault.