For years, the Right Thinkers in town have been working hard to reshape Alameda by encouraging the development of high-end apartment and condominium complexes and townhomes at Alameda Point and along the northern waterfront, and by taking actions designed to force local residents to get rid of their cars and take public transit instead.
Under their “vision,” no more would Alameda be the “City of Homes and Beaches.” Rather, it would become a model of “Transit-Oriented Development” that would excite envy even among “progressives” in Seattle and Boulder.
Now, it appears that the coronavirus crisis may make it more difficult for the enlightened ones to achieve their goals. According to recent published reports, experts are predicting that the pandemic will slow, if not kill off altogether, market-rate multi-family residential development in the Bay Area. Likewise, they’re suggesting that the pandemic will reduce public-transit usage in the region – permanently.
If either of these predictions comes true in Alameda, the successes obtained by the Right Thinkers since their poster boy, current Vice Mayor John Knox White, joined the Planning Board in 2012 may turn out to have been in vain. Re-wind the clock, Alice: you’re back in Kansas again.