Hi Nieret and Diane,

 

I wanted to thank you and the port for the community meeting last night.  (Please forward this to Dan as well -- I don't have his email address)  I think last night we heard the most thorough explanation to date of the port's goals and point of view, particularly the functions of pier 80 and 92 and the intermodal dependencies.  Looking at Dan's work on regrading and parking options was also a strong and much-appreciated show that the port is hearing and balancing our concerns.  It's encouraging.

 

I also think that the community, represented most strongly by Mr. Spencer, demonstrated that if the project is to take place on our block, along the existing right of way, it will force most if not all of our businesses out of his building.  By the end of the meeting, there seemed to me to be a consensus that a project further east, one that might incorporate Michigan St., would resolve most of the community concerns, and would present some tangible advantages for the port as well.  For your reference, I've enclosed another picture of the 9/24 proposal with this letter.  This list reiterates some of the advantages a Michigan St. alignment would have over an Illinois St. alignment:

 

Advantages of Michigan St. Option:

---------------------------------

         -  Longer bridge means more grading can happen along the length of the

            bridge; south end high, north end low.  (less fill on north side=cheaper)

        -  (Potential) multiple rail spurs make maneuvering multiple trains easier.

        -  Larger truck and rail turning radius from Illinois onto Michigan.

           (no need for right angle turns)

        -  Longer stretch of road along Ceasar Chavez between Michigan

           and Third means more trucks can be backed up without blocking

           Third St.

        -  Bigger intersections at C.Chavez & Michigan and C.Chavez & Illinois

           make truck turning easier (if making right angle turns)

         -  Moving the bridge east of the right-of-way, combined with only

            a single spur heading east on Cargo at the south end of bridge

            does a good job of passively limiting extraneous truck traffic,

            making it ideal for port-to-port use and less attractive for other

            traffic -- a business win for the port.

        -  Bi-section of Muwekma-Ohlone park could be mitigated by the

            annexation of the wedge of land between Illinois St. (West) and

            the rail spur for the bridge (East) into the park.

 

Most of these advantages are directly relevant for the port's goals with this project: getting freight efficiently between piers 80 and 92 and subsequently onto the highway or points north.  Please consider these seriously as you delve into the Michigan St. alignment.

 

As a gentle reminder, I would still like to get the gannt chart showing the dates and dependencies for all funding, permits, data collection, approvals, and other significant deadlines for the project between now and the start of construction. (including in particular the schedules of the Coast Guard and BCDC approvals and all elements necessary for the Port Notice issuance)  I would also like to say that since most of the stated obstacles to the Michigan alignment raised last night were technical, I would like to be able to discuss and understand those refined technical details thoroughly at our next community meeting.

 

Thanks again for working with us.

 

Best Regards,

Nick Merz

 

............

                     nick merz . nick@oqo.com

                           OQO . (v) 415.920.9090 x203

              1800 illinois st . (f) 509.753.3697

             san francisco, ca