29 May 2007

A's Outreach

As part of the A's efforts to win the citizens of Fremont over, an event was held today involving a representative of the team and the Chamber's Task Force (of which I am a member). It promises to be the first of many different types of events involving the A's and the community.

A pamphlet was handed out that summarizes the benefits that the project will provide the community. If you live in Fremont or the Tri-Cities area, you'll probably run into the pamphlet at one or more events this summer, leading off with Sunday's:
The Great Rotary 16th Annual Chili Cook Off
@ The Saddle Rack ($5 - ages 12 and under free, 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM)
benefiting the Tri-City Rotary Clinic, Washington on Wheels, and the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation
For those that don't know, The Saddle Rack is a country music joint very close to Pacific Commons. Should Nick Swisher stay through his new contract extension and beyond, I can definitely see the Saddle Rack being an establishment much to his liking.

Anyway, back to the pamphlet. My apologies in advance for not scanning it in, I seem to have misplaced the scanner's power adapter. The pamphlet is an 11 x 17 tri-fold with the overhead view of the Cisco Field rendering. Overlaid on the bottom half are the words, "Will you dream with us..." and the "Athletics" logo underneath.

Inside, at the top, in similar typeface are the words "Together, we could have..." followed by the bullet points touting the project. I've already gone into plenty of detail on most of those points so I won't rehash them now. There is one part that hasn't been covered much, so I'll quote it verbatim:
  • With Good Transportation
    • Create a transportation system that connects the urban ballpark village to the existing BART and other light rail systems, buses and plenty of parking
    • Generate fewer automobile rush hour trips than what is already approved for the existing property and roads
The first point is intentionally vague because no one - I mean no one - knows if/when BART will come down to Warm Springs. At the last city council session, a BART rep emphasized the desire for a BART link of some kind to be established, though BART did not suggest or endorse a specific type of connector (before you ask, getting BART directly there is completely out of the question). It might be buses, or BRT or a busway. It could be a people mover type of solution. Light rail is doubtful. And it's possible transfers could be done at the Union City Intermodal Station when it's completed, though Amtrak/ACE aren't designed to take large numbers of people short distances. During last week's council session, Vice Mayor Bob Wieckowski suggested a transit solution that makes it easier for all Fremont residents to get to the ballpark village - no specifics, however.

The second point is key to the political positioning of the ballpark proposal. If the developers can show that the ballpark village would have the same or fewer impacts than the original Cisco campus plan, they'll have a good shot at getting approval. Making such a case is no slam dunk, and the subject matter is well past my layperson's level of expertise.
A few other notes:

Task Force attendees included reps from FUSD's Board, Ohlone College, NUMMI employees, and others from various businesses in Fremont. There's a great sense of awareness about both the risks and rewards in City Hall and the private sector. FUSD wants to talk about an elementary school in the area - one that won't get fully funded by the projected $10 million development fees.
The 2,900 brownstones (emphasis on brownstones) will be in a gated community. I had speculated earlier that this would be required just for traffic control purposes, and that looks to be right on.
One other odd thing about the pamphlet: the line score on the inner rendering's scoreboard is:
  • .........1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 - R H E
  • BAYLOR...0 0 2 1 0 2 0 1 0 - 6 8 2
  • TX TECH..1 0 2 0 2 1 1 3 . -10 15 1
Not sure what Big 12, Baylor, or Texas Tech baseball has to do with this, but Tech's Dan Law Field got a new Barco scoreboard 3 years ago. I guess it'll have to remain a mystery.