Thursday, April 16, 2009

The City of Oakland Fills Potholes on Shattuck Avenue

We recently got this response below from Jaime Ramey, PWA- Department of Infrastructure and Operations Street and Sidewalk Maintenance, regarding the problems with potholes on Shattuck Avenue from Woolsey Street to 58th Street. We appreciate Mr. Ramey's quick response and his dedication to fixing the potholes. However, we have to wonder with Oakland's infrastructure being in such a poor state, what liability claims the City faces when they knowingly have and maintain dangerous conditions for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians.

We filled approximately 40 potholes with a cold patch material on our first pass of Shattuck between 58th Street and the Berkeley Line. The cold patch will not hold up in the smaller holes. The asphalt plants have not been open on a regular basis where we purchase a finer grade of material to fill smaller potholes. We will return once it comes available and we will continue to monitor the street until such time it is resurfaced, but as you stated and I confirmed with the Community and Economic Development Agency, Pavement Management section this morning that Shattuck Avenue is not on the five year paving plan.

This is unfortunate, but keep in mind there are 830 miles of asphalt pavement in Oakland and both the Public Works Agency and the Community and Economic Development Agency are working together to keep our streets safe for vehicle and bicycle travel.

Jamie Ramey
PWA- Department of Infrastructure and Operations
Street and Sidewalk Maintenance
7101 Edgewater Drive, Bldg. 4
Oakland, Ca 94621
(510) 615-5472

It is abundantly clear that many of the problems with our street infrastructure rest at the hands of PGE, EBMUD and other utilities that tear up the streets for utlity repairs and improvements and then fail to patch and repair the gutted streets to appropriate standards. Take a hard look next time at your local streets and you will see that many of the failures are related to poor quality patch jobs from the utility providers. One has to wonder what the City is doing to ensure that utility providers are leaving the streets in substantially the same condition after their job is done as before they cut into the pavement.

It is also abundantly clear that the City must return to focusing on core City services such as infrastructure and stop trying to be all things to all special interests. We cannot rely only on federal and state funding to repave our streets. Tough budget choices need to be made to address the huge and ever growing backlog of infrastructure repairs and ensure additional funding is available to begin chipping away at the mounting problems. As the budget discussions occur, you need to ask your City Councilperson, "What are you doing to preserve, maintain, repair and replace the City's infrastructure?" The problems we are leaving for future taxpayers--our children-- by our own lack of action and leadership are astounding.


Trip said...


This relates indirectly to blight. Did you all know that Oakland has a new public crime mapping service at You can even subscribe to crime alerts. Get this, Lincon, Nebraska has over 1,000 subscribers and Oakland, CA has 3 subscribers. I honestly don’t think anyone knows about this site.

Check it out:

Tripper Jones

Fight Blight said...

Thanks. Crime and blight are related. We appreciate the information. It is a great tool. We will put a link to it.

Stephen Lynch said...

This Saturday, April 25 over 2,000 volunteers will be hammering, sawing and painting for National Rebuilding Day, coordinated by Rebuilding Together Oakland (RTO). They’ll be repairing and rehabilitating 25 homes and eight community facilities as part of RTO’s April Rebuilding Program.

This program is one of several run by the Rebuilding Together's Oakland chapter. There are additional programs that provide home safety improvements for seniors during the winter, and large-scale neighborhood rehab in the fall. All of these programs benefit the elderly, disabled and those who cannot afford to do their own repairs.

If you’d like additional information, you can also visit Rebuilding Together on the Web at

Thank you,

Stephen Lynch