Abel’s eNews: Making progress on potholes and repaving, National Night Out, tackling Chinatown sidewalk encroachments, new bridge opens

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Potholes in District 2 Streets Filled

Oakland Public Works crews hit the streets filling potholes in District 2 last month as part of the City’s annual Road Repair Blitz. Councilmember Guillén (photos) pitched in to help fill in a few around Cleveland Heights, Ivy Hill, San Antonio and Grand Lake areas. There are more potholes than hours in the day, but our hard-working crews filled 368 potholes in District 2.

My office is focused on getting more of them filled during the coming months as part of Public Works’ ongoing work schedule – but let’s pause for a minute to celebrate our successes. We will be working with City staff who are putting a plan together with the engineers to get a better grasp on how to be more efficient in their day-to-day duties to fill potholes throughout the year. Thanks for your patience.

The total scorecard citywide recorded 5,208 potholes filled, nearly 7,300 square feet of minor street repairs, more than 1.6 miles of streets milled and repaved, more than 13 city blocks crack-sealed, and 1,650 square feet of street-base repair. Our street-repair crews worked extended hours and through weekends during the almost two-months-long campaign. We’re grateful for their dedication and hard work.

We’re making progress toward reaching our goal of filling 20,000 potholes this year. As is the case with a lot of cities around the country, many Oakland roads need complete reconstruction or resurfacing. Looking ahead, the City will be doing more long-term, repaving roadwork over the next couple of years, thanks to $350 million from the Measure KK infrastructure bond, passed by voters last November. We’re accelerating our current five-year repaving plan and will repave 73 miles of roads (more than 1,100 blocks) by the end of 2019. Also, new state funding through the recent passage of Senate Bill 1 will allow Oakland to hire 20 new workers for street maintenance and buy the new equipment these crews will need.

The City crews work off a list of service requests from residents. To make sure problem spots you know about get on the list: Report potholes in your neighborhood throughout the year on the SeeClickFix mobile app or email opwcallcenter@oaklandnet.com.

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26th Street Mill and Fill
We’re also getting more than potholes filled… East 26th Street between 19th and 21st Ave. was milled – stripping away the old asphalt – last Saturday and the new paving was laid yesterday. I had a chance to hang out with the crew – it’s hard work but the final result looks great. We’re working on getting more streets in District 2 repaved. We’ll keep you posted on new streets coming to your neighborhood.


New 10th Street Bridge Opens
The new 10th St. Bridge is open and is one of the smoothest rides in District 2. Give the new road a test drive and use it to hop over to see the Dorothea Lange exhibit, “Politics of Seeing,” at the Oakland Museum of California – 130 photographs that celebrate the 50th anniversary of the artist’s gift of her personal archive to OMCA – at this Friday’s Off the Grid event for great food, live music and family fun (5:00-10:00 pm). And look for a grand-opening celebration for the new bridge this fall.

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Chinatown Explores Solutions to Sidewalk Encroachments
I convened a meeting of Chinatown grocers, the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, the City Administrator’s office, Alameda Public Health last month to discuss encroachment on Chinatown’s public sidewalks. Our small “Mom and Pop” merchants are facing tough competition from big chains (such as 99 Ranch Market). My office and City staff continue to receive complaints from seniors, the disabled and mobile impaired about Chinatown grocers setting up bins and tables outside their storefronts that create pedestrian obstacles on the sidewalk.

We had a good turnout from merchants and brainstormed ideas that could help improve the situation, including a common recycling area for cardboard boxes, stricter enforcement for loading zones, scheduling deliveries in the morning, and painting a three-foot line around the allowable encroachment area on sidewalks. My top priority is the health and safety of our residents. We’ve heard horror stories of illegal vending in San Francisco resulting in a death. The City Administrator will present the Council with recommendations to improve the situation.



Community Listening Tour for A’s New Ballpark
Tuesday, August 22, 4:30-7:30 pm | Everett and Jones BBQ, 126 Broadway
Wednesday, August 30, 4:30-7:30 pm | La Estrellita Café, 446 12th St.
The Oakland Athletics are conducting community “office hours” to gather feedback about possible locations for a new ballpark in Oakland. You’re invited to these two forums in District 2 to talk with A’s President Dave Kaval this month. For more info

You can also share your ideas and concerns about the siting of a new stadium with Councilmember Guillén at aguillen@oaklandnet.com.

Wednesday, September 6 | Public Safety Town Hall
5:30-7:00 pm | Roosevelt Middle School, 1926 E.19th St.
Join Councilmember Guillén, EBAYC, Bella Vista NCPC and Trybe as we host Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick and Public Safety Director Venus Johnson in a discussion about our neighborhood concerns about safety, crime and the police. Doors open with potluck at 5:30 pm. The town hall starts at 6:00 pm. Potluck: Bring a dish or beverage to share if you can. Childcare will be available. For more info: Sarah Ting, sting@oaklandnet.com


Saturday, September 9 | Back-to-School Volunteer Fair
10:00 am-12:00 pm Lakeview Elementary School, 746 Grand Ave. (across from farmers’ market)

SAVE THE DATE: Help create a bright future for Oakland: Mentor, tutor or read with kids; help out at after-school programs; assist in the classroom or office; provide tech support; raise funds or plan events for schools. You can volunteer one-time or in an ongoing role. Come to the fair to meet different nonprofits and your perfect volunteer match. PLUS a raffle with fun prizes! Learn more: oaklandedfund.org/volunteerfair

Conversation about Community-Police Relations
Last month, we had a frank conversation at St. Anthony School with Police Chief Kirkpatrick and more than four-dozen Latino residents. The discussion focused on clarifying OPD policies about the treatment of undocumented immigrants and Latino residents, and OPD’s relationship with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department and ICE in the handling of undocumented detainees. Residents shared their ideas for improving the experience of Latino residents, youth and others during interactions with police officers. Read more about OPD’s immigration policy. For more info: Sarah Ting, sting@oaklandnet.com



Pancakes and Cleanup at San Antonio Park
What a memorable day at our community pancake breakfast at San Antonio Park! More than 75 neighbors of all ages came out for pancakes and fellowship last Saturday. We also picked up trash, cleaned up graffiti, and watered the 27 new elm trees circling the park. Neighbors had a chance to meet each other and discuss neighborhood issues with City staff. My thanks to our stellar volunteers, Parks & Rec staff and my team who made it all come together so seamlessly.

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National Night Out – District 2 Style
My team and I attended 31 National Night Out parties throughout District 2 Tuesday night! I was personally able to visit 13 house parties – from 23rd Avenue to Crocker Highlands. We had a blast getting to meet new neighbors and see old friends.

This is really one of my favorite events of the year. When neighbors look out for each other, we're all better off. Great food and fun – magic tricks, a cover band, egg throwing contest, paella, tacos – what a night! Thank you to all our hosts for organizing our neighborhoods. Let's keep the sense of community going throughout the year.

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National Night Out fosters police-community partnerships and raises awareness about crime prevention in the neighborhood by having residents get to know each other. You may want to take the next step and start a Neighborhood Watch Group on your street or get involved in your Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council.

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Celebrate Black Business Month in August
The number of Oakland businesses owned by African Americans grew by 50% from 2007 to 2012. Founded in 2016, the Black Arts Movement and Business District – spanning the 14th Street corridor from Lake Merritt to Downtown – now encompasses more than 20 black-owned businesses. Among them are newcomers Benny Adam Grooming Parlor, 310 Gallery, and Indie Award winner Town Biz, which features products by Oakland-based artisans. For Black Business Month, check out these local stores and many more around town listed in the new online directory by BAOBOB, the Bay Area Organization of Black Owned Businesses.


Saturday, August 6 | Oakland Municipal Band Concert
1:00-3:00 pm | Edoff Memorial Bandstand, Lakeside Park (across from Garden Center, 666 Bellevue Ave.)
Don’t miss the Oakland Municipal Band’s last concert of the 2017 Season. Celebrating its 106th season of providing free concerts at Lakeside Park, the band is one of the oldest musical organizations in the country. Lakeside Park is a cultural center of the city, and the free concerts bring residents of all ages and backgrounds together. Bring a lawn chair or blanket, and a picnic lunch. For more info

Thursday, August 17 | Lakeshore Merchants Meeting
3:00-4:00 pm | Lakeshore Baptist Church, Family Room, 3534 Lakeshore Ave.
Last May, Councilmember Guillén met with about 20 merchants, City staff and police officers to discuss street cleanliness and litter, uneven sidewalks, tree trimming, the possibility of creating parklets, aggressive panhandling and hosting a street festival. The group will meet again this month to continue developing their ideas and next steps. For more info: rraya@oaklandnet.com


Soak in Savings on Solar Panels and Clean-Energy Cars
For the third year, Oakland is participating in Bay Area SunShares, a program where Oakland residents and City employees and retirees can purchase solar panels, zero-emission vehicles and electric-vehicle chargers at a discounted rate. The program launches August 7 and will continue through November 10. SunShares pools the buying power of individual participants to get more competitive pricing from solar companies and vehicle manufacturers. 

Pre-vetted solar installers have been selected and will be available starting August 7 to schedule home solar evaluations. Register by November 10 to receive a no-cost, no-obligation solar proposal. To receive the full solar discount, installation contracts must be signed by December 31. For more info

Back to School | Changes to Bus Service for Students
After OUSD and AC Transit worked together to find a solution to the problem of costly supplemental bus service for students at Community Day, Montera Middle and Skyline High schools, the transit agency has finalized its changes for the 2017-18 school year.

AC Transit is making adjustments to its service – effective August 20 – to preserve the school bus lines relied upon by the greatest number of OUSD students. In some instances, a school bus line may have a minor schedule change to match a new school bell schedule. In other instances, a single trip or an entire line may have been eliminated. Click here to access the supplementary service timetables for the coming school year (scroll for Oakland schools affected)