Urban Planning

890 petitions

Update posted 1 week ago

Petition to Evanston City Council, Evanston Mayor Stephen H. Hagerty

Stop the Tower in Evanston

Evanston is facing a turning point: does the city want to lure in massive developments that will alter the fabric and face of the city forever? Or do citizens want to support their local communities and investment in citizens' lives and well being? "The Tower," a glassy 37-story building, has been proposed by a private developer, Farpoint. It would be the tallest building (395 feet) in Evanston thus far, would contain 152 rental apartments, 153 hotel rooms, 258 parking stalls, a restaurant space, and a (possible) new home for the Northlight Theatre, (although to move into the building, the theatre would need to raise its own funds or rent from the developer). Developers said they would offer only 15 affordable units in the new building. This is the block, the 1700 block of Sherman Avenue, that is in the heart of downtown Evanston. Not only would the streetscape be altered dramatically (blocking sun, changing wind patterns) but, given the destruction of the existing alley and buildings, it would close local business (Bookends and Beginnings, Alley Gallery, Saville Flowers, and others). Traffic within the already congested downtown area would also be impacted by this development. The development requires a two-thirds vote by the City Council to be approved. Let's start to build a movement from the ground up to stop these private developers from seizing the land, sun, and sky in Evanston. The city residents want good businesses, want the city to thrive and the arts to flourish, and want Evanston to be a good place for everyone. This is not an either-or situation, as supporters of developments such as these often propose: Either we approve it and move into a bright future or we fail to approve it and doom ourselves to failure as a city. Evanston is home to many people of different backgrounds and classes. We need to support more resources for all -not try only to attract wealthy visitors and residents. We need to take the long term view and we need to start by stopping the tower.  

Vanishing Evanston
1,466 supporters
This petition won 3 years ago

Petition to William J. Yung III, Columbia Sussex Corporation

Cease plans to demolish the historic Bavarian Brewing Building in Covington, KY

On the eve of Covington's bicentennial, demolition of this building would be an unspeakable loss to the community as far as part of the story of Covington. Columbia Sussex, a hotel and casino operator, had hoped to make the main building a casino when it purchased the old brewery in 2008, but Kentucky has not passed legislation that would allow casino gambling in the commonwealth. So now CS has determined that they cannot do anything with the property -- with the 137 year-old building on it -- so they want to tear it down. In papers filed with the City of Covington, they admit that they don't have any prospects for the property even if it was leveled. So why do it? Look at the renaissance OTR is having now. Look at the number of apartments and retail ventures going up all over the area. Unfortunately, CS doesn't build those types of developments, they manage hotels and casinos. And they've jacked up the price to almost double what they paid for it before the 2008 market crash -- that no other developer can make the numbers work. They made a "bad bet" and now they want to destroy some of the area's history so they can make a profit. I'm not against capitalism but this is a bad deal for everyone except them. Newport's Wiedemann Brewery had some Samuel Hannaford-designed buildings (think Music Hall, Cincinnati City Hall). That brewery was torn down. And what's there today? A city jail facility and a closed Thriftway big box with a massive asphalt parking lot. Just imagine what those Hannaford buildings would be worth now? Please consider signing my petition to put pressure on Columbia Sussex. Thank you.  

Save The Bavarian
1,122 supporters
Update posted 4 weeks ago

Petition to California Governor, California State Senate, California State House

NAME IT THE EMPEROR NORTON BRIDGE* (*Existing Names to Remain in Place)

NOTEThis petition about the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge does not call for a wholesale re-naming of this bridge system for Emperor Norton. Rather, it highlights a naming solution that simply would add a name like "Emperor Norton Bridge" for the system, which Emperor Norton decreed in 1872. In this scenario, the existing names and signage for the system and its constituent parts ("spans," tunnel, pedestrian/bike path, etc.) would remain in place. The "Emperor Norton" name could be memorialized with a single prominent overhead sign on either end of the bridge and perhaps other such signs at a handful of key bridge approaches around the Bay Area. This solution is consistent with the State of California's precedent and current practice of giving multiple names to certain state-owned bridges. : :    : :    : : August 2013Updated September 2013 to reflect actions by the California State Legislature "San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge." It's a name straight out of bureaucratic central casting. A clunky, hyphenated mouthful of a moniker that tries to please everyone — but winds up pleasing few. It's little wonder that, as soon as the bridge opened in 1936, local residents cropped the name down to the handier "Bay Bridge." Still a fundamentally technical, descriptive name that lacks poetry — but two syllables are better than eight. After 80-plus years, though, the original name has earned its place. "The Bay Bridge" is here to stay. And yet... For generations, the Bay Bridge has had a second name — a parallel name, if you like. This second name — which some consider to be the bridge's real name — never has graced any official highway sign. But it lives in the hearts of many.  It's time for the bridge's historical name to share the marquee with a name that has a history of its own. A name that speaks to a deeper history. A name that finally honors the bridge's original 19th-century visionary.   In short: It's time to make the alias official — time for the State of California to recognize that, before the first survey for the structure was begun in the early 1920s, this bridge was, and shall remain... The Emperor Norton Bridge.  The San Francisco pioneer, Joshua Abraham Norton (c.1818–1880) — the self-styled "Norton I, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico" — was considered eccentric, and so he was. Some considered him certifiable. But Emperor Norton also was a visionary. He was: an adversary of political corruption and corporate fraud; a persistent voice for the fair treatment of racial and ethnic minorities; a champion of religious unity who saw the folly of sectarianism; an advocate for fair labor practices; an exponent of technological innovations that advanced the public welfare; a supporter of women's suffrage; a defender of the people's right to fair taxes and basic services, including well-maintained streets and streetcars; and a general ambassador of his adopted city, who embodied and heralded the values of tolerance and the common good that came to be identified with San Francisco, Oakland and the Bay Area. In January 1872, Emperor Norton issued a proclamation that declared, in part: "Whereas, we observe that certain newspapers are agitating the project of bridging the Bay; and whereas, we are desirous of connecting the cities of San Francisco and Oakland by such means; now, therefore, we, Norton I, Dei gratia Emperor, do hereby...order that the bridge be built from Oakland Point to Telegraph Hill, via Goat Island [now Yerba Buena Island]." In a second proclamation, in March 1872, the Emperor specified that the bridge should be a suspension bridge [emphasis added]: "The following is decreed and ordered to be carried into execution as soon as convenient: That a suspension bridge be built from Oakland Point to Goat Island [now Yerba Buena Island], and then to Telegraph Hill; provided such bridge can be built without injury to the navigable waters of the Bay of San Francisco." He repeated this decree with a third proclamation, in September 1872 "ordering the citizens of San Francisco and Oakland to appropriate funds for the survey of a suspension bridge from Oakland Point via Goat Island; also for a tunnel...." [See the Resources section below for a link to view all three proclamations, as they originally appeared in The Pacific Appeal newspaper. In adding, for consideration, the possibility of a cross-Bay tunnel — something he originally had called for in a separate proclamation in June 1872 — Emperor Norton anticipated by more than a century the 1974 opening of the Transbay Tube, which carries four of the five lines of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system under the Bay.] : :    : :    : : In essence, the Emperor's vision for a cross-Bay bridge came to pass in 1936, with the opening of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, known as "the Bay Bridge." In fact, the "bridge" is a bridge system composed of two bridges. The monumental Western crossing, or "span," connecting San Francisco to Yerba Buena Island, is a suspension bridge, as the Emperor specified. The original Eastern crossing, connecting the island to Oakland, was built as a more conventional (at the time of its construction) cantilever-and-truss bridge. The new Eastern crossing that opened in early September 2013 is a different kind of suspension bridge than the Western crossing. But, in its way, the new crossing brings to full flower Emperor Norton's original vision of 1872, and makes it an especially appropriate time to finally name the entire Bay Bridge for him.BUT, WAIT, DIDN'T HALF THE BAY BRIDGE RECENTLY GET NAMED FOR WILLIE BROWN?!!Well, yes and no. It's true that, on 12 September 2013 — following an earlier 68-0-10 vote by the California State Assembly — the California State Senate, on a 26-7-6 vote, passed a non-binding resolution (Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 65,  or ACR 65) to name the Western crossing of the Bay Bridge — the "San Francisco side" — the "Willie L. Brown, Jr., Bridge," for former California Assembly Speaker and former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown. But the state continues to recognize "San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge" as the name of the entire bridge system. Indeed, the 2015 Named Freeways, Highways, Structures and Other Appurtenances in California — the most recent edition of the authoritative listing produced regularly by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) (see Resources, below) — has separate and independent listings for both the "Willie L. Brown, Jr., Bridge" (p.143) and the "San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge" (p.164) The former is listed with a citation for ACR 65; the latter is listed as "Not Officially Named." In other words: For naming purposes, the State of California places these two things — (1) the constituent "spans" of the Bay Bridge and (2) the bridge as a whole — on two separate planes. Which means that the naming of the Western crossing of the Bay Bridge for Willie Brown and the naming of the entire Bay Bridge system for Emperor Norton is not an either-or proposition — it can be both-and. Put another way... In effect, the Willie Brown name now functions as one "subtitle" of the larger landmark.  But the main title of the landmark — "San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge" — remains. Addressing this main title is the opportunity and the imperative highlighted in this petition to name the Bay Bridge for Emperor Norton. ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT A WHOLESALE RE-NAMING OF THE BAY BRIDGE FOR EMPEROR NORTON? Not necessarily. Today, the state of California has a dozen or so bridges that have multiple "main titles." Following this precedent, it should be possible to simply add an official "Emperor Norton" name — say, "Emperor Norton Bridge" — to stand alongside the "Bay Bridge" name. The "Emperor Norton" name could be memorialized with a single prominent overhead highway sign on either end of the bridge and perhaps other such signs at a handful of key bridge approaches around the Bay Area. In this scenario, the existing names for the bridge and its constituent parts, together with all existing highway signs for these names, would be left in place.  WHAT THE EMPEROR'S VISION HAS DONE FOR THE BAY AREA It's been widely recognized, since the opening of the Bay Bridge system in 1936, that the entire system — both Western and Eastern crossings, connected in the middle by Yerba Buena Tunnel — is a remarkable feat of architecture and engineering. But it's not solely Emperor Norton's 1872 calls for the technological achievement of a Bay-spanning bridge connecting San Francisco with Oakland that warrants the Bay Bridge system's bearing his name. What must be kept firmly in mind is that, in calling for a cross-Bay bridge, Emperor Norton also was planting the seed of inspiration that would enable those after him to water and reap the deeper possibility of what such a bridge could do — namely, to nurture the two-way commerce of goods, ideas and influence between people on both sides of the Bay. From this perspective, the Emperor can be seen as an early, if unwitting, visionary of the whole idea of a local "regional economy." Indeed, whatever the Emperor's specific intentions in calling for a cross-Bay bridge 140-plus years ago, it seems undeniable that a major result of the Bay Bridge system has been to facilitate and nurture such an economy, to the benefit of people on both sides — and that, without a bridge system connecting San Francisco and Oakland, we would not mean the same thing by "Bay Area" as we do today. To be sure, Emperor Norton is identified as a San Francisco figure. But, the truth is that, for many years, day-trips to Oakland via ferry were part of the Emperor's weekly routine. In his day, Emperor Norton was very well-known in those streets. Moreover, the Emperor's prescient proclamations calling for a cross-Bay bridge have blossomed, in the hearts and minds of succeeding generations of Bay Area visionaries, into a profound recognition that Oakland needs San Francisco — and that San Francisco needs Oakland.: :    : :    : :The 145-year-old vision for a bay-spanning suspension bridge that unites the people of San Francisco, Oakland and the East Bay via Yerba Buena Island — a vision that has shaped the lives of generations of the area's residents and visitors, and that has been advanced further than ever before with the opening of the new Eastern crossing as a suspension structure... This vision is specific to Emperor Norton. In recognition of this — and whatever name(s) might be given to the constituent sections of the bridge, i.e., the West Bay Crossing, the East Bay Crossing and Yerba Buena Tunnel...  This petition calls on the State of California to authorize and recognize a second name for the bridge system as a whole — the larger entity known as the "San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge." Name it the Emperor Norton Bridge. JOHN LUMEASan :    : :    : :To learn much more about this project, visit :   : :   : :This petition is the impetus for a nonprofit launched in September 2013: THE EMPEROR'S BRIDGE CAMPAIGN Web site — http://www.EmperorsBridge.orgFacebook — — :    : :    : :Resources Media coverage of this petitionWALL STREET JOURNAL — — — & & SAN FRANCISCO BAY GUARDIAN — & FRANCISCO CHRONICLE — & — ANGELES TIMES — SQUID — JOSE MERCURY NEWS (and others) — & DAY SACRAMENTO (local CBS morning show) — ZAWINSKI (Mozilla and Netscape co-founder) — & THE RAW STORY — LOCAL — Emperor Norton's 1872 "Bridge" Proclamations (as originally published)6 January 1872 — March 1872 — September 1872 — Articles on Emperor Norton Short Documentary Film on Emperor Norton Named Freeways, Highways, Structures and Other Appurtenances in California (2015) Policy on Measures Naming Highways or Structures | California State Senate Transportation & Housing Committee Text of Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 65("Willie L. Brown, Jr., Bridge") Analysis of ACR 65 by the State of California's nonpartisan Office of Legislative Counsel

John Lumea
5,630 supporters