Playing With Politics

A Blog on Law, Politics, Planning, Development, and Other Vices

Archive for November, 2010

BART and Clipper Have a “Dirty Little Secret”

Posted by Roobs on November 11, 2010

Clipper Cards as Credit Cards.

This has been floating around the Bay Area and transportation-focused blogosphere for a few days and I am no exception.  Why?  Because it’s funny.

The Bay Area transportation system has been ripe with logistical problems for travelers in the past.  Multiple transit agencies operate around the Bay Area with different fare-collection methods.  BART, SF Muni, AC Transit and Caltrain all have their own fare system and collect via their own tickets.  In the past you would have to walk around with multiple tickets filled with money if you needed to transfer from system to system.

Well, to solve that, all these agencies agreed to go with a single card called “Clipper”–referencing the Clipper ships that used to be in the SF Bay.  It’s basically a prepaid card that can be used at all transit agencies turnstyles.  As clipper advertises: “All your transportation in one card”.  And it’s true and it works decently well…. until now.

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Measure R: Giving Berkeley What It Wants

Posted by Roobs on November 3, 2010

This past Tuesday, Berkeley voters overwhelmingly passed Measure R, the controversial city measure that called for greener and denser development around transit in Downtown Berkeley.  Measure R passed with 64% of the vote.

Supporters stated Measure R is the greenest direction for Downtown Berkeley because it increases Downtown’s density.  And by pushing green building standards and encouraging new residents to live near transit, it will help achieve Berkeley’s Climate Action plan passed last year. Opponents, however, argued that Measure R is too vague and doesn’t go far enough to ensure affordable housing.  They also protest the increased height limits.

I previously wrote a post, Understanding Berkeley’s Measure R, that went over many of the opponents claims and found them to be largely unfounded, if not flat out false.  As it turned out, Berkeley voters did understand Measure R.

Measure R repeated part of the Downtown Plan the Berkeley City Council had approved last year. This plan was later rescinded after Councilmen Jesse Arreguin and Kriss Worthington–the only council members who voted no on the original plan–led a controversial, though successful, signature gathering campaign to place the council’s decision on the ballot.  Measure R came to exist after the City Council scrapped the original plan and are  now tasked to create a new one.   With Measure R now in place, the Berkeley City Council has a clear direction of what the voters want to see out of their Downtown.  But some opponents are downplaying the passage of Measure R.

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