March 2012 E-News
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In This Issue
March Events
Start Date for Lakeshore Complete Streets - April 2
Planning Commission to Consider Application for a Dog Play Area Near Astro Park on May 2
Regulation of Unattended Donation Boxes to be Considered
Sign Up for Oakland Police Alerts via
Oakland Chinatowand OPD Launching the Citizens on Patrol Program
Family Bridges' Free State and Federal Income Tax Assistance
The 10th Street Bikeway Project
New Bridge Over Channel for West-Bound Traffic on 12th Street - Open on Feb 7
12th Street Project Update: Great Changes Are Coming But There Will Be Traffic Congestion Thru Mid-April

Dear Neighbors,


If you would like information on citywide events and announcements, you can click here for the Mayor's newsletter or click here for the City Administrator's newsletter.

PK sig

District 2 Councilmember

March Events       



City Furlough Day will be Friday, March 30.

Friday, March 16: Deadline for Signing Up to be an Earth Day Site Coordinator - Join Oakland's largest annual volunteer cleanup event! If you would like to organize an Earth Day clean-up of your favorite public spot, this is the deadline for obtaining Public Works Agency support. The event date is Saturday, April 21 - 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. 



If you would like to sign up as an Earth Day Site Coordinator, or if you have any questions, contact Earth Day Coordinator at 510.238.7611 or email




Sunday, March 25: Oakland's Third Annual Running Festival (Marathon, Half Marathon, Team Relay and 5K Races) For more information, go here.




Saturday, March 31: Free Bulky Waste Drop-Off Event for Oakland Residents - Davis Street Transfer Station, 2615 Davis, San Leandro - 9:00 am to 12:00 noon



For more information, contact 510.238.SAVE (7283) or




Saturday, March 31: Semi-Annual Plant Exchange - 3811 Lakeshore Ave - 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm  

Want an instant new garden?


Bring your plants and pick up new ones!


All types and sizes of healthy plants welcome, from small cuttings up to full size.


seeds * bulbs * herbs * vegetables * trees * gardening tools and supplies * yard art * landscape accents * stepping stones * trellises * pots * tools * driftwood * compost bins * weed whackers * goldfish * lawn mowers * gardening books and magazines


The event is free.


For more information, visit or email You can also call 510.866.8482. 




Wednesday, March 21: Planning Commission's Scoping Session for Draft Environmental Impact Report for the Lake Merritt BART Station Area Plan - City Hall, Hearing Room 1 - 6:00 pm


The City proposes to adopt a Station Area Plan for the area around the Lake Merritt BART Station. The Notice of Preparation (NOP) to draft an Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) and other information related to the project are available here on the project website (under the "Reports" section)

or visit 250 Frank Ogawa Plaza, Suite 3315, Oakland CA, 94612. 


Public comments regarding the scope of the DEIR may be submitted at the Scoping Session public hearing or in writing directed to All comments must be received no later than 4:00 pm on April 1st, 2012.



Start Date for Lakeshore Complete Streets is April 2 


It's been years in the making, but the day is almost here when construction will begin on the pedestrian, transit and streetscape improvements commonly referred to as the Lakeshore Complete Streets Project. The City has contracted with Phoenix Construction, which is expected to begin work on April 2nd. Construction will be phased to minimize disruption as much as possible, but it is expected to last for approximately four months once it begins.


The Lakeshore Complete Streets Project will improve intersections at MacArthur Blvd. and Lakeshore Ave. and also Lake Park and Lakeshore Ave., by enhancing pedestrian safety, while balancing the needs of all modes of transportation - private vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians and transit. The streetscape will improve pedestrian safety at intersections by shortening the crossing distances; it will widen the sidewalks on portions of Lakeshore and Lake Park; and it will create a pedestrian plaza and transit hub with landscaping and seating at Lakeshore and Rand Avenues. The plan calls for changing the northbound lane configuration at the traffic signal under the freeway overpass at Lakeshore and Lake Park from one dedicated left-turn lane to two dedicated left-turn lanes and one through lane. It will also eliminate the southbound right turn option from Lakeshore onto Rand Avenue to accommodate the new pedestrian plaza. Right turn egress from Rand Avenue onto Lake Park will still be possible. (Click here to see plans).


We are also hopeful that an Alameda County Transportation Commission project aimed at improving region-wide traffic signal capability will coincide in time to upgrade the signal technology at the Lakeshore and Lake Park intersection. If not, the signal upgrade will be completed separately, but once finished will permit enhanced monitoring of traffic flow and enable the City to better refine signal timing to reduce congestion at the intersection.


Many aspects of the project were initially proposed by residents, including the Grand Lake Traffic Calming Committee chaired by Jerry Cauthen, who have been lobbying for traffic calming improvements in the area for nearly 10 years. With consistent support and work from my office and the community, the Transportation Services Division sought funding from AC Transit and County ACTIA funds to garner the necessary funds to bring this vision to reality. The total project cost is $1.2 million. Beyond the grant funding, the funds came from a combination of City sources, including District 2, 3 and 5 discretionary funds (PAYGO), which have been eliminated in more recent budget years.


See E-News reports from May and December 2009 for details on this project. 



Planning Commission to Consider Application for a Dog Play Area near Astro Park on May 2


The long-debated dog park is now scheduled for hearing at the Planning Commission on Wednesday, May 2 at 6:00 pm. The reason it took so many months to get to this point is that the proponents only recently submitted their application documents for the Minor Conditional Use Permit (CUP). The CUP would allow a dog play area to be located in Astro Park near the intersection of Lake Shore Ave and MacArthur Blvd. The CUP is the last step in obtaining all necessary approvals for the dog play area.


We expect large numbers of people on both sides of the issue to attend the Planning Commission meeting and speak. My office will submit copies of all the email we have received on the topic, pro and con, over the past 18 months, prior to the Commission hearing. There is no need to write us again if you have already written.


A note on the latest procedural history: In December 2010 the Lakeview Dog Play Area proposal received design review approval from the Parks & Recreation Advisory Commission (PRAC). In July 2011 PRAC was asked to recommend approval of the dog play area CUP application to the Planning Commission, but the PRAC vote resulted in a tie and no recommendation was made to the Planning Commission. It's now up to the Planning Commission to make a final determination on this proposal, which has been very long in the making.


People have asked me if the proposed Lakeview Dog Play Area will come before the City Council. If the Planning Commission's decision, whichever way it goes, were to be appealed, the Council would serve as the appeals body. Absent an appeal, the decision of the Planning Commission will be final.


Regulation of Unattended Donation Boxes to be Considered


Oakland has seen an explosion of large metal donation containers sponsored by both non-profit and for-profit organizations. The boxes are springing up all over the City, mostly on private property such as in parking lots, near gas stations and grocery stores. The most frequently seen boxes belong to Campus California TG and US'Again, both of which have been the subject of many investigative news reports easily found online. Campus California has increased the number of boxes in Oakland from fewer than 20 last year to more than 70 this year.


If the boxes are found on public property, an encroachment permit is required. The companies were informed of this a few years ago and the boxes mostly disappeared from public places. If you see a box on a public sidewalk, you can report it to Public Works at


The boxes on private property are an issue because they are not presently regulated at all. However, they can attract graffiti, illegal dumping and scavenging, and become an eyesore. Furthermore, local non-profits such as Goodwill Industries and St. Vincent de Paul have reported a decline in donations to their area drop-off centers, which seems to correlate with the proliferation of the metal bins. Non-profits like Goodwill, St. Vincent de Paul and the Salvation Army use donated good for re-sale in their thrift shops. This not only recirculates the goods in the local economy, but also provides revenue for job training programs that directly serve Oakland residents. The organizations that are sponsoring the unattended boxes are reselling the goods overseas and either simply making a profit or in some instances using some portion of the revenue to support overseas charities.


With these issues in mind, several residents requested that the City consider regulation of the unattended donation boxes in the same way that other municipalities have done either through use of existing Planning Code requirements or some other type of permitting process. Councilmembers Kernighan and Brunner have brought forth a request for staff to develop a regulatory process that makes most sense. The Community and Economic Development Committee (CED) will consider their recommendation at its March 27th meeting.


The CED Committee meets at 2:00 pm at City Hall in the Mark Dunakin Hearing Room (Hearing Room 1). The agenda and report on this item will be available 10 days in advance of the meeting at If you would like to speak on this item, you can fill out a speaker's card in advance online or in person before the item is called for discussion.


Sign Up for the Oakland Police Alerts via


You can now register for OPD alerts by visiting By setting preferences for locations and types of notifications you would like to receive, you can receive area-specific notifications from OPD. You have the option of registering for either OPD Bureau of Field Operations I or "BFO 1" (comprised of West, Central and North Oakland, and extending to 23rd Ave), OPD Bureau of Field Operations II or "BFO 2" (comprised of East Oakland from 23rd Avenue to the San Leandro border), or both depending on alert and location preferences.  You may also follow OPD on, @oaklandpoliceca for general community announcements.


Oakland Chinatown and OPD Launching Citizens on Patrol Volunteer Program 

The Oakland Chinatown Police Department is getting ready to launch its new program, Oakland Chinatown Citizens on Patrol (OCCOP), sponsored by the Asian Advisory Committee on Crime (AACC). The goal of the program is to recruit qualified volunteers to be the "eyes and ears" for law enforcement in the immediate Chinatown area. Officer Sayaphupha stated, "The Oakland Police Department knows the importance of citizen journalism and crime reporting through today's technology. We appreciate receiving tips and assistance from our residents who are often the first-hand witnesses."




Duties will include:


- non-confrontational patrol to increase visibility in Oakland Chinatown

- assisting officers at the scene by request

- talking to donators to panhandling about city sponsored organizations

- acting as walking surveillance

- being alert to suspicious activities

- being prepared to relay witness accounts to police officers

- attending monthly team meetings (or as needed0




Men and women 18 years or older

No prior felony convictions

No misdemeanor convictions within two years of the application

Possess competent written/verbal English skills (Chinese verbal skills preferred)

Be in good physical condition

Pass a background check

Successfully complete an oral board interview

Complete and sign a waver issued by this program


How to Apply:


Step 1: Pick up an application from the OPD's Chinatown Office - 360-A 8th Street.


Step 2: Return completed form to the OPD Office in Chinatown.


Once you are determined to be a qualified candidate, the OPD will contact you for an in-person interview.


For more information, email


Family Bridges' Free State and Federal Income Tax Assistance

Family Bridges' hosted two weekends of free State and Federal income tax preparation assistance at the Hong Lok Senior Center for low-income families and seniors. Tax preparers were UC Berkeley students who had gone through a tax preparation training. IRS representatives were also on site to supervise. Visit for more information on the types of programs they provide. 



The 10th Street Bikeway Project


The City of Oakland is proposing to complete a new bikeway on 10th Street between Oak Street and 5th Avenue. Funding would be provided by Oakland's share of Measure B, Alameda County's 1/2-cent transportation sales tax administered by the Alameda County Transportation Commission, using revenues solely dedicated to bicycle and pedestrian projects.


The bikeway project is recommended in the City's Bicycle Master Plan (BMP) which calls for the installatin of bikeways throughout Oakland to encourage bicycling as a healthy, non-polluting and affordable transportation option.


The 10th St. Bikeway Project will create a 0.5-mile bikeway intersecting with the existing bikeway on 5th Ave. and the 4th Ave. Bikeway, pending construction. To the West, it will connect to a bikeway on Oak St. The bikeway will serve the Eastlake neighborhood, Laney College, the Oakland Museum of California, and the Lake Merritt BART Station (see Project Area Map below).





Below: Existing cross section:




Below: Proposed cross section: 



The project will be constructed in three phases. First, bike lanes will be installed from Oak St. to the Lake Merritt Channel, and from 4th Ave. to 5th Ave. Second, the culvert under 10th St. at the Lake Merritt Channel will be replaced by a bridge that will include bike lanes, which is a project founded by Measure DD. Third, bike lanes will be installed from 2nd Ave. to 4th Ave. following the completion of an Oakland Unified School District construction project and the removal of temporary diagonal parking along this segment. The work between 2nd Ave. and 5th Ave. will also include spot paving repairs to the conrete roadway.


You can submit your comments by Wednesday, March 29, 2012 by clicking here for the form, or you may email You can also fax your comments to 510.238.7415. Please be sure to include your name, street address, and indicate that you are commenting on the 10th St. Bikeway Project.


To view some Frequently Asked Questions on this project, go to




New Bridge Over Channel for West-Bound Traffic on 12th Street to Open on Wednesday, February 7

Photo by Erik Niemann. See more of his 12th St project photos here.

12th StreetProject Update: Great Changes Are Coming But There Will Be Traffic Congestion Thru Mid-April  


The new sidewalk across the soon-to-open bridge across the channel leading to Lake Merritt has opened to pedestrians. On the first morning after opening walkers and runners were taking in the views of the lake and the forthcoming new parkland below. Bikes will remain in the lane behind the orange K-rail for awhile yet.


Shortly, west-bound autos and bikes will have the opportunity to drive/ride over the new bridge, the one that is closer to the Lake but until well into April, there will be congestion associated with other road work and using an alternate route is strongly urged. Here's why.  The new roadway will be temporarily closed near the Courthouse, and west-bound traffic will be diverted left onto 12th Street. Because cars driving west-bound toward 14th Street will have to go in a single lane and turn left at a signal that will diverting them onto 12th Street, significant congestion will occur. East-bound traffic on 14th Street will also have to take a detour. The closed roadway heading to and from 14th Street will be the focus of work. Once this roadway re-opens (predicted to be Wednesday 3/14), traffic will again be able to flow toand from 14th Street.


Once the roadway re-opens, then extensive work will begin in front of the Courthouse where east-bound 11th Street traffic comes out of the tunnel and 12th Street traffic heads west-bound.  Reconstruction of this intersection will take 3 to 4 weeks.  During this period west-bound thru-traffic on E.12th Street will have to detour on 2nd Avenue to 10th Street or International Blvd.  


The bottom line:  pedestrians will have an easy time walking along 1st Avenue, over the new bridge and on to 14th Street and Lakeside Drive.  Cars should avoid the area if at all possible, taking alternate routes such as Grand Avenue or 10th Street to and from Downtown.  Traffic will continue to flow through the project site, but significant congestion is expected until the full roadway can be re-opened in its final configuration, which is expected long about mid-April, assuming no rain delays.


-- based on a report by Joel Peter, Measure DD Program Manager