Sep 16 2019

Opinion: Green Infrastructure Plan Lacks Rationale Projects it Proposes

To City Council:

I reviewed the Green Infrastructure Plan and find it lacking in providing a rationale for the projects it proposes.  The report on pages 14 and 15 outlines in extensive detail how potential projects were identified (“opportunity sites”, 230 in all) and then ranked, producing a list of 11.  Five of these are SWRP sites and ranked on a 14-point system while the other 7 appear to have been selected by staff and mainly only from the CIP list. In any event, the report should list all 230 sites, probably an easy tabulation. And the report should explain in greater detail what criteria staff used and how Bike-Ped projects were or were not considered.  Finally, I could not find a simple list of the 11 projects, just their location on Map A-1.  The body of the report should contain a list of these 11 projects and a brief narrative explaining their selection and a simple cost estimate.

Specific questions I think you should ask staff and the consultant:

1.        Retention area: there seems to be no project that is a simple diversion of street runoff to a retention area with the exception possibly being the Sheridan lawn. There are large areas of public property along roadways throughout Piedmont that could provide more cost-effective biotreatment than the proposed sites. Please ask the consultant what consideration was given to Hampton, Coaches, Linda Beach, Blair, and several medians in town for simple retention projects.

2.        EBMUD reservoir:  was this site considered it the opportunity analysis?

3.       Do the areas for traffic triangles on Map A-1, specifically the two in the Ramona/Ronada area and lower Grand, constitute the footprint of the actual triangle or the drainage catchment area for a smaller triangle?  If the actual footprint then these could be large expensive projects.  And are these SWRP sites or staff-selected sites?

4.       What are the costs to the city for maintaining the newly added triangles at Ramona/Ronada and Kingston?

I recommend you accept the plan Monday night but not approve it.  Give the community an opportunity to learn more about Green Infrastructure projects (the report has extensive examples) and contemplate projects for their neighborhoods. Send the report and complete Opportunity List to the Park Commission and CIP to hold meetings.   As I read the report the city has met its 2020 goal so there is ample time to allow residents to suggest projects.

Garrett Keating

One Response to “Opinion: Green Infrastructure Plan Lacks Rationale Projects it Proposes”

  1. Council did not approve the GI Plan last night but continued the matter to a later meeting contingent on hearings at the Park Commission. Residents interested in traffic improvements in their neighborhoods or confronting improvement projects should contact city staff to learn when these public meetings will be held. There is a list of 230 potential GI project sites that residents can consult to see if their neighborhood is eligible for a GI project.

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