Deadline Approaching to Propose Community Enhancements Funded by College Avenue Safeway Project.

Community input solicited for possible uses of $400,000 in funding
Thursday, July 25, 2019

As reported in last month’s Rockridge News, the settlement reached by community groups [including RCPC] with Safeway resulted in $400,000 to be made available for “community enhancements” within five years of the store’s opening.  The five year deadline is approaching in January, so the choice is, “use it, or lose it.”

Several possible projects have been suggested by community members.  These fall general into four categories:  1) mitigation measures to discourage cut-through traffic on residential streets near the Safeway.  Possible streets include Colby St. north & south of Alcatraz Ave., Hillegass Ave. north & south of Alcatraz, and the easternmost block of Alcatraz.  Measures could include speed bumps, signage, or roundabouts with yield signs.  2)  Improvements to existing traffic signals.  The two signals mentioned are at Claremont/College and Claremont/Mystic/Auburn [Safeway loading dock].  3) Pedestrian crossing enhancements (e.g., flashing light for pedestrians) along Alcatraz Ave. at either Colby or Hillegass.  4)  Purchase of the “point” of the currently-vacant parcel at College/Claremont for a public “mini-park.

If readers wish to suggest additional options, they should write (quickly) to, or send a letter addressed to RCPC Land Use Committee to 4123 Broadway PMB 311, Oakland CA 94611.  The three groups will be meeting in the next month or two to reach a decision on the use of the funds.


UPDATE - July 25, 2019.  After Safeway was caught violating its approved plans in 2014, it agreed to modify the settlement agreement to increase the community enhancement funds from $300,000 to $400,000, to extend the deadline for making a proposal by two years (to 2022), and to extend the time alloted to implement the proposal to 18 months.  Nevertheless, quick action will be required.  The three community groups are talking to Oakland and Berkeley city staff, and will meet again to finalize a decision on a project in early September.