Skyline Speeders Cause Concern

IT’S A TYPICAL Sunday on Skyline Boulevard. Cars share the road with a steady stream of Spandex-clad bikers and leather-suited motorcyclists. It’s a popular drive — listed on many Web sites as a destination. “Unfortunately, the thrill of speeding round those curves is not only disruptive to the neighborhood, but as we experienced last summer — can be deadly,” says Sue Piper, the community liaison for Councilwoman Jean Quan.
Neighbors near Skyline have been complaining for years about speeding motorists. They’ve witnessed countless vehicles racing along the section above Montclair that has no lights and no stop signs. “You could help,” Piper tells me, “by reminding folks that the speed limit, whether posted or not, is 25 miles per hour.”

My reminder comes with a warning. Oakland police have been parked along Skyline Boulevard in recent weeks, watching for speeders. A ticket could be a nasty way to cap off your day. It goes without saying that an accident of any kind would be worse. Let’s all try to slow down and be more cautious on this scenic stretch of roadway.

OFF-RAMP AFFECTION: Even a freeway off-ramp needs love. Just ask Tod Vedock, who has been on a mission to spruce up the Broadway Terrace exit from Highway 13. “I was tired of traveling all over the country and seeing these nicely planned communities, and then coming home to my very expensive home and seeing weeds all up and down the street,” he says. So Vedock pulled the weeds and put down a dozen bags of shredded redwood mulch to cover up the dirt. And, yes — he did it without fanfare, and at his own expense. “The city will never be Walnut Creek,” he writes, so you have to “adopt it yourself.” Thank you, Tod. It’s folks like you who remind us of the virtues of civic pride.

VILLAGE UPDATE: I’ve been sitting on a secret for a couple of months, and now I’m able to share the news. Farmstead Cheeses and Wines is opening in the village by year’s end. The smoke cleared on the deal not long after La Salle Cigars vacated the space across from the parking garage. “The plans aren’t finished yet,” says Farmstead owner and hills dweller Jeff Diamond, “but hopefully there will be room in this space for a tasting bar.”
Diamond and his wife, Carol Huntington, have been building a steady following at their Park Street store in Alameda. The Montclair store will be almost twice the size — 1,000 square feet — and will allow them to bring in even more specialty cheeses and wines, along with their popular winemaker dinners.

E-MAIL BAG: If you’re looking for a small way to make a difference, reader Donna Bersaglieri could use some help with the one-on-one reading program at Piedmont Avenue Elementary School. “It’s a nice relaxed program started by someone in the neighborhood about 11 years ago,” she says. Volunteers read with two students a week for a half hour each in the school library. “There’s so much reciprocal giving and taking — it’s really a joy” she says. If you’re interested, call Donna at 510-482-0862, and she’ll tell you more about it.

FUNKY FINDINGS: Gross is the only word to describe the nasty, fungus-encrusted stuff that’s fouling the waters of Lake Merritt. A group of volunteers went on a little fishing expedition recently to celebrate Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Barack Obama’s birthday. Skimming the lake with nets, they pulled up slime-covered bottles and Styrofoam and “the obligatory dime bags and syringes,” says organizer Suman M Paranjape.
And they also found turtles, which Paranjape says “aren’t so yucky but are kind of sad — since they can’t survive in the lake, but people release them anyway.”
She says they’ll be doing another clean-up on Sept. 15, and anyone who’d like to volunteer can call 510-931-7477.


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