The Big Problem with the Fremont Site.... Transportation
Wolff wants a site for his Disney ballpark, with its perfect ballpark village, shopping mall, and a grand Wolff Hotel (around the space of 100 acres). Wolff made a feable attempt at finding a site in Oakland and chose one that had over 100 businesses in location, and the Oakland City Council was unwilling to remove these businesses with a "divine right" power.
Fremont has told Wolff, he can have his dream park in their city, on Cisco owned land, known as Pacific Commons. The site, as said by Daniel Vanderpriem (CEDA/Redevelopment head working with the A's on possible sites), would be "purchased at industrian prices" (meaning cheaper) and sold to businesses and developers at "residential prices"(more exspensive). Fremont has that land for Wolff to so he can pay for his Disney ballpark. Looking at this from a shrewd business perspective, I Wolff's plans are justified. He wants to spend as little money to pay for the construction of a new ballpark. But when one wants to be cheap, problems arise.
In addition to a number of other issues, the main problem with the Fremont/Pacific Commons suggested ballpark site is TRANSPORTATION. Currently, Pacific Commons lies a block away from I880 and is less than 1.5 miles away from the Fremont Amtrak station. In addition to I880 and the AMTRAK station, BART is planning to add 5.4-miles of tracks from the existing Fremont Station to the proposed new station, Warm Springs (I'm sorry, but Warm Springs would be tough to get over). The Warm Springs station is scheduled for completion around 2010, if the adequate funding is provided, which it looks like will pass. Just in time, because the new Coliseum lease with the A's is scheduled to end in 2011 (Doesn't that just work out perfectly).
So, if one read this far, that person would be thinking, "Wait there's no problem with transportation at the Pacific Commons site. I880 is right there, Warm Springs BART station will be built, and you have an AMTRAK station right there. Drummer510, is there really transportation problem or are you just trying to stir s**t up and make A's fans outraged and dismayed by the Fremont plan?"
Yes, to both questions. There is a huge TRANSPORTATION problem with the Fremont site. Here's the list:
1. Interstate 880 is the second most congested highway in the Bay Area (101 is worse only because Giant fans are bad drivers). In 2000, the number of daily delays on I880 was 25,190 vehicle-hours. In two years that number rose to 27,440 vehicle-hours. Check out the Highway Congestion Monitoring Data. The section of I880 going Southbound that Pacific Commons is next to, was ranked second as one of the worst congested highway location in the Bay Area in 2002. The number of daily delays from Thorton Ave. to Dixon Landing was 8,880 vehicle hours in 2002.
2. AMTRAK is not a realistic nor economical way of transportation for an everyday East Bay A's fan. Round trip tickets from the Jack London station to the Fremont station are about $15 and schedule times seem unresonable for a night game. Check out AMTRACK's sweet site.
3. The planned Warm Springs BART station is 2.25 miles driving distance away from Pacific Commons, as described on Marine Layers's Blog. 2.25 miles is not an ideal walking distance. Transportation from the station to Pacific Commons is an issue that will cost Alameda county even more money.
Although a BART station at Warm Springs will help traffic flow on I880, the current plan for the station will be in a poor location for the ballpark. Consider that BART carries 15-20% of A's fans on any given game date(ML). Unless a bus line or tram is added from Warm Springs to Pacific Commons, the use of BART as transportation to an A's game will become ineffective.
As mentioned before, trasnportation is one of many other issues with the Fremont Ballpark proposal.