San Jose to start Autumn Parkway work + Coliseum sign restrictions

It figures that on a weekend I chose to do a mini ballpark trip, news breaks. More about the trip later.

The Merc’s John Woolfork reports that $500,000 in design work has been approved by the City of San Jose for the Autumn Parkway project. It’s a small procedural step in getting the important roadway finished. For the Shasta/Hanchett and St. Leo’s neighborhoods trying to reach the Target on the other side of the tracks, making their way there currently involves a 1.6 mile drive along the Alameda and Taylor/Coleman or a 2 mile drove along Santa Clara and Market/Coleman. All that for a store that’s only 0.6 miles away using the crow flies method. With Autumn Parkway completed, the trip will only be 1 mile long, while providing an important alternate route for visitors to HP Pavilion and a future Cisco Field.

Apparently that’s not enough for Stand for San Jose and its surely well-paid San Francisco-based consultant/spokesman, Dan Newman. (BTW, does Stand for San Jose have any actual San Jose people running the place who know what’s going on?)

For his part, SJ transportation director walks the political as best he can.

Larsen said the roadwork isn’t required mitigation for the proposed ballpark. But because environmental studies on the project assume the improvements will be done, getting them under way bolsters the city’s case against critics who might seek to stall the project with litigation.

“It’s a little nuanced,” Larsen said. “It’s not technically a mitigation, but an assumed condition, so from that perspective, it’s cleanest to have it done that way.”

Odd. All this time I was under the impression that Autumn Parkway was a necessary mitigation. I suppose that if there’s little-to-no new parking being built along with the ballpark, a direct artery leading to it may not be critical. Let’s be frank about it though, it’s very important. Not just from the standpoint of providing that new artery for both residents and sports fans, but also from the political standpoint that the residents need to be thrown a bone. Autumn Parkway is a basic part of the covenant, whatever for the final mitigation plan takes.

While the Giants’ astroturf group keeps grinding, Larry Baer continues to wear a white hat when asked about territorial rights. From the AP:

“We continue to be respectful of the process, and there is a process,” Baer said from his team’s Scottsdale Stadium spring training site. “The game is bigger than any internal machinations. I think it’s not good for the game to have whatever internal back and forth between teams. That’s not good for the game. We want to be respectful and see the game flourish in our market, in all the markets.”

Who needs internal back-and-forth when you can have an external political group do your dirty work?

Going back to the Autumn Parkway project, the $22 million cost does not have any specific funding attached to it as of yet. The city’s redevelopment agency is dead, which means the project falls back to City. They’re looking for some federal funding, but I don’t believe a grant will cover more than a quarter or third of the project’s cost. Whether the City finds the money in its couch cushions or by asking Uncle Lew, it remains an important step even if it isn’t officially linked to the ballpark. My worry is that due to the money crunch, Autumn Parkway will be delayed for a year or several beyond the opening of Cisco Field, which will make a lot of locals and fans upset.

For their sake I hope the signmakers pick a more technologically competent shop than the one the Knope campaign used. (The shop was named "Signtology".)

We’re six weeks away from the true home opener, yet one new rule is being laid down at the Coliseum and a lot of people aren’t going to like it. According to the Trib’s Angela Woodall, a new restriction on signs will be in place, in which no sign larger than 3′ x 6′ can be used at the stadium. That’s a big deal, since virtually all of the anti-Lew Wolff signs have been very large in order to be captured on TV. The A’s are instituting the rule because the signs have a “negative aesthetic impact”. Frankly, I’m not sure why the team bothers unless certain fans or sponsors are complaining about the signs. Bringing up signs again only brings attention to the signmakers, while their near-constant presence in past years has practically rendered the signs as background scenery.

The new rule presumably means that the “Keep the A’s in Oakland” and “Lew Lied He Didn’t Try” signs will have to change to be used. I suppose they could use bodypaint or a series of small signs. Oh well.

Finally, Woodall also noted in a tweet that the Coliseum City EIR is expected to go before Oakland CEDA in committee next week. Sometime after that, it would be expected to go before the full City Council for expenditure approval. If it goes to the Council (which it should), I’ll be sure to attend that session. I wonder if it’ll be as raucous as the one for Victory Court?

16 thoughts on “San Jose to start Autumn Parkway work + Coliseum sign restrictions

  1. “It’s a little nuanced,” Larsen said. “It’s not technically a mitigation, but an assumed condition, so from that perspective, it’s cleanest to have it done that way.”
    (…) it remains an important step even if it isn’t officially linked to the ballpark. My worry is that due to the money crunch, Autumn Parkway will be delayed for a year or several beyond the opening of Cisco Field, which will make a lot of locals and fans upset.

    not having Autumn Pkwy in place would invalidate the existing conditions on which the S-EIR is based. That would be a big deal legally. So even though the current budget climate is terrible they will have to find the money — even if that means that potholes won’t be filled or something else needs to be cut.

  2. I always love a Parks and Rec shout out. That’s really all I got tonight.

  3. Would someone like to take a stab at translating this Casey Stengel-like statement by Larry Baer into English? (From ESPN):

    When asked if the process includes negotiations over a possible settlement to allow the A’s to move, Baer paused before saying, “Not necessarily.”

    “Again, there’s a lot of things being studied and I’m going to go back to being respectful of the process. There’s a presumption that there needs to be an answer to a question and I’m not sure that that’s the question,” Baer said of it being a simple yes or no regarding letting the A’s move. “I know that some folks would like to see an answer to that question but that’s not necessarily the question — maybe it is, maybe it isn’t the question that’s on the table. I’ll just leave it at that.”

  4. I’m going to say it means this: “That’s the question the A’s want answered. The question we want answered is how much to buy the A’s out of the East Bay.”

  5. When you don’t have a reasonable argument to make, you resort to double speak, which is exactly what Baer is doing. The Giants may be entitled to compensation from the A’s, but just exactly what is that amount? Obviously the Giants feel it’s a 9 figure number, but unfortunately for them, they don’t have the numbers to back that up. They claim the South Bay is important to them, but to my knowledge they have yet to put forth any numbers to prove it. Which is why Baer tripped all over himself in that KQED interview a month or two ago. Someone needs to hold Baer’s feet to the fire and demand some clear, non-cryptic answers. Unfortunately, that will never happen with the local media.

  6. Larry Baer is an asshole.

  7. @baycommuter & @fc
    Larry Baer’s doublespeak shows that the question he wants to address is whether or not to move the A’s out of the bay area, or to simply contract them. The Giants’ motivation and goal is to kill the A’s. They want the bay area to themselves, plain and simple.

  8. Baer’s playing poker. And bluffing that his hand is stronger than it is. But thinking that he can drive the A’s out of this market is giving him too much credit. What really freaks him out is the prospect that 10-20 years from now South Bay kids will be wearing gold and green with no intention of ever visitng China Basin.

  9. … in other words, he’s terrified of actual competition. He’ll only accept the A’s if they’re badly crippled.

  10. Kings have deal in place…

    3m Sam Amick ‏ @sam_amick
    Reply RetweetedRetweet
    Delete
    FavoritedFavorite · Close Open Details Johnson speaking flanked by David Stern, Maloofs. Joe Maloof now speaking: “It’s a great day for Sacramento…Our family is just so excited”

    4m Sam Amick ‏ @sam_amick
    Reply RetweetedRetweet Delete FavoritedFavorite · Close Open Details
    Johnson: “It’s game over, so our community should be really excited.” Maloofs contribute upwards of $70 million. Staffers clapping.

    5m Sam Amick ‏ @sam_amick
    Reply RetweetedRetweet Delete FavoritedFavorite · Close Open Details
    Kevin Johnson says “framework of an agreement going forward” to keep team in Sacramento. “I want to jump up and down.”

  11. Congrats toe the Kings fans. God knows they were one of the closest fanbases ever to losing their team. Right up there with the Padres (in 1972) and the Giants in the early 90’s.

  12. Woohoo!!
    .
    Here’s one Sac area resident who’s stoked.
    .
    It sill has to be voted on by the city council on March 6th. The preliminary was already voted for, now that they have a plan fully in place, it has to get final approval.
    .
    So now it’s 49ers, Earthquakes, and Kings getting new venues. Up next, the A’s …

  13. Could Baer’s “We want to be respectful and see the game flourish in our market, in all the markets” chatter be the beginning of a turnaround of sorts? For example, say he knows that he’s going to lose now regardless of anything they do. They can either bitch and moan the whole time, or start talking about how they love the game and are team players and are allowing the A’s to move. Not sure what relationship of theirs would benefit. Their fans? Potential fans? Sponsors? Other owners? Or just trying to change what history says?

  14. @LoneStranger
    The more this gets covered, the more the Giants look like the bad guys. Heck, even most hard core Giants fans that I’ve seen posing at various places are kind of ragging on them with the stance of “get out of the way of the A’s, and just worry about getting a friggin’ hitter”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s