Castro Valley’s Municipal Advisory Council (MAC) is set to cover a lot of ground on Monday night starting at 6:00 pm at the Castro Valley Library on 3600 Norbridge Avenue.
Sidewalks and pedestrian safety
Parents of Stanton Elementary School students will be on hand to advocate for two county-supported crossing guards and sidewalk improvements around the school, located at Somerset and Stanton, on the west side of Castro Valley. Parent organizers are looking for supporters to RSVP for the MAC meeting, asking in their Facebook invite, “Tired of having to walk in the street or through the mud on the way to school? ”
Rebecca Stanek-Rykoff, who serves as Editor of this blog and is a member of the CVM board of directors, writes in a blog post on BikeWalkCV, “While this agenda item is specifically about Stanton Avenue, it is also a chance for the community to show up and ask for more investment into sidewalks in Castro Valley.”
She and the other parent organizers will be asking that Alameda County use discretionary and Measure BB funds to enhance sidewalks around Stanton and Castro Valley.
Concerns about pedestrian safety around Stanton are not new. A plaque at the corner of Stanton and Somerset commemorates the work of Farhat N. Qureshi Kury who advocated for safety around the Stanton neighborhood. She was badly injured protecting her daughter from a car that drove through a crosswalk. Kury later died from her injuries.
Utility box art
Castro Valley is seeing more public art coming to our community.
Monday’s MAC meeting agenda includes an item from Alameda County Public Works on “Traffic Signal Controller Box Murals.” Unlike MAC “Land Use” meetings, the agenda for “General Use” meetings does not include attachments with county staff reports and background information.
As part of Castro Valley Matters’s advocacy for more public art, we have discussed bringing art to utility boxes, based on the successful utility box program in the City of Hayward. We held a utility box art contest at the Fall Festival to solicit ideas on how to beautify utility boxes and create a sense of place in Castro Valley.
At the November 16, 2015 MAC meeting, CVM and the Castro Valley/Eden Area Chamber proposed a “community identification mural” for the underpass at Interstate 580 and Redwood Road and have worked with Alameda County to bring the project to fruition. Here is a link to our proposal for the project. This past June, Supervisor Nate Miley confirmed that funding had been found to start the mural project.
The MAC will reopen discussion about plans to expand Camp Sweeney, ” a 50-bed minimum security residential program for adolescent males ranging in age from 15 through 19” located on unincorporated county land on Fairmont Ridge, adjacent to the Hillcrest Knolls neighborhood between Ashland and the area around Bay Fair and Castro Valley.
The Alameda County Probation Department operates Camp Sweeney. According to the Environmental Impact Report for the project, the goal is to replace the deteriorating campus, originally developed in the late 1950s, with a facility for up to 120 youth. Funds for the project come from a 2009 State of California grant.
Residents surrounding the site have objected to the size of the project, a point noted in the EIR.
“The concerns identified by residents and community members about the need for a project of this magnitude still have not been addressed,” Ashland resident Aisha Knowles said. “The average daily population of youth at Camp Sweeney is 20 (or less). Although community members and members of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Commission have requested data related to the number of youth who are currently sent out of state and will remain at the new facility, no data has been provided.”
The agenda also includes an item on “Child Care and Community Development in Castro Valley”.