Oakland’s Slice of the Stimulus Pie Update: $5.8M for Street Rehab

President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 signed earlier this month promises a down payment on fixing and improving the nation’s infrastructure. The $700B in it pales next to the $7-8T the Fed/Treasury have given to our central banksters. But eating cake is better than eating yellow dirt cookies, as Haitians can attest. Here is an updated list of money Oakland should see “immediately,” to spend on public amenities:

  • Oakland – Various Streets and Roads Rehabilitation Rehab City of Oakland STP-ARRA $4,774,000
  • Oakland – Citywide Curb Ramp and Sidewalk Repair Bike/Ped City of Oakland STP-ARRA $1,194,000

Oakland’s famous “80 year repaving cycle” as mentioned in this 2003 City of Oakland report should become a little shorter in places as the Oakland Public Works Dept. uses the money to rehab our streets. 

According to North Oakland blog WeFightBlight, the city is actually on a 100 year repaving cycle, and it would cost $27 million to repave or otherwise keep a high “Level of Service” condition in Oakland’s 836 miles of roads per year. Is that a boondoggle or what?

Today’s Chronicle has a full accounting of MTC’s agenda for local transportation funding priorities, with 80% of stimulus dollars targetted to maintaining existing roads and transit lines. The MTC’s own site shows that of $495 million allocated by Congress, the remaining 20% will go toward safety and new projects including the Airport Connector.

Longer term, the MTC has a “Tier 2” list of not-quite shovel-ready investments and contingency projects based on its own ability to get additional funding. These monies cannot be spent immediately:

  • Oakland – Airport to Coliseum BART air-train connection. $70,000,000 
  • BART – System-wide rehab, mostly for renovating train car interiors: $16,972,051
Since Oakland has the most BART stations (and thus potential users) than any other city, this means that city residents who hold steady jobs in San Francisco stand to benefit the most. Of course, the entire region’s BART riders will benefit from basic maintenance.

At yesterday’s MTC meeting AC Transit advocates complained, perhaps rightly so, about undue emphasis on funding  BART’s Oakland Airport connector at the expense of inner-city bus transit. I have always felt that the airport should have a connector, given the voluminous amounts of cars which sometimes create a nighttime parking lot on the way into the airport. On the other hand, if we stop flying in great numbers, then this will be Oakland’s “bridge to nowhere” within 10-15 years. I believe that any electrification of our transport systems can only be a good thing. 

Oakland’s Mayor’s office contributed a $2.6 Billion shortlist of “shovel-ready” projects through the US Mayor’s Conference earlier this year as part of the USMC’s lobbying effort led by Miami Mayor Manny Diaz.


Source of Oakland funding receivables:

MTC, http://apps.mtc.ca.gov/meeting_packet_documents/agenda_1229/TMP-3885_memo_Attach-B-1_and_B-2_02-25-09.pdf

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