Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Potholes on Shattuck Avenue--58th Street to the Berkeley Border

As many of you are acutely aware, the section of Shattuck Avenue in North Oakland between 58th Street and the Berkeley Border at Woolsey Street is replete with potholes. The ride is nothing less than rough and is worse than some of the Third World roads we have encountered in impoverished countries abroad. Some neighbors have reported damaging their vehicles when negotiating this treacherous stretch. There is no doubt in our mind that the potholes are dangerous to motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists. Not to mention that the City is violating its own blight ordinance by maintaining (or not maintaining) streets with potholes.

Given these dire conditions, we recently started a community campaign to encourage residents, neighbors and businesses to express their concerns about the condition of Shattuck Avenue to the City of Oakland and to our City Councilwoman, Jane Brunner.

The City's own Jamie Ramey from the Department of Infrastructure and Operations, Street and Sidewalk Maintenance has been very responsive in getting City crews out to fill some of the potholes on Shattuck Avenue. But this is not enough. There are still any number of potholes remaining to be filled.

While the goal is to have smoother, better maintained streets, filling potholes is a short term remedy. This section of Shattuck Avenue needs to be ground out and repaved. Unfortunately, the City is on a 85-100 year repaving cycle and Shattuck Avenue does not currently show up on the City's 5-year repaving plan. Go figure. Our only hope is to push for the City to use some of its Economic Stimulus money from the Federal Government to repave Shattuck Avenue.

Why is this important? The current condition of Shattuck Avenue contributes to blight in our community, is dangerous, and results in higher maintenance costs for drivers. Moreover, Shattuck is a major gateway into Oakland. When people leave the newly repaved section of Shattuck in Berkeley and enter Oakland they are faced with a rude welcoming--potholes. Berkeley has taken care of it's portion of Shattuck Avenue, why can't the City of Oakland do the same?

We need your help. Please contact:

To report any more potholes on Shattuck Avenue, please call or email Jamie Ramey at (510) 615-5472 or mailto:jramey@oaklandnet.comYou need to identify the location of the pothole--an address is best and the specific lane either northbound or southbound.

To request that some of Oakland's Federal Economic Stimulus money is used for repairing important infrastructure, such as repaving Shattuck Avenue, please call or email Councilwoman Jane Brunner at (510) 238-7001 or

To get greater public pressure on the City of Oakland to fix this problem, please request that Chronicle Watch take up this issue at

The only way we can get an appropriate level of service is to collectively make our voices heard. Please take this opportunity to help our North Oakland Community get what it deserves.

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