Alameda, California

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The city of Alameda highlighted within Alameda County
The city of Alameda highlighted within Alameda County

Alameda is a city located in Alameda County, California. It is a city on a small island of the same name next to Oakland, California in the San Francisco Bay. An additional part of the city is on Bay Farm Island, which it shares with the Oakland International Airport. The city has a small town feel with its Victorian homes and tree lined neighborhoods. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 72,259. The city was founded on June 6, 1853.

Alameda was not originally an island as it was originally a land extension of Oakland. The need for expanded shipping facilities in the late 19th century in both cities, led to a shipping and tidal channel that was dug between the two cities in 1902 leading to Alameda becoming an "island" with most of the dug up soil used to fill in some sections of Alameda.

Today the island consists of the main original section that is bookended by the former Naval Air Station and Bay Farm Island which is actually part of the mainland proper. Both of these ends are built on artificial hydraulic landfill on top of the bay's muddy bottom.

The Naval Air Station Alameda was decomissioned and is in process of being turned over to the City of Alameda for civilian development. The area of the former NAS is now known as "Alameda Point". Portions of Alameda Point are now in commercial use, but the transfer process has been slowed down by disputes between the Navy and the City regarding payment for environmental cleanup of the land.

Vehicle access to the island is via three bridges to Oakland, a bridge to Bay Farm Island, and two one-way tunnels to Oakland's Chinatown. The bridges at Fruitvale Ave, High Street and Park Street and the tunnels at Webster Street and Harrison Street (the latter called the "Posey tube") connect Alameda and Oakland. Public transportation includes the AC Transit buses, including express buses to San Francisco, and two ferry services-- the Alameda-Oakland Ferry and the Harbor Bay Ferry. The island is also close to the BART train service.

Even though the island is just minutes off Interstate 880, the speed limit on the island is 25 mph (40 km/h) on almost every road. Many unaware drivers fail to slow down after exiting the highway. Groups like Pedestrian Friendly Alameda and BikeAlameda advocate stronger enforcement of speeding laws.

Due to its proximity to the Bay, wind surfers and kite surfers can often be seen along Crown Memorial State Beach. From the beach you also have views of the San Francisco skyline and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

One of the recent attractions is the aircraft carrier USS Hornet, a museum ship at the former Naval Air Station. The disused base and the streets of nearby Oakland were used to film the underground city and motorcycle chase sequences in The Matrix Reloaded (2003). The Posey tube was used, with other Bay Area tunnels, in the filming of the 1970 version of THX-1138.

One of Alameda's most famous residents is General James Doolittle who won the medal of honor for his bombing of Japan during WWII. Alameda is also the hometown of baseball greats Willie Stargell, Jimmy Rollins and Dontrelle Willis. Because of its active naval base, many people in naval families, such as Tom Hanks and Jim Morrison lived in Alameda briefly during their lives. The current President of the California State Senate Don Perata lives in Alameda.



Location of Alameda, California

Alameda is located at 37°45'50" North, 122°15'25" West (37.763971, -122.256810)1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 59.5 km² (23.0 mi²). 28.0 km² (10.8 mi²) of it is land and 31.5 km² (12.2 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 52.98% water.


As of the census2 of 2000, there are 72,259 people, 30,226 households, and 17,863 families residing in the city. The population density is 2,583.3/km² (6,693.4/mi²). There are 31,644 housing units at an average density of 1,131.3/km² (2,931.2/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 56.95% White, 6.21% Black or African American, 0.67% Native American, 26.15% Asian, 0.60% Pacific Islander, 3.29% from other races, and 6.13% from two or more races. 9.31% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 30,226 households out of which 27.7% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.7% are married couples living together, 11.4% have a female householder with no husband present, and 40.9% are non-families. 32.2% of all households are made up of individuals and 9.4% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.35 and the average family size is 3.04.

In the city the population is spread out with 21.5% under the age of 18, 7.0% from 18 to 24, 33.6% from 25 to 44, 24.6% from 45 to 64, and 13.3% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 38 years. For every 100 females there are 92.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 89.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $56,285, and the median income for a family is $68,625. Males have a median income of $49,174 versus $40,165 for females. The per capita income for the city is $30,982. 8.2% of the population and 6.0% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 11.4% of those under the age of 18 and 6.1% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Community power and telecom

Unlike surrounding communities, Alameda has a municipal power and telecommunications service that delivers services directly to consumers. The telecommunications service has the potential of far exceeding the capabilities of the various cable and DSL providers in the larger region.

There have been proposals by the power producer to produce energy from waste, but not within the city of Alameda. Instead this energy would be produced at a waste transfer station located in neighboring (and downwind) San Leandro. Owing to the expected release of toxic emissions from what is essentially a garbage incinerator, the mayor and city council of San Leandro rejected the proposal. The mayor vowed to fight this proposal, suggesting that Alameda could instead place this near their municipal golf course.

Also, unlike the three major power producers in California, Alameda is not required to establish net metering for home photovoltaic power producers, so the city currently lags far behind other communities in producing truly "green" energy, even though they have a potentially productive site for supplemental wind energy on the western edge of the former naval air station here.

See also

External links

Cities and communities of Alameda County, California
Seal of Alameda County
County seat Oakland
Incorporated places Alameda | Albany | Berkeley | Dublin | Emeryville | Fremont | Hayward | Livermore | Newark | Oakland | Piedmont | Pleasanton | San Leandro | Union City
Census-designated places Ashland | Castro Valley | Cherryland | Fairview | San Lorenzo | Sunol
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