Saturday, September 20, 2008

Oakland Police Partner with the Community to Remove Abandoned and Inoperable Vehicles from North Oakland

The We Fight Blight Team indicated earlier that one of its primary goals was to eliminate all abandoned and inoperable vehicles from a designated area in North Oakland. Abandoned and inoperable vehicles contribute to blight, present safety problems for children, and eliminate valuable off-street parking. During these difficult times in the real estate market, abandoned and inoperable vehicles as a component of blight also contribute to the downward spiral in real estate values. Communities punctuated by blight are less desirable as areas to relocate or live thereby directly affecting the demand and property valuations.

The We Fight Blight Team has partnered with the Abandoned Auto Detail of the Oakland Police Department to remove approximately 80 vehicles within just the past three months. The list below gives you an idea how widespread a problem abandoned and inoperable vehicles are within our North Oakland Community. The vast majority of theses vehicles were tagged and towed by the Abandoned Auto Detail. A very small percentage were removed voluntarily by the property owner and even a smaller percentage were made operable.

Jointly, the We Fight Blight Team attends lots of community meetings. We hear lots of negative comments about the City of Oakland and the City of Berkeley. Some local activists even go to great lengths to discourage others from partnering with City staff claiming that they are trying to keep the community in a condition of crime and blight through the City's inaction. Frankly, our experience is just the opposite. We have found that there are City staff that are interested in partnering with the South Berkeley-North Oakland Community to address the issues of crime and blight and want to work with respectful, thoughtful and positive people who appreciate the limitations and the opportunities the Cities present.

We want to personally thank Oakland Police Sergeant Steinberger who oversees the Vehicle Enforcement Unit of the Traffic Operations Sections for being responsive, dedicated and helpful to the North Oakland Community in dealing with abandoned and inoperable vehicles. Without his effort and that of his staff we could never clean up North Oakland of abandoned and inoperable vehicles. We are close to our goal of eliminating abandoned and inoperable vehicles in North Oakland and with the continued assistance of Sergeant Steinberger we are confident that we can reach that goal soon and begin to focus on blighted houses.

Successful reduction of crime and blight in South Berkeley-North Oakland requires partnerships and collaboration among various community groups, City staff and the Police Department. We are amazed at how effective we can be working as a small group. We can only imagine the success if all residents of South Berkeley-North Oakland could coalesce together under common values to fight blight and crime.

Abandoned/Inoperable Vehicles Resolved

533 Alcatraz. Tan Honda Accord. 2VWT643. Gone

541 Alcatraz. White Audi. 4SKG854. Side driveway. Gone

618 Alcatraz, Red Ford Sedan, 2LSJ014. Side driveway. Gone

570 63rd Street. Gray Chevy Van. 570 IJUT271. Front Yard. Gone

541 Alcatraz, White Audi 4SK6854 Gone

6518 Wheeler Silver Toyota Camry 2PPF885, Black Nissan PU 4K54304. Both Gone

600 61st (across from 609) behind the Asmarina Cafe, Silver Mercedes 2ELT706. Gone

Tremont Street, Brown BMW Gone.

65th Street, Camaro. Gone

Flints BBQ SUV Gone

735 Alcatraz. White Westphalia VW Van. No plate in side driveway. Gone

565 63rd Street, white Ford Futura, 1FKY160. Gone

636 63rd. Blue Honda Civic 1PEY331. Gone

659 63rd. White Toyota tercel EZ, 2NCE150, June 07. Gone

570 63rd, Grey Chevy Van IJVT271 Gone

Fairview/Berkeley two vehicles. Gone

727 Alcatraz. Abandoned, white Volkswagen Vanogan. No plate. Also White pickup behind Vanogan. Plate not visible. Side yard. All three Gone!!

658 63rds Street. Toyota Corolla, silver 047ZGL. Gone. Van behind it. Side yard/driveway. Both Gone

567 63rd, Brown BMW, Partial 683. Gone

636 Racine, 2 vehicles in Driveway. Blue Honda, White Van behind garbage cans. Both Gone

65th Street at Shattuck, Blue Chevrolet East Bay Smog Center, No rear plate. Gone

588 62nd Street. Blue Ford, IRZY023 on blocks and a second vehicle behind it. Gone

731 60th Street Blue toyota PU in side yard. Gone

5948 Racine. White Cadillac damaged front. Removed voluntarily

761-763 61st Street, White American Van, Side Yard under Bouganvillia. No plate visible. Gone

Between 581-577 must be 579 63rd Street (white house/blue trim), White VW passat. No plate. Also White sedan and red/orange sedan. All three gone

758 61st Street. Orange Saab Convertible with damaged front end at end of driveway. Removed voluntarily

664 62 Street, White Jaguar PRCSLRB. Gone

627 Alcatraz, White Camry 5NE6789, In front of it a Brown Sedan. Both Gone

668 Alcatraz. White Jeep. Side driveway. No plate. Gone

809 Aileen. White VW Truck, 3SEK837, Onstreet, Yellow VW Van, 5UFJ290. Gone

833 57th Street. Red VW No Plate. Gone

724 56th Street. Blue Volkswagon. No Plate. Gone

771 56th Street. Sedan on blocks with cover in front driveway. Gone

621 58th. Black Honda Accord. Gone

623 58th, White Ford, 2UZB587. Gone

767 59th Street, Brown Buick Sedan, 042YPB. Gone

5941 MacCall Red PU, behind blue blazer. Operable

651 Poirer Street, 300 Turbo, Brown Mercedes IFCP125. Gone

5926 Whitney. White Toyota PU, SD33785. Gone

5814 Dover Street (behind gate). Tan Sedan, no plate. Possibly Toyota. Gone

5832 Dover Street. Silver Honda, IMVY394. Gone

819 Arlington Avenue. Blue Volvo. No plates. Gone

818 Arlington Avenue. Blue Toyota. 5FXV749. Gone

822 60th. Grey Sedan, White Sedan in driveway. No plates. Gone

5930 Genoa. White VW Van in Driveway. No plates. Gone

5599 Genoa. Green Nissan, 3FCU030. Gone

843 56th (next door). Tan Acura Legend, 5XZC407, White Ford Sedan with Black Top. Gone

5520 Shattuck Avenue, Brown Sedan, American. In front of Garage. Gone

5414 Genoa. Green Datsun, 297AMH. Gone

707 53rd Street. Brown PU with couch in it at end of driveway. No plates visible. Gone

732 53rd Street. Silver Lexus. No plates visible. Gone

754 53rd Street. Onstreet. Blue Saturn. No Plates. Gone

830 53rd Street. Red Jaguar, 2XXW851. Gone

836 53rd Street. Red BMW 5DUG566, Tan Toyota 5CAP716. Both Gone

551 54th Street. Blue Toyota Celica GT., IFA5195. Gone

626 54th Street. Silver Honda Civic, 607YGG. Gone

639 54th Street. Red Toyota Sedan, 3BBC931. Gone

859 55th Street. Dark blue foreign sedan. 3SKB762. Gone

544 57th Street, Red Volvo sedan. No plates. Gone

583 57th Street. Brown/Yellow Ford Bronco, 4XLJ423. Operable

597 59th Street. Blue Toyota Van, 2TDF019. Gone

5942 MacCall Blue Volvo IRHL 989. Gone

607 55th Street. Blue Volvo, 3XWU882. Gone

750 55th Street. Blue American Sedan, 4YIK681. Gone

5715 MaCcall (onstreet). Saturn Station Wagon, 3RS6385. Gone

751 Aileen. Red Toyota PU with Camper Shell. Gone


Raymond Johnson said...

Question: Were some of these vehicles removed from private property?

I just noticed my neighbor's (now gone) vehicle on the list, and it had been parked at the back of her drive. Normally, she parked her daily use car behind it.

Certainly it wasn't operable, but it's not like it was sitting back there rusting, and most casual passers-by probably never thought it was inoperable. Frankly, I am surprised anyone would have noticed but us (her driveway is between her house and us).

This is a little disconcerting. Do you have any additional information? Thanks.

Fight Blight said...

Thanks for your concern Raymond. You do not identify the address so it is hard to know what vehicle you are talking about.

In the City of Oakland it is against the law to maintain an inoperable or abandoned vehicle on public or private property. In general, if a vehicle is suspected of being inoperable or abandoned it may be tagged by the Oakland Police Abandoned Auto Detail. The tag consists of a large sticker posted on the windshield notifying the property owner that the vehicle is considered to be abandoned or inoperable. The property owner then has up to 10 days to ensure the vehicle is either operational, is properly stored in an enclosed garage or has removed the vehicle. Otherwise, the Oakland Police can tow the vehicle and eventually dispose of it. This is the case whether the vehicle is on public or private property.

The law is intended to address conditions that can contribute to blight. In this case, if the property owner were to store the inoperable vehicle in their enclosed garage it would not have been towed. It is also possible that the property owner, after having the vehicle tagged, voluntarily removed it. If the vehicle were tagged, they can contact the Oakland Police and ask for an extension of time to properly deal with the vehicle.

Blight ordinances are intended to ensure that property owners maintain their property. In Oakland the community, through the Blight Ordinance, has established a set of commonly accepted values as to the expected condition and maintenance of properties. While it may be disconcerting that the City may have towed your neighbors vehicle, it is the law.

Raymond Johnson said...

...should sit on public streets for weeks on end, but I also don't think people should be forced to move decent-looking cars from their own driveway, just because they aren't...

Fight Blight said...


While I certainly respect and understand your point of view, I respectfully disagree. Because the law was developed and passed with public review and comment, there are others who see a value in not allowing inoperable vehicles to persist on private property. At this juncture, your only recourse is to petition the local government to change the abandoned vehicle ordinance to address your concerns. We Fight Blight could not and would not support the weakening of such laws.

Haroon said...

How does it become legal for you to give out peoples PRIVATE addresses on a public web site. If the public has passed the Fight Blight ordanance did they also give the city/county to publish the addresses of people who's cars the city removed?

Fight Blight said...

Addresses as well as the legal property owner are publicly available records. We are not aware of any law that precludes us from reporting that certain properties are the subject of a blight investigation or the subject of an abandoned/inoperable vehicle investigation. By posting the address where alleged violations of the blight ordinance are taking place, the community itself can keep better track of the resolution of blight issues.