This Website discusses the snarl of traffic on its Traffic and Congestion page and throughout the site because it's already a problem, and looking forward, we know it's bound to get worse. Problems will compound during the construction phase and, then afterward, when people are living in completed buildings.
Current residents need some protection now but also from the effects of perhaps hundreds more vehicles crowding Clay Street and Bragg in the future. Vehicles are noisy and produce emissions. We'd like to see progress on changing the nature of Clay Street -- from being a high traffic roadway for trucks going to the Lodge and serving as Train Town's parking lot -- to a safe and uncrowded residential street.
The solutions lie in limiting parking around Clay and Bragg through curb striping and permit parking but the Police Chief and the Public Works director object to these solutions. We believe permit parking would have a good effect but redlining Clay Street, across from the Lodge's dock, from Bragg to Broadway, would improve conditions and still allow trucks to maneuver and prevent displaced vehicles from idling their engines and parking next to the residences at Clay and Bragg.
The proposed site is currently a grassy field, with several walnut trees. Among the many wonderful and beneficial things about having open space nearby, as well as in town generally, is it helps keep the area cool in the hot months and prevents streets from flooding in the winter. We noticed the EIR for the Lodge said all would be well, even in the wake of what it characterized as the "hundred year flood." The photo below was taken on New Year’s Day, 2005. The truck is parked next to the proposed site. It was a heavy rain but hardly the hundred-year flood. We think an EIR for the new housing development is appropriate given we will be losing green space and replacing it with hardscape.
Although this flood was a rare event, this photo demonstrates the need for building a storm water hydrology and drainage system for this high-density housing project. Without knowing how to estimate the cost of this kind of construction, we do expect the cost to be high. We know the developer will purchase the land from the County and pay for the construction of the structures, but who pays for improvements for a proper drainage system?
Cost and sustainability
Low income housing funds, including HUD's HOME program, have been decreasing over the years and will continue to decrease. There is no apparent sustainable source of money to keep this development well maintained.
This housing project cannot change its purpose for fifty-five years. How will it sustain itself and not become an uncared for collection of rundown buildings?