Dec 10 2014

Student Report: Council Hears About Communication with Oakland and Adding a New Traffic Light

The following is a report by Piedmont High School student Claire Wong on her observations of the November 17, 2014, Piedmont City Council meeting.

I attended the November 17, 2014 Piedmont City Council meeting.  The Piedmont City Council convenes on Monday evenings to review and create laws in Piedmont and address other concerns Piedmont residents may express.

The purpose of the meeting was to address ceremonial items, such as the annual Toys For Tots kick-off and the recognition of November as “Safe Digging Month.”  The Council also unanimously approved an updated agreement with Alameda County for the 2014-2017 CDBG Urban County Program.  The chief concern of the meeting was making revisions to the City of Piedmont’s Conflict of Interest Code.

I interviewed Piedmont resident Dmitri Magganas, who spoke at public forum.  In light of the election of Libby Schaaf as the new Mayor of Oakland, Magganas stressed the importance of establishing an open line of communication between Oakland and Piedmont.  “I worked on Libby Schaaf’s campaign,” he said, “and Mayor of Oakland is a strong position.”  Because many Piedmont residents have interests in Oakland, such as offices and businesses, he believes it is in everyone’s best interest to be on good terms with Oakland.  Magganas explained, “In order to ensure that communication and cooperation are established between the two cities, I hope to organize a reception.” At this reception for Oakland’s and Piedmont’s government bodies, Magganas would ensure that communication between Oakland and Piedmont can be firmly established.

At public forum, I expressed my desire for a traffic light at the intersection of El Cerrito Avenue and Oakland Avenue.  Cars often speed down Oakland Avenue and do not stop for pedestrians to cross.  While there is a crossing guard to help students cross the street before and after school, speeding cars are present at this intersection around the clock.  When crossing at night, even a flashlight does not induce most drivers to yield for pedestrians.  In order to make this pedestrian-heavy intersection safer, I encouraged the City Council to consider putting a traffic light there.

by Claire Wong

Editors’ Note:  The opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Piedmont Civic Association.

Leave a Comment