Vol. XXXVIX No. 1  The HAPA News  February 3, 2017

Council on Maple-Main Project

The HAPA appeal of this project will be decided by the City Council on Tuesday February 7, at 7 p.m. I am hoping a few of you will agree with the discussion below and ask Council to approve two improvements:

  • Move retail to Maple Court
  • Improve pedestrian crossing of A Street at Main Street

As you may know, very few people follow city affairs, and even fewer comment, which means that those who do comment are noticed. You can send an email here and you can leave a brief message by phone 583-4400 with the Clerk's office. And you can actually go to the meeting and let your voice be heard as well.


Discussion

Move Retail to Maple Court

Relocation to Maple Court will help retail; and retail will help recreate a pedestrian environment.

The General Plan: "LU-2.3: The City shall strive to create a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable *pedestrian environment* in the Downtown to encourage walking, sidewalk dining, window shopping, and social interaction."

Maple Court would be a good place for a walking-oriented, multi-modal social hub. Here’s how it could be done:

  • Maple Court is a narrow street with low traffic, reducing conflict with cars and creating intimate distances.
  • Maple Court lined by red maple trees alternating with old fashioned street lights would be attractive to pedestrians.
  • The Maple Main and Lincoln Landing projects increase the immediate population by about 1,000 people.
  • A rapid shuttle from BART with a stop on Maple Court on the way to Lincoln Landing would bring people to hub, and reduce private car traffic.
  • The entrance to the apartments would bring people.
  • The entrance to the Medical Office Building would bring people.
  • The Foothill strip would bring people.
  • Parking reserved on Maple Court for public cars—Uber/Lyft, taxis, car share, car rental - would bring people and reduce private car traffic.
  • Smart meters on Maple Court would make parking available, increase parking turnover, benefit businesses, and bring people.
  • Retail on Maple Court would bring people.

Leaving the retail on Main St. would undermine a potential hub.

The Concord Group report on retail potential failed to look at Maple Court and at pedestrian access. Its report was oriented exclusively to auto-access. From the auto point of view, the project is "tucked away" with a low traffic count, and therefore retail will be a dismal failure. The report is like a car with its headlights pointing backwards. The car moves forward slowly as the driver looks in the rear view mirror to guess where to steer the car.

The coming increase of about 1,000 new residents and the visibility of local retail to pedestrians provides enough demand for walk-access retail, especially on Maple Court. Retail there will serve local walkers more competitively than anyplace else possibly could, especially if reinforced by other attractions on Maple St.

The potential for a coffee shop or café is especially important.The "Maple Café" with sidewalk seating would be a place to wait for the bus, with windows looking out onto the shuttle stop.The café could have an awning coming out to protect people from weather. It would be a nice place to have a cup of coffee, get a snack, have a meal, or take food out on the way home.

Improve pedestrian crossing of A Street at Main Street

A street is wide and has high speed traffic, making it feel unsafe and uncomfortable to walk across. The cross walk distance is now 67 feet, very wide. The project is very close to Main Street and A Street.

The General Plan: "improvements to crosswalks, signal timing, signage, and curb ramps, in: street design, convenient and safe pedestrian travel, connects neighborhoods and centers, and is free of major impediments and obstacles, providing safe, well-marked pedestrian crossings, bulb-outs, or median refuges that reduce crossing widths, safe and convenient bikeways and pedestrian crossings that reduce conflicts between pedestrians, bicyclists, and motor vehicles on streets."

The developer should contribute to improving the crossing of A St. at Main St. in the future. Improvements could include a safety median and bulb-outs. A 22 foot width for travel lanes from curbs to medians would improve the psychological perception of comfort and safety crossing the street. An improved crossing will also contribute to the intermodal hub on Maple Court.


Sherman Lewis, President
Hayward Area Planning Association
510-538-3692
contact us
2787 Hillcrest Ave. Hayward CA 94542