Transport Oakland NextGen meeting next Monday, 5/21

Join us at 6:00PM on 5/21 and be a part of Transport Oakland’s future

Transport Oakland invites all interested supporters to attend a meeting on Monday, May 21st from 6-8PM at the offices of Toole Design Group (1635 Broadway, Suite 200). You can find our meeting’s agenda here.

We are seeking a new board that can champion great transportation and policy in Oakland, and all are welcome. We want any new board for TO to make the organization their own and accomplish great things we would have never even imagined. At Monday’s meeting, we’ll cover how Transport Oakland’s board has worked in the past, what available resources our organization has for a new board, and brainstorm what the next generation of Transport Oakland would look like.

If you plan to attend, please contact christopher@transportoakland.org or liz@transportoakland.org – you’ll need to contact us to get the access code to the building. Food and drink will be provided.

Thanks for reading and thank you for continuing to support great transportation in a great city.

Transport Oakland statement on the City Strike

Mayor Schaaf and Members of the Oakland City Council,

Transport Oakland is gravely concerned with the progress of labor contract negotiation with City unions. Our vision is to achieve transportation infrastructure and policy that brings livability, vitality, sustainability, and equity to Oakland – a vision that is placed further in jeopardy the longer an impasse remains between the City and its unions.

While both sides have marshaled their respective statements, studies, and statistics, it can be hard to sift out the truth of Oakland’s financial status. We are not able to definitively declare one side wrong and the other right (we’re experts in transportation policy, not public administration, after all). But we do want to suggest the following  principles to guide continued negotiations:

  • Oakland’s elected leadership must continually pursue a more equitable city, both for its residents and its workers.
  • A strong, talented, motivated workforce is the lifeblood of a high-functioning government
  • Oakland cannot recruit and retain this type of workforce if it does not pay enough for workers to live in a city that is getting more expensive by the day.
  • The City must reform the temporary/part time (TPT) worker system, even if the costs associated with its reform require painful trade-offs on all sides; it’s the right thing to do for the City’s most vulnerable employees.
  • All sides must agree to solutions that respect the trust given by the taxpayers of Oakland; any agreement must be sustainable in the near, medium, and long term. A short-term “win” for either side is not helpful if it simply sets up another budgetary crisis in a few years.

With this in mind, we ask that all sides return to the bargaining table to negotiate in good faith and work collectively to identify creative solutions to secure a contract agreement. Any deal struck between the City and its unions may not resolve every important contract issue; we request a proactive plan be put in place for dialogue to address and fund those sticking points in the upcoming months…well ahead of the next negotiations.

Negotiations in good faith means both sides must be willing to set aside rhetoric and get down to the hard work of identifying and agreeing upon the necessary trade-offs and consequences of every budget decision. Areas most in need of reform (such as the temporary/part time worker system, or reforming OPD’s abuse of overtime) have the potential to inflict the most pain when being rectified; united action and shared sacrifices will be necessary to see such long-overdue reform through.

We implore the City and unions to return to the negotiating table to forge a deal that treats workers fairly, advances equity within the City, and creates a sustainable path forward for future labor agreements.

 

Transport Oakland

Liz Brisson, President

Michael Schwartz, Vice President

Christopher Kidd, Secretary

Kenya Wheeler

Rachel Berger

Dispatches from the 5/24 AC Transit Board Meetings

(Editor’s note – many thanks to Transport Oakland super-volunteer Luke Kosar for attending the May 24th AC Transit Board of Director’s meeting and writing up this great recap of the meeting. Thanks Luke!)

BRT Updates, Electric Buses, and Service Changes

With the issue of supplemental school service to the Oakland Hills resolved for now, the A.C. Transit Board of Directors tackled many delayed items during their May 24th board meeting.

First, they quickly moved to accept several reports on items ranging from travel expenses and investment returns, to profits from surplus equipment liquidation. They also approved the purchase of five battery-electric buses for $4 million, $2.3 million of which will come from a federal zero-emissions transit grant. The new buses and charging technology will come from Gillig, a manufacturer based in Livermore. Read more

Announcing: Transport Oakland’s Policy Group

Transportation policy can be fun to watch, and critical to engage, but policy is always better with friends. Transport Oakland created the Transport Oakland Policy Group for this exact purpose. Whether you’re new to Oakland and want to learn about current events, or know Oakland well and want to learn how our transportation policy gets made, the Policy Group mailing list may be for you. Read more

More chances for City Budget feedback, can the bike plan contract pass PWC?, and BART Twitter town hall! 3 Things to Watch 5.22.17

3 Things to Watch 5.22.17

Transport Oakland is committed to shining a light on all the transportation-related things going on in Oakland and the East Bay. We recognize that it’s hard to keep up with all the agendas, PDFs, and arcane terminology. To that end, we’ve launched a regular series called “3 Things to Watch” to demystify the transportation world and let you know how you can make your voice heard on issues that matter to you. Tips for future 3 Things to Watch items should be sent to christopher@transportoakland.org.

#1: Only 2 City Budget Forums Left; Council President’s Draft Budget Coming Soon

What it is: The City’s budgeting process rolls on. There are still lots of opportunities to get involved before the budget is adopted at the end of June! Read more

Transport Oakland is seeking new board members

Building off early success, Transport Oakland seeks to expand its six-person Board of Directors. We are looking for people who are passionate about Oakland and have a working understanding of and interest in local transportation, politics, and/or fundraising. We especially encourage candidates who have experience working with or are part of Oakland communities underrepresented in transportation decisions and processes (e.g., low income communities, communities of color, neighborhoods outside of downtown, people with disabilities, etc.) and are seeking a wide range of ages, gender orientations, professional experiences, and preferred transportation modes.

If you are interested in learning more, please download our full posting, complete an application or contact Kenya Wheeler (kenya@transportoakland.org)

Transport Oakland’s Response to Mayor Schaaf’s Draft 2017-19 City Budget

Mayor Schaaf & Members of the Oakland City Council,

Transport Oakland is pleased to support the draft City budget released on April 28th, pending the adjustments promised by Mayor Schaaf at the May 2nd City Council meeting. Transport Oakland feels that the current draft budget reflects our platform of livability, vitality, sustainability, and equity for the City and its residents. The draft 2017-2019 budget seeks to make the best of a precarious budget situation, with a $32 million operating deficit and many departments being asked to tighten their belts.

Of special importance in this year’s budget is the funding of a fully-fledged Department of Transportation; it represents a promise kept to the voters of Oakland and a vehicle for timely delivery of the Measure KK infrastructure bond. The Oakland Department of Transportation, being funded largely from sources outside the General Fund, will have a minimal impact on the City’s budget deficit. Read more

City Budget, ride bikes with Ryan Russo, and why is the Oakland Bike Plan contract delayed again? 3 Things to Watch, May 2017

Transport Oakland is committed to shining a light on all the transportation-related things going on in Oakland and the East Bay. We recognize that it’s hard to keep up with all the agendas, PDFs, and arcane terminology. To that end, we’ve launched a regular series called “3 Things to Watch” to demystify the transportation world and let you know how you can make your voice heard on issues that matter to you. Tips for future 3 Things to Watch items should be sent to christopher@transportoakland.org.

#1: Draft City Budget & CIP are out for public review

What it is: On Friday, April 28th, Mayor Schaaf’s office released their draft for the 2017-19 Oakland City Budget and their draft of the City’s Capital Improvement Plan. Read more

Enforcing Safe Pedestrian Access During Oakland’s Construction Boom

What do you when you’re walking and you see the sidewalk ahead is closed–do you go across the street or walk in the travel lane to get through? If you are like me (and many others), you probably walk in the street. Humans regularly choose convenience over safety when the built environment forces them to choose.

Recently, OakDOT issued guidance to require designing for pedestrian convenience (as well for bicyclists and bus facilities) when buildings are under construction. According to the new guidance:

  • “Pedestrian Detours” are not acceptable in Downtown Oakland, along major transit corridors, or along neighborhood commercial streets.  A sidewalk that is completely closed and requires crossing to the other side of the street is called a “pedestrian detour.” Detours are only allowed when there is a construction flagger present.
  • “Pedestrian Diversions” must be provided. A “Pedestrian Diversion” is  is a temporary walkway installed on the same side of the street as the obstruction allowing pedestrians to bypass the construction without having to cross the street.

So, how do project sponsors know they have to comply with the new requirements? When a construction sponsor files for an “Obstruction Permit” to block sidewalk or street space, they must submit a “Temporary Traffic Control Plan” (TTCP) that OakDOT staff review for compliance with the guidance before the permit is issued.

Oakland is entering a construction boom, so now is an important time to ensure construction project sponsors are aware of and complying with the new requirements. And now is also an important time to ensure that OakDOT has staffing resources to provide enough inspectors to enforce the new guidance and respond to complaints made through SeeClickFix or the Call Center.

We noticed some sidewalk detours around Oakland and did a little digging about how the new guidance was affecting them. Read more

3 Things to Watch, April 2017

3 Things to Watch 4.6.17

Transport Oakland is committed to shining a light on all the transportation-related things going on in Oakland and the East Bay. We recognize that it’s hard to keep up with all the agendas, PDFs, and arcane terminology. To that end, we’ve launched a regular series called “3 Things to Watch” to demystify the transportation world and let you know how you can make your voice heard on issues that matter to you. Tips for future 3 Things to Watch items should be sent to christopher@transportoakland.org.

#1: CHA-CHING! ACTC CIP Poised to Award Oakland More than $40 Million

What it is: At the end of last month, the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC) released their Draft 2018 Comprehensive Investment Plan (CIP). Of $261 million earmarked for transportation spending in Alameda County over the next two years, OakDOT is lined up to receive over $40 million for mobility projects across the city. Read more