OakDOT Kicks Off Three-Year, $100 Million, Equity-Focused Paving Plan

Posted: August 22nd, 2019 11:52 AM

Last Updated: August 22nd, 2019 11:57 AM

OakDOT crews repave long-neglected Harold Street near Fruitvale Avenue

News from: Oakland Department of Transportation


August 22, 2019

OakDOT Celebrates Kickoff of Oakland’s Three-Year, $100 Million, Equity-Focused Paving Plan

Delivery of Measure KK street repair ramps up significantly with new focus on smaller, long-neglected neighborhood streets

Oakland, CA – Three years of ramped up paving officially kick off this summer with The Great Pave, the opening months of a major street repair campaign focusing on local neighborhood streets and historically underserved neighborhoods, the City of Oakland Department of Transportation (OakDOT) announced Thursday.

The Oakland City Council approved OakDOT’s the three-year, $100 million paving plan in May, and the plan formally launched on July 1 with the start of the new fiscal year. City leaders and transportation staff announced the launch of paving work at Harold Street, an example of the kind of poor-condition neighborhood road the plan will prioritize in every Oakland neighborhood.

“I fought to establish Oakland’s Department of Transportation because residents are fed up with the conditions of our streets and Oaklanders need dedicated, creative leadership focused on making transportation smoother and safer in every neighborhood,” Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said. “The rollout of this ambitious plan will deliver new streets all across Oakland, and often where roads haven’t been repaved in a generation. It’s a major down payment on a long overdue workload, and it’s only possible because Oakland voters supported funding this work with Measure KK.”

Measure KK, passed by Oakland voters in 2016, provides $350 million in bond funding over a ten-year period to repair and enhance Oakland roads. In May the City Council adopted a plan OakDOT developed to put Measure KK funds to work.

“We’re proud to be taking major new steps to improve streets that have been neglected for decades in every Oakland neighborhood,” OakDOT Director Ryan Russo said. “We can’t get to every street that needs to be repaved in the next three years, but we’re getting to as many as we can--and we’re doing it in a way that reflects our core values of equity and safety. We owe a big thanks to our in-house paving crews for putting in long hours to make it happen, and to our Mayor and City Council for bringing our resources and our values together.”

The three major features of the plan are:

More funding, more paving: The plan’s $100 million over three years reflects a tripling of OakDOT’s paving budget. Prior to the passage of Measure KK, for many years paving funding was insufficient even to maintain the poor overall condition of Oakland streets. Over decades, the traditional models for funding local street maintenance have caused challenges across California – the state’s gas tax remained stagnant for decades until 2017, diminishing in overall value while improved fuel efficiency allowed motorists to drive more miles and pay less into the maintenance of roads. In short, Measure KK is a game-changer for Oakland paving.

More local streets: Restoring local streets is a major focus of this plan. Of the $100 million funding the plan, $75 million will go to those smaller, local, neighborhood streets that were largely neglected under the previous policy and insufficient funding. The job ahead is massive and has a long history. With limited, fluctuating funding, the City spent most paving dollars on major streets to keep them in good condition. Major streets are what Oaklanders drive, bike, bus or walk on for the majority of trips in Oakland. This prioritization model saw mixed, predictable results: in 2012, less than half of major streets were in good or excellent condition, and by 2018 that increased to 60%. However, in the same time frame, the percentage of smaller, local streets in poor condition increased from less than 30% to 60%.

More equitable investment: Many Oakland residents and neighborhoods experience poor-condition streets in disproportionate ways. The impact of an expensive car repair is negative for all drivers, but for low-income families it can be disastrous. OakDOT prioritized funding for paving both by road condition and by the proportion of residents in a neighborhood who are in underserved communities. These communities were identified by including people of color, low-income households, people with disabilities, households with a severe rent burden, people with limited English proficiency, and youth/seniors.

The final list of streets was included in the plan when Council adopted it in May – that list is online in map form at https://www.staging.oaklandca.gov/projects/2019-paving-plan.

Residents are encouraged request infrastructure maintenance services and report problems through any of the following means:

  • Phone: Call 311 from any phone within Oakland. (If calling from outside Oakland, use the number 510-615-5566.)
  • E-mail: OAK311@staging.oaklandca.gov
  • Web: 311.staging.oaklandca.gov
  • Mobile App: OAK 311, available free for Apple and Android smart devices (powered by SeeClickFix)

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