Oakland: International Boulevard

View Oakland International Blvd TOD Plan in a larger map

Early in 2013, the California Strategic Growth Council awarded $999,836 to the City of Oakland to implement the Int'l Blvd. TOD Plan and other sustainable communitiy initiatives.

After the Oakland City Council accepted the International Blvd. TOD Plan, there was no money within the City budget to create the policies called for in the plan, much less to implement the community supported infill proposals articulated within the plan. This need became heightened with the recent dissolution of the City's Redevelopment Agency brought about by Governor Jerry Brown. 

In an attempt to find the resources for the implementation of the plan, TransForm was able to direct Great Communities Collaborative (GCC) resources to fund a grant writer to work with the City of Oakland, TransForm staff, and others to put together a proposal for the Strategic Growth Council's Community Planning Grants program. Our efforts resulted in a grant proposal that was ranked number three out of dozens of applications from around the state, scoring a 96/100 points, and which won the City of Oakland $999,836 for implementation! The winning grant proposal can be found as an attachment at the bottom of this webpage.

Since the announcement of the award, the City of Oakland has been helping TransForm and other GCC partners and allies in finding funding for local stakeholder groups to participate in the Strategic Growth Council funded work, which will include leadership development and policy research, development and community support for implementation in the issue areas called out in the plan (including tougher policies to reduce prostitution, excessive liquor store licensing and violations, street crime and gang violence, pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure improvements, blight reduction, building code enforcement, stronger renter protections to keep housing affordable, the creation of more affordable housing through revising parking costly parking requirements, and job creation through newly created employment assistance programs). All of these policies will help attract community driven development to the corridor in advance of bus rapid transit. 
Over the coming year, TransForm and the GCC will continue to work with City staff and community based organizations that serve the residents along the International Blvd. corridor in researching and developing policies that will address the above issue areas. We will also work with our allies along the corridor in building a base of informed community leaders who can support those policies as they make their way through the Oakland City Council. 
By Fall of 2013, we hope to have worked with city staff and key stakeholders along the corridor to organize an informed body of community leaders about all of the policy challenges that come with addressing the aforementioned issues along the corridor. By that time, we also plan to be working with community planning leaders on developing policy solutions for the corridor.

On March 1st, 2011, the Oakland City Council voted to Move the International Blvd. TOD Plan Forward!

More Walkable Communities in East Oakland on The Way!
We all know that the Fruitvale Transit Village has been held up as a National model of Transit Oriented Development (TOD). Well, the fever has spread to the rest of International Blvd., which is being planned to host a Bus Rapid Transit line (BRT) as early as 2015. Each future potential BRT station represents an opportunity to create miniature transit-villages, and to attract sorely needed investment in East Oakland.

For the past six months, TransForm has been working with local communities to put together a vision for International Blvd, and the results are stunning! Bike lanes, better transit, desperately needed grocery stores, mixed-income housing, jobs and other community resources are all planned to restore International Blvd. to it's glory days! Take a look at the plan yourself (92MB pdf). On the evening March 1st, 2011, the Oakland City Council voted unanimously to direct staff to find funding for a CEQA process to accompany the vision for safer, more walkable communities!

Bus Rapid Transit or "BRT" is also proposed to run from Berkeley through Oakland to San Leandro, and will make the corridor "light-rail ready".

Design vision for Oakland's International Boulevard

Over the past year, TransForm and Oakland Community Organizations (OCO) have been working together to engage community members in a planning process for the corridor, called the International Boulevard Transit-Oriented Development Plan.

Engaging Merchants and Local Residents in Land Use Planning Can Yield Great Results, Like Revitalized Business Districts AND More Mixed-Income Housing

The Plan outlines land use and urban design changes to support the transition of International Boulevard into a more vibrant community , better connecting neighborhoods along the corridor.

The Plan also proposes land use changes in order to improve walkability, bicycle and transit use. Strategies to provide more mixed-income housing to low and moderate income households near transit, minimizing the need for auto-dependancy while reducing air pollution are also included.

The plan focuss attention on several segments of the corridor that would most benefit from increased community involvement in current planning efforts:

14th to 19th Ave. (Council District 2, San Antonio)
23rd to 42nd Ave. (Council District 5, Fruitvale)
57th to 61st Ave. (Council District 6, Havenscourt-Lockwood)
71st to 77th Ave. (Council Districts 6 & 7, Hegenberger / 73rd)
89th to 101st Ave. (Council District 7, Elmhurst)
and 102nd to Durant. (Council District 7, Elmhurst South)

TransForm and OCO continue to reach out to community members to ensure valuable, meaningful involvement in the planning process. Through this outreach, TransForm and Oakland Community Organizations have also provided education on the value of creating more housing along the corridor and addressing the concerns regarding community safety, job creation, and access to getting one's daily needs met.

Main Objectives of the Plan:

  • Strengthen policies that address problematic liquor stores and attract more grocery stores
  • Create more diversified housing stock in Oakland to curb the negative effects of gentrification
  • Attract job sources
  • Strenghten policies and create programs that address prostitution and other activies that attract crime.
  • Increase access to healthcare needs, education and cultural opportunities that preserve and strengthen current community character
  • Creating a safer, better lit streetscape and building design guidelines that reduce the opportunity for crime and which strengthen and support local businesses
  • Ensure parking and traffic demand management policies take people, bikes, buses, and cars into consideration.

Get Involved 

To send a letter of support for the plan, please contact the City of Oakland's lead planner for the project, Elois Thornton at EAThornton@oaklandnet.com.

final_sgc_grant_proposal_-_international_blvd.pdf221.29 KB
Application for International Blvd Resident Leadership Program77.9 KB