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November 22, 2013

Comments

Joanne

All,

Caltrans has their own agenda and they couldn't care less about the city or neighborhoods. As long as they have projects to do no jobs are cut.
It's all about the money under the disguise of "safety".

We went thru this same scenario with the reconstruction of Peninsula Ave.
We kept asking for design plans of what the new Peninsula Overpass would look like...they never materialized.

So be warned and continue to turn out in droves!!

Locavore

Time to use the only thing that allows citizens to take back this city: a CEQA lawsuit asserting abuse of discretion by a State agency. We cannot allow apologists whose own political ambitions are clouding all rational judgment and whom we cannot rely upon to represent citizen interests.

mark

Wow, so what is in Timberjack Terry's noggin? You'd think its all petrified wood and no brain cells, or maybe Timberline Tree service trimmed the branches of her common sense neurons based on what is coming out of her mouth these days. The only plausible conclusion that made sense from what I heard on tuesday night was that Terry was applying for a job at Cal-trans. Its so obvious that she doesn't give a crap about burlingame and she is only about her personal interests and a warped sense of reality.

I have a question, can we as citizens call for a recall or impeachment for a sitting council member a-la Gray Davis--think it may be easier in this case as with Gray davis, at least his gray matter was working, unlike Nagel

Holyroller

I believe this is a "Done Deal."
I have been curious for months regarding the "electric, & printed signage" signs pointing out El Camino Real/Hwy 101.
The construction @ 101-Broadway, may soon be the reason to direct traffic to El Camino. From Penninsula to Millbrae Ave.
More cars, more people, more Lawyers, commuting to SF from Santa Clara-ish.
Those trees do pose an obvious hazard.
However, a two lane road-North /South with an "island"in between, signals and left turn only lanes will preseve those tree forever.

Joanne

This is typical of Caltrans to keep the residents in the dark of their plans.

Been here forever

Here here Mark. I agree. Why can't we do a recall? What has happened to Nagel? She is the queen of flip flopping and of doing just the opposite of what is best for Burlingame. I say give HER the axe!!

Poppy Guy

Russ Cohen needs to run when Nagel's term is up.

'Nuff said.

J. Mir

sure, a CEQA suit... let's file a CEQA against the school district, so that our elementary kids can continue to be crowded into portables on the blacktop for a few more years, because kids should be allowed to suffer, it's good for them (character-building, as they say). But trees... no, we cannot allow trees suffer. ALL trees must be saved. *smh*

Slowly-Slowly, All The Trees Will Be Gone

Just a reminder, we are talking about how Caltrans and The Grand Boulevard Initiative (GBI) is calling for El Camino Real to be widened in order to add 1 lane in each direction to accommodate 2 dedicated skip-stop bus lanes on El Camino from Daly City to San Jose (and also to encourage new high-density housing, per the GBI website below).

This means that all of our Eucalyptus trees on El Camino will be cut down, and all of the property owners along El Camino will have a portion of their property seized to accommodate the GBI.

Yes, yes, Caltrans may not have called this project the GBI and instead they may have stated that this first section is just for 'safety reasons', but here's the website of the big picture plan:
http://www.grandboulevard.net/

Michael Brownrigg is Burlingame's sole resident representative on the GBI Task Force, so you should direct your questions and concerns to him.

You can check out the GBI member list here...developers, city council members, union leaders, supporters of high density transit oriented development, construction firms:

http://www.grandboulevard.net/about-us/members/task-force-roster.html

Here is the argument against the GBI:
http://tinyurl.com/Stand-Up-to-The-GBI-Bullies

Yes, some of the apartment buildings along El Camino (I live in a townhouse on El Camino) in Burlingame ARE very dilapidated and need permitting help from our town to encourage new, more efficient, safer and better-looking buildings instead, but (throwing the baby out with the bathwater) cutting down all the Eucalyptus trees shouldn’t be part of the solution.

What do you think about The Grand Boulevard Initiative (GBI)?

For all the passion that Burlingame pumped out to block Safeway from rebuilding their existing store over a 20 year saga (20 years per former City Manager), I'd think that saving our historic trees and preserving private property rights and preserving Burlingame's local authority vs. Statist bullying would deserve some organized opposition...

Grand Boulevard Meeting Calendar

2013 Task Force Meeting Calendar (Quarterly):

Wednesday - September 25 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM SamTrans Auditorium, 1250 San Carlos Ave, San Carlos.

Wednesday - December 4 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM Silicon Valley Community Foundation, 2440 W El Camino Real #300, Mountain View.

2013 Working Committee Meeting Calendar:

Monday - December 16 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM Belmont City Hall (Emergency Ops Room), 1 Twin Pines Ln, Belmont.

Where are "The Berkeley Tree Sitters" when you need them? ;)

jennifer

You are absolutely right, and that probably has something to do with the mechanism by which this is being funded. The absurd part about this is that we have stood alone in reserving El Camino Real exclusively for trees and housing, first as an unincorporated town with villas and bungalows, and later with multi-unit housing (this was made official by our city in 1930, the first such zoning in the nation). It is ironic that we've been the Grand Blvd. for over a century, but now are being asked to pay the price for those cities around us that replaced any trees they might have had with almost exclusively commercial zoning. We've already done our fair share of housing (FAR more than any of our neighbors) on El Camino Real the right way, for all these decades. The regional programs are aimed at the other cities, the ones that already have multiple lanes of traffic (and accidents, too).

BTW, comments from Burlingame made to the MTC regarding One Bay Area Plan that passed a few months ago, did point this out, but being the city that is "different" I'm not sure any mind was paid to that fact. Other cities have nothing to lose like we, though I think cities in Marin gave push-back.

We as a bottleneck are being pressured to sacrifice the Genuine Grand Blvd., for what I can pretty much foresee will be a poor imitation, with scattered lollypop trees, and buildings set right up to the road, with little to no setbacks.

jennifer

Furthermore, has it ever occurred to any of these APPOINTED policymakers that maybe people who actually already live on the highway (that would be our residents, nearly exclusively) don't want to live on a widened raceway? In Burlingame, El Camino Real is essentially another tree-lined residential street, and there are few if any of those that welcome more speed and commotion.

Holyroller

How about putting on this hat?
The Apt/Condo building owners, the 5-6 Churchs, business owners, and Safeway will be receiving a "Windfall" of money if the project goes through.

Joe

An editorial in the Daily Journal is advocating another meeting

http://www.smdailyjournal.com/articles/opinions/2013-11-27/editorial-another-meeting-needed-for-tree-removal-plan/1776425114024.html

It notes

It appears, however, that many left in frustration at the lack of information provided by Caltrans officials at the meeting. Another meeting is proposed for this summer when a draft environmental impact report is released on the project.

That may be too late for many who felt as if there was not enough information to determine if there might be a viable alternative to the elimination of trees near the troubled intersection.
---------

I wasn't at the meeting but several people who were there indicate the dozen or so Caltrans people couldn't answer the most basic of questions like how many accidents vis a vis other intersections.

Bruce Dickinson

Folks I hate go down this path but we may want to strike a deal with Caltrans. This would involve getting our city officials lined up (quite an arduous task when it involves any type of political risk) and enter into a legal agreement with Caltrans. Option A Caltrans can fix Floribunda without a fight provided that it acknowledges that the trees lining the rest of El Camino are historic and a cultural and environmental resource and that it won't touch any tree for any further widening efforts. Then we present them with option B, which is CEQA litigation against cutting down any tree for the Floribunda intersection. Maybe is a cooky idea, but maybe not because there isn't much to lose. We need some creative solutions here, which in my opinion are seriously lacking. Remember guys, Bruce Dickinson didn't get into the creative business by coincidence!

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