Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Thursday CERT meeting features talk by Richmond Emergency Services Manager

   POINT RICHMOND - The Thursday evening meeting of Point Richmond CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) will feature a talk by Genevieve Pastor-Cohen, the City of Richmond's Emergency Services Manager.
     Pastor-Cohen was involved in the city's response in helping with the devastating fires in Santa Rosa. She will be speaking about overall disaster responses, the need and challenges faced by volunteers, the need for CERT training and how the Santa Rosa fire victims were helped.
     She and CERT members will also likely be discussing what local measures need to be taken to avoid wildfires in the areas in and around Richmond.
     The meeting runs from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Point Richmond Community Center on Washington Avenue.
     The meeting is open to the public. But because of the limited seating CERT officials ask that people who want to attend RSVP via this website: CERT MEETING.

Santa Rosa house fully engulfed in flames  (Photo by Associated Press)

Monday, October 30, 2017

Groundbreaking Weds. for new Richmond ferry terminal; service to begin Sept. 2018

   POINT RICHMOND - A public groundbreaking ceremony for the new Richmond Ferry Terminal project will be held Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. until noon.
     The new ferry terminal will be constructed at the southern point of the Ford Peninsula in Richmond, adjacent to the Ford Assembly Plant building.
     The ferry terminal project includes a new ADA-compliant gangway, ramp system, float and piles.  There will also be construction of a shelter for passengers as well as development and reconfiguration of the parking lot to create 362 spaces.
     Plans also call for installation of an ADA-compliant kayak launch ramp.
     The full project cost is expected to be about $20 million, funded through Regional Measure 2, State Proposition 1B, U.S. Dept. of Transportation funds, Contra Costa County and fare revenue.
     The Richmond-to-SF ferry service is slated to begin in September 2018 and initially will only run Monday through Friday - according to current plans.
     Speakers at the groundbreaking ceremony will include:

     • Jim Wunderman, vice chair of the WETA Board of Directors
     • Richmond Mayor Tom Butt
     • State Senator Nancy Skinner
     • Assemblyman Tony Thurmond
     • Federal D. Glover, commissioner with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and a Contra Costa County Supervisor
     • John Giola, Chair of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors

Friday, October 27, 2017

Pt. Richmond paid-parking pilot will be limited to Park Place with Jan. 1 startup

    POINT RICHMOND - The planned paid-parking pilot for the Point Richmond Business District will be limited to Park Place, DenĂ©e Evans of Richmond Transportation Services said Friday.
     And the program will likely start sometime after Jan. 1 and run for 90 days.
     "If the pilot goes as expected, additional pay stations may be installed throughout the Point Richmond Business triangle," Evans said.
     That would include Park Place, Washington Avenue and Richmond Avenue, she added.
Evans' comments came in the wake of Wednesday's meeting of the Point Richmond Neighborhood Council meeting.
Traffic engineer Ian Barnes
At that meeting traffic engineer Ian Barnes presented the city's latest suggested traffic plan for The Point. It included having Park Place and Washington Avenue changed to one-way streets. The plan also would have changed the parking pattern from parallel parking on both sides of the street to diagonal parking on just one side, resulting in a net loss of 20 parking spaces.
     PRNC members gave the plan a solid thumbs down.
     The paid-parking pilot will have a two-or-three-hour time limit along Park Place with the normal city parking rate of $1 per hour.
     "It is important to understand that with or without increased parking stalls, paid parking is a tool used to encourage turnover which is much needed in the Point," Evans said. "And eventually other areas of Richmond."
     Outside of the business triangle streets, parking would remain free, but still restricted as to how long vehicles could park legally.
     Evans suggested that residents who live adjacent to the business district triangle look into the Neighborhood Permit Program to limit parking on their streets.
     "The idea is to change parking behavior for several reasons," Evans said. "To allow patrons access to the businesses within the triangle while encouraging longer term parking (away from the triangle) onto other streets such as Cutting Blvd... and encouraging alternate modes of transportation to the Point (i.e. carpooling, bicycling and walking)."
     The city is also suggesting there should be permit parking on Railroad Avenue near the fence to provide designated merchant parking during business hours.
     The Richmond Transportation Division will make the determination whether the paid-parking pilot program is a success, Evans said.
     "During the pilot, staff will be collecting parking data from the machines as well as feedback via an online survey that will be provided to the public (during the pilot) to determine the effectiveness," she said.
     "We are still working through the process which will also include sufficient notification prior to implementation as well as direction on how to use the pay stations."
     Answers to many questions about the Pt. Richmond paid-parking pilot, the Neighborhood Permit Program or other parking issues can be found at this link: PARKING.
     Questions can also be directed to City of Richmond parking officials via email here: PARKING QUESTIONS?

Thursday, October 26, 2017

A pilot, paid-parking program planned for The Point; Diagonal parking turned down

   Editor's note: for an update to this story, 
follow this link: PARKING PILOT limited to Park Place
POINT RICHMOND - A pilot program to test paid-parking in the Point Richmond Business District will be implemented sometime in coming months, Richmond City officials said Wednesday evening.
     At the same meeting of the Point Richmond Neighborhood Council, a much-anticipated plan for diagonal parking - and turning Park Place and Washington Avenue into one-way streets - was turned down by the approximately 25 PRNC members who attended.
Denee Evans
     The parking plan would have resulted in 20 fewer parking spaces around the business area triangle.
     Traffic engineer Ian Barnes explained that earlier concepts that included diagonal parking on one side of the streets and parallel parking on the other side would not allow for adequate fire department access.
     "The streets are just too narrow," Barnes said.
     The news came as a surprise to PRNC members who expected the latest iteration of a parking design to increase parking substantially.
     "We seem to be going backward," Graham Perrett said.
     The group did approve a motion asking city staff to look into the option of having angled parking on Railroad Avenue.
     Concerns were also voiced about how the business district would be able to accommodate the anticipated additional influx of vehicles from planned developments.
     At the end of the meeting, Richmond transportation official Denee Evans said the city would be repainting parking spaces in the downtown business district in coming months.
     Sometime after that, a paid-parking pilot project would be instituted, she said.

This plan would result in 20 fewer parking spaces in the Business District

Monday, October 23, 2017

Meeting tonight on extension of parcel tax for East Bay Regional Park District

   POINT RICHMOND - A public meeting to discuss a potential extension a $12 per year parcel tax to benefit the East Bay Regional Park District will be held tonight beginning at 7 p.m. in the Point Richmond Community Center on Washington Avenue.
    The $12 per year tax is for the zone of East Bay cities between Richmond/San Pablo and Oakland/Alameda.
     The potential extension would be of Measure CC enacted in 2004.
     Attendees will be able to ask questions about the accomplishments already achieved  using the monies and provide recommendations for priorities to include if the tax is extended.
     More details about the meeting and Measure CC - as well as to rsvp - can be obtained by clicking this link: MEASURE CC.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Last chance to buy Plunge-project pavers

   POINT RICHMOND - This is the final week for businesses or individuals to order an etched paver for the new walkway for the Plunge, Maryn Hurlbut, chair of the city Recreation and Parks Commission announced Sunday.
     "Instructions for making a donation are on the posters published with this story," she said.
     "To expedite a logo or wording on a paver, send a PDF vector file directly to me at Richmond Tennis."
     Hurlbut also said that etching is being completed next week with the project expected to be done in the next month.
    "If anyone ordered their paver and has not received a receipt, they should email or call me at 510-237-6880 or 510-596-8880," she said.

(For additional stories published on The Point click this link: THE POINT)

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Parking plan for Pt. Richmond, artist lofts top agenda for Wednesday PRNC meeting

   POINT RICHMOND - Reports on a City of Richmond proposal to improve parking in the Point Richmond Business District - along with discussion of a plan to build artists lofts and commercial space at the corner of Tewksbury & Washington - will be taken up Wednesday Oc. 25 at the Point Richmond Neighborhood Council meeting.
     The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Point Richmond Community Center - not the usual 7:30 p.m. - to allow for extra time for presentations as well as questions and answers from the public.
     The PRNC meeting is open to the public.
Washington Avenue view
     The Tewksbury Artists Loft's will be discussed by the Land Use & Design Review Committee during the hour prior to the full PRNC meeting. A report of that session will be presented at the full PRNC meeting at approximately 7:15 p.m.
     The LUDRC meeting is open to the public, also.
     The combination housing, work space and commercial 4-story development is a project of Anthony Murphy of Monday Morning Development of Point Richmond.
     At 7:45 p.m., Denee Evans of the Richmond Department of Transportation will update the PRNC about city proposals to make Park Place and Washington Avenue one-way streets. The two streets would also be restriped for diagonal parking to add parking spaces.
     A city parking study of Point Richmond has been in the works since last fall. As late as Friday the city engineering staff was working on the draft plans, incorporating recent input from the fire department.
     Last month outgoing PRNC President David Schoenthal told the PRNC that the report contains a recommendation that paid parking in the business district should be implemented at some future date.
     The recommendation to implement paid parking is not specifically listed on Wednesday's PRNC agenda for consideration, but is expected to be part of Point residents' questions.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Pt. Richmond's Milo Foundation begins returning animals to Sanctuary near Willits

   POINT RICHMOND - The Milo Foundation began taking animals back to its Willits-area Sanctuary Tuesday after having to evacuate the facility early last week because of wildfires.
     "We have good news," John Fonseca, Milo Outreach Coordinator said.
     "Staff have started taking most of the animals back to the Sanctuary. And some of the Sanctuary animals were even adopted while they were here."

     The Milo staff had to move the animals the day the wildfires began burning across Northern California. Some animals went to local shelters near Willits, well away from fire danger.
Sanctuary crates
     But many were brought to the Point Richmond facility.
     "People came out of the woodwork to foster, to help in so many ways," Fonseca said. "We received monetary donations,  donations of food and other items.        "We were overrun with help, and it was amazing."
     The shelter had to make space for the incoming animals, many of which - because of behavioral quirks - are often not adoptable.
     But Fonseca said a number of the Sanctuary animals found homes in this area.

     The evacuation of the Willits facility came just as the Point Richmond Milo facility was digging out from under dealing with animal refugees from the hurricanes that battered the Gulf Coast.
     But things are slowly going back to normal now, Fonseca said. Even so, the facility has a continuing need for food and other donations.
     For information about the Milo Foundation - and to donate - follow this link: MILO FOUNDATION.