Drive or bike in just about any Oakland neighborhood and you're bound to hit a stretch of rough road or a cluster or potholes. Take a walk and you'll come across sidewalks with uneven concrete, deep cracks and sections missing altogether. What gives?
Maintaining public roads costs a considerable amount of money. The City of Oakland reports that street maintenance costs range from $8 per square yard for preventative maintenance, such as filling potholes, to $77 per square yard for complete resurfacing.
Oakland would need to spend $27 million per year just to maintain the roads' current condition. The city's street renovation budget was less than $3 million in 2016-2017-not even close.
Enter Measure KK
Measure KK, which passed last November, allows $350 million in bonds to help pay for road improvements. It also marks $150 million in bonds to upgrade city facilities such as libraries, parks and fire stations, as well as $100 million in bonds for affordable housing.
According to Oakland's Capital Improvement Plan, thanks to Measure KK, the city allocated an additional $10 million to street pavement, $1 million to sidewalk repairs and $1.5 million to bike improvements for 2017-2018, with more coming over the next five years.
The funds will allow expedited completion of the city's five-year paving plan, resulting in 1,100 blocks of newly paved streets. We'll also see 50 miles of new or improved bike lanes, 600 new ADA ramps and 80,000 square feet of sidewalk replacement.
What you can do
As Oakland gets to work on improving our chewed-up roads, you can help the city keep unsafe road conditions in check. Report potholes and other infrastructure needs-including sidewalk repairs-through one of the following methods:
Call Oakland Public Works at 510-615-5566.
Email [email protected].
Use the SeeClickFix mobile app.
Report using the SeeClickFix website.
Tripping and falling on an unsafe sidewalk or accidentally riding your bike over a pothole can cause serious injuries. Use caution when walking or biking to work or school.
If you do end up hurt in an accident caused by unsafe road conditions, contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. If the city is aware of the condition, but didn't take any steps to improve it, it could be found liable.
Photo courtesy of Flickr