Bus Rapid Transit and a new plan for International Boulevard could transform East Oakland.
A Chance to Bring New Investment to East Oakland
East Oakland has a long list of challenges, from a lack of grocery stores to high crime. Sadly, the term “urban blight” is often applied to this part of Oakland. But change is afoot.
New Bus Rapid Transit service will run along International Boulevard, likely starting in 2015. Each Bus Rapid Transit station is an opportunity to create a miniature “transit village” – areas near public transportation with a mix of shops, services, and homes – and attract sorely needed investment.
A Community-Driven Plan Shows What’s Possible
To make sure new development and investment is as community-driven and transformative as it can be, TransForm has engaged residents for many years in shaping both the Bus Rapid Transit project as well as the International Boulevard Transit-Oriented Development Plan, which was passed in 2011.
The plan for International Boulevard is both visionary and specific in addressing local needs. It outlines land use and urban design changes to support the transition of International Boulevard into a more vibrant corridor that better connects neighborhoods along the corridor. The plan also proposes changes to improve walkability, bicycling, and transit use. Strategies to provide more mixed-income housing to low and moderate income households near transit are also included.
The plan responds to specific desires by community members regarding tougher policies to reduce prostitution, excessive liquor store licensing, and street crime and gang violence. It also includes stronger renter protections to keep housing affordable and create new jobs through newly created employment assistance programs. In short, the plan is revitalizing – and it’s because local residents had such a strong imprint on it.
Now we Need the Plan to Come Alive
TransForm, as part of the Great Communities Collaborative, is working with the East Bay Housing Organizations (EBHO) and the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC) to be sure the International Boulevard Plan comes to life over the next years. If you live in East Oakland, we hope you’ll get involved.
- City of Oakland International Boulevard Transit-Oriented Development Plan
- Great Communities Collaborative - Oakland Int'l Blvd Transit-Oriented Development Implementation
For more information, contact Joel Ramos.