March RCPC Town Hall - BART bikeshare Station and More

Oakland Department of Transportation provides lots of information
Sunday, April 1, 2018

There wasn’t quite the full house that had greeted the January Town Hall, but the March Town Hall audience, coming to hear a follow-up report on the Rockridge BART Station Ford GoBike bikeshare station, as well as new enforcement plans for Rockridge’s many Residential Permit Parking areas, was still plentiful, and they got lots of information from the meeting.

Keith Schuerholz, newly moved to the Oakland Department of Transportation (“OakDOT”), but a long-time city employee, covered a number of topics, perhaps chief among them an new enforcement push in the City’s residential permit parking areas.  He explained that enforcement had languished for several years – partly because of lack of personnel and partly because enforcement was very labor-intensive, and hence very slow.  This year, however, both of those factors are expected to change shortly.  The City is in the process of beefing up the ranks of its enforcement officers, and as of this summer, they expect to have help from newly-acquired computerized automatic license plate readers.  By August, he said we can expect to see a lot more enforcement.  So, if you don’t have a residential permit yet because you didn’t think it was needed, you might want to think again.  He also said that the cost of permits would be going up this coming year, but at least it will be something more than a bumper ornament.

On a related topic, Keith spent some time talking about driveway red zones.  The City will come around and paint “red tips” - red curbs around a driveway, but it’s expensive - $484! – and won’t be possible until later in the spring.  Without the red tips, you have to be there to get a car ticketed (and potentially towed) for parking across your driveway.  With the red tips, it’s automatic;  BUT, it’s a double-edged sword.  If your driveway is red tipped, you’ll get ticketed if you park across your own driveway.  Keith also explained that there’s a huge backlog of cars reported for violating the 72 hour rule (parking in one spot on the street for more than 72 continuous hours).  Thus, it may take quite a while (like several months!) to get a violator ticketed and towed.   However, again, the City is working on reducing that backlog.

The remainder of the program was given by Kirby Olsen, the bikeshare coordinator at OakDOT.  He explained the controversy that had erupted about locating a bikeshare “pod” in front of the East Bay Firestorm memorial tile mural behind the BART station stairs on the west side of College Ave.  As a result, the City, BART, and Motivate, the company running the bikeshare program, identified three other alternative sites at the station.  They had a public walk-through of those sites on February 22nd and asked attendees to indicate their preferred site.  Comments were also taken by on-line polling.  Altogether, just over 100 votes were cast.  The present site received just under half the votes.  A site next to the walkway on the west side of College from BART to Miles Ave got the next highest vote total (29%) and two locations along Keith Ave. split the remainder.  If this was an election, there’d be a run-off, but it’s not.  Mr. Olsen said he’d review the results, and based on them and objective criteria he’s now developing, will make a final decision later this spring.  If the station is to be moved, that would happen this summer.   Other stations where review was requested (notably the station on Shafter Ave.) will also be reviewed under the new criteria.

RCPC has just set up a channel on YouTube (see related article), and videos of the meeting have been posted. Here are the links: segment 1  segment 2   segment 3   segment 4