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Walking on the Moon or Crossing the Street in San Leandro?

With BRT on the way, city leaders shouldn't forget lingering problems with our roads that need attention now and not later.

While I'm in the minority of people who weren't pleased with the passing of the BRT initiative by our city council, I do look forward to seeing a little beautification hitting our streets in the coming years. Years, though, is a little too long to wait for some of the problems on our roads.

The corridor going down East 14th from Davis to around San Leandro Hospital is pretty atrocious. The biggest offenders are the set of crosswalks right in the heart of downtown. Walking across the street at the intersection of Davis and East 14th is like walking through a warzone pock-marked by mortar fire. It's a real shame, particularly when you think of the care that was lavished on the lovely BART walking path and what is being proposed for the bike path that will run under the BART tracks. This is a pretty high-profile shopping area to have the street and crosswalks in such disarray. If the idea with BRT is to promote walking and not taking cars, and if it isn't going to extend to Bayfair, maybe the city should start looking into repaving this stretch now as opposed to later.

We already have a great deal of people who walk around downtown as it is, so why not reward them and attract others by getting at least the stretch of road downtown looking pristine? It would certainly mean a lot to the elderly and handicapped people who have to weave between craters and keep their balance on the crunching, crumbling asphalt beneath their feet. I, for one, would like to see attention put here as opposed to crafting a bike path where you'll get to "enjoy" having BART scream over your head every five minutes or so.

I understand that the city has a lot on its plate, but downtown is practically the backyard of city hall. Maybe city leaders should get out of their cars and experience walking around and seeing just how shoddy the roads are on foot for themselves.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Robert Marrujo August 09, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't know that for a blog I was required to consult with the city before making an observation. Forgive me for not asking a member of city government if July 2012 was going to be the magic month that, after years of neglect, East 14th through downtown was going to finally be repaved. Your assertion that I, or anyone else, need to run an opinion by a city worker before posting a BLOG is preposterous. That the city or state or whoever is finally getting to repaving the road is happenstance and secondary to my main concern, which is that for a road running through our downtown to look so awful for so long is inexcusable. Now, if Katz-Lacabe is correct, then I am very pleased to hear that the road will be repaved soon. However, that no one at city hall had the fortitude to get the ball rolling sooner to make this happen isn't right. Your impassioned non sequitur about the bike lanes notwithstanding, city hall drops the ball on many issues and that's why I, and many of the other people on here, write about things like this. Is our city government perfect? None are. When it comes to an issue like this, though, where a vital area like our downtown is seeing some obvious neglect, I'm less forgiving.
anthony August 09, 2012 at 07:13 PM
Again, I don't care how many observations you make and never said any kind of consultation with the City was needed. My complaint for you is that you blindly assumed that the present conditions are the result of neglect by the responsible agency without checking for another possible explanation, or even bothering to determine what agencies might be involved. That, I find preposterous.
Robert Marrujo August 09, 2012 at 07:56 PM
Anthony- "Again, I don't care how many observations you make and never said any kind of consultation with the City was needed."-Anthony "Did you make any contact with City staff in regard to this post?"-Anthony If that's not what you meant, than what did you mean? I guess I'll break it down further for you. The street has looked awful for at least the past four to five years, if not longer. Whether the city, the state, or whoever is in charge of upkeep for East 14th, it took too long to get something done about it. There's nothing "blind" about my calling it neglect, because that's what it is. At the very least they could send a crew out to do a decent patch of the crosswalks, but no, nothing. The city should have gotten it done by now if the street was theirs to mend, or been more adamant about having the state do it. So, I wrote a blog about it, and a pretty straightforward one, at that. Yet here you are, babbling about your bicycle woes and somehow thinking that the construction of the parking lot has caused all the road wear that's existed for years. Perhaps you could stand to do some observing yourself as opposed to coming up with excuses where there are none? Mind you, what's even stranger is that I wasn't particularly vehement towards the city in this post. Where your indignation comes from, I don't know, but you are truly grasping at thin air.
Stephen Cassidy August 11, 2012 at 05:47 AM
Robert, East 14th is an old state highway and under the control of CalTrans. Same is true of Davis and Doolittle. CalTrans is responsible for their maintenance. I agree the poor condition of E. 14th St. reflects negatively on San Leandro and hurts our efforts to revitalize the downtown. One of my priorities after I became Mayor last year was to convince CalTrans to fix of much of East 14th as possible. I learned CalTrans has 5 year plans for road maintenance of old state highways. Our portion of East 14th St was not within the current 5 year plan, and there was no guarantee it would be included in the next 5 year maintenance plan. But if you don't try, then the answer is definitely no. So last year, I met with our regional director for CalTrans last year along with former Councilmember Joyce Strarosciak. Joyce knew him from her service on the Alameda County Transportation Commission. We toured the downtown, and pointed out the numerous potholes and deteriorating road conditions on E. 14th. The director was very sympathetic but again downtown E. 14th St. was not in the 5 year plan. That's when we got creative and thought of other funding sources. City and CalTrans staff had numerous discussions. I communicated further with the regional director. A plan was developed for repaving this Summer. The project was put out to bid about two months ago. This week the repaving commenced. It should be completed in a matter of days.

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