Envision, plan, build, operate and maintain a transportation system for the City of Oakland—in partnership with local transit providers and other agencies—and assure safe, equitable, and sustainable access and mobility for residents, businesses, and visitors.
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SERVICE IMPACTS & EQUITY CONSIDERATIONS
Clean, healthy, sustainable neighborhoods
- Adds 10.0 FTE needed to deliver already-committed capital projects. These additional positions are needed to deliver grants, totaling over $180 million, that OakDOT has already been awarded for various capital transportation projects. These projects will deliver critical safety improvements to Oakland streets, primarily in high priority neighborhoods. Without additional staffing, OakDOT will have inadequate capacity to deliver these grant-funded projects by its committed deadlines. The potential consequences of failing to meet these deadlines include: (1) losing multi-million dollar regional, state, and/or federal grants, (2) needing to return/pay back grant dollars already spent, (3) decreasing the likelihood that OakDOT would be considered for future grant opportunities, (4) delaying the delivery of critical safety improvements to Oakland’s transportation network, and (5) perpetuating burnout and hindering retention efforts in the current OakDOT project delivery teams.
- Equity Consideration: OakDOT’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) prioritization tool places equity as the top consideration when determining which capital projects to prioritize for grant funding. By adding these new positions, this proposal would support timely delivery of infrastructure improvements to underserved Oaklanders in neighborhoods that continue to experience the impacts of historical disinvestment, which are predominantly Oakland's Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) communities.
- Adds more than $6.1 million in programs to calm traffic, improve intersection safety, and provide safe routes near schools to help reduce traffic violence and save lives. It also includes $1.6 million over the next two fiscal years to implement the City’s bike and pedestrian plans.
- Equity Consideration: Supports a safe city by assessing traffic safety issues identified by the public based on safety history and socio-economic factors with emphasis placed on residential neighborhoods in BIPOC communities and school areas. Advances and improves Oakland’s bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure to promote equity and sustainability. Data indicates that just 6% of Oakland's streets account for over 60% of severe and fatal crashes across all modes. Nearly all high injury streets are in medium- or high-ranking "Communities of Concern" a term used regionally to describe communities experiencing high rates of poverty, people of color, people with disabilities, zero car households, and English as a second language. This includes Black Oaklanders who are 2 times as likely to be killed or severely injured in a traffic crash of any type and 3 times more likely to be killed or severely injured while walking as compared to all other Oaklanders. 30% of streets in majority Asian census tracts fall on the City of Oakland Pedestrian High Injury Network - the highest percentage of any ethnicity. This includes Chinatown, where every street is a high injury corridor. Older Oaklanders (65+) are more than 2 times as likely to be killed in a crash compared to all other Oaklanders; the majority of senior traffic deaths occur while walking. For younger Oaklanders (age 1-17) traffic crashes are the second most common cause of death for this age group in Oakland. Oaklanders with disabilities also have a significantly higher mortality rate when involved in crashes.
- Adds roughly $500,000 in ongoing expenses to support the new smart parking meters, including maintenance, enforcement and transaction fees, for a combined net gain of $1.4 million annually. By making further investments in smart parking meters, in particular pay-by-plate kiosks and Automated License Plate Recognition (ALPR) enforcement, OakDOT is enhancing the parking system throughout the City, by providing easier alternatives to pay, thus reducing barriers to accessing parking spots near commercial centers. Expanding the smart parking system helps with gathering data to better understanding the parking demand and create supporting programs accordingly.
- Equity Consideration: Meter parking supports the City in better managing access to high demand public spaces. Regulating parking duration can help the City address inequities. By not charging for the private use of public space for car storage/parking, the City incentivizes driving, which provides ease and access to those who are affluent enough to afford cars, often at the expense of low-income communities and communities of color that live near freeways and heavily trafficked streets. Affluent drivers can also afford electric vehicles, which don't generate greenhouse gas emissions but also contribute less to the gas tax, which funds street maintenance. Lastly, parking meters can discourage driving, reducing unnecessary congestion throughout the City, which can contribute to decreasing the pollution burden of Oakland’s BIPOC communities that live near freeways.
- Increases revenue $850,000 annually through increasing parking citation fees by 5%. In FY 2024-25 increase parking citation fees an additional 5% will increase revenue to $1,700,000.
- Equity Consideration: This will align Oakland’s parking citation fees with those of similar jurisdictions in the area. The potential impacts may significantly harm car-dependent, low-income BIPOC Oaklanders. Parking citation fees are regressive in that they are the same regardless of one's income level; therefore, these fees disproportionately harm people who are low income. For some Oaklanders, increasing the citation fee could be the difference of losing their vehicle, job, and/or home. At the same time, street sweeping is a good stormwater pollution prevention practice as it removes waste and debris that would otherwise impact water quality. If practiced with an equity lens, it can make a meaningful difference in the cleanliness of every neighborhood in the city and decrease the likeliness of unwanted pests in the streets. Dirty streets are a common complaint from communities in high priority areas, shared via the CIP engagement process.
- Adds $770,896 in funding for OakDOT’s pilot violence and sideshow prevention program from available fund balance in Measure BB Local Streets and Roads Fund (Fund 2218). These programs implement pilot engineering treatments at locations heavily impacted by sideshows and locations where illegal/undesirable activities have frequently resulted in violence. Locations for the pilot were identified in collaboration with the Oakland Police Department, Department of Violence Prevention, the City Administrator, and other relevant entities. This additional funding will provide more resources to extend the duration of this pilot program, as the City currently works to roll our five locations per phase.
- Equity Consideration: Oakland’s BIPOC communities were specifically considered for the initial pilot. With this additional funding, OakDOT can create more traffic calming features to benefit the personal and collective safety of Oakland’s BIPOC residents.
- Adds $100,000 in discretionary funding per Councilmember for traffic safety projects, for a total of $800,000 taken from available fund balance in Measure BB Local Streets and Roads Fund (Fund 2218). Split equally among the eight Council offices (seven geographic districts and one citywide at-large office), this would provide $100,000 per Council Office for Councilmember-identified high priority traffic safety projects.
- Equity consideration: The equity impact is likely negative as this discretionary approach avoids going through the City’s adopted Capital Improvement Program (CIP) prioritization process and OakDOT’s traffic safety request prioritization process. Both the CIP and OakDOT traffic safety prioritization processes place equity and safety as top considerations when determining which priority projects to advance. It is unknown whether or how Councilmembers will consider equity for determining their projects, but the residents who will likely most benefit from these projects are those who are well-organized and/or politically connected to their respective Councilmember. In contrast, high priority equity communities prioritized through the CIP and OakDOT traffic safety prioritization processes will be disadvantaged from this funding allocation because Councilmember-earmarked projects draw upon limited staff resources, which can shift efforts away from projects with clearer ties to safety and equity. In addition, many past Councilmember-earmarked projects have not fallen on the City’s High-Injury Network, a data map that DOT uses to determine what projects to prioritize.
- Adds $100,000 for traffic safety improvement projects around Lake Merritt. According to the ordinance, the priority areas of these funds allocated for traffic safety improvements are Lake Merritt and neighborhood parks citywide. Traffic safety improvements include quick-build and relatively low-cost improvements—typically using traffic signs, pavement markings, and small-scale traffic calming devices—to improve traffic safety by reducing traffic speeds and calming driving behavior.
- Equity Consideration: OakDOT will prioritize these funds for improving pedestrian safety surrounding parks at high-risk locations determined by both safety and equity data informed by the OakDOT Geographic Equity Toolbox and the Traffic Safety Request Prioritization Model to create traffic safety for vulnerable populations, especially pedestrians, bicyclists, people with disabilities, children, and seniors.
Clean, healthy, sustainable neighborhoods
- Freezes the vacant 4.0 FTE Private Sidewalk Crew. In 2021 when Council chose to add a sidewalk crew, these four positions were initially funded by gas tax fund balance and were dedicated to performing sidewalk repairs that homeowners would be responsible for paying. Staff have started to stand up this process through using contractors to perform the sidewalk repair work. Given the extremely high vacancy rate in the department's core sidewalk operations, this internal crew focused on private repairs would not likely be staffed quickly even if not frozen. Therefore, the department does not see freezing these positions as having a significant service impact. The program will continue, using contractors.
- Equity Consideration: This proposal would not have a significant service impact and is not anticipated to have any external equity impacts. The positions cannot be sustainably funded with ongoing transportation resources, therefore, staff proposed freezing these positions until DOT can show it can recover sufficient costs from homeowners to cover the cost of the staff.
- Freezes vacant 1.0 FTE Transportation Planner II. Freezing this position will impact the department’s ability to actively manage parking prices and adjust them to reflect demand for parking in commercial districts. Current staff do not have capacity to respond to requests from Business Improvement Districts and others for comprehensive parking and loading improvements.
- Equity Consideration: This position would ensure that parking prices are actively managed and that requests from the public are responded equitably throughout the City. As a result, the department anticipates that commercial districts in high equity priority areas, such as Fruitvale and Chinatown, may not have their needs for parking price adjustments and loading improvements met.
- Freezes vacant 11.85 FTE in the Parking Meter & Vehicle Enforcement units in FY 2023-24, of which 2.0 FTE will be unfrozen in FY 2024-25. The department currently has 36.85 FTE vacant positions in these units, so this freeze will not impact current service levels as the department is already operating with a lower staff capacity.
- Equity Consideration: There is no discernible equity impact from this action.
- Freezes vacant 1.0 FTE Electrical Engineer III in the Street Lighting Administrative Unit. The department currently has 2 vacancies for this job classification and is maintaining its existing service levels without them. Freezing this position does not have a service impact.
- Equity Consideration: here is no discernible equity impact from this action.
SIGNIFICANT BUDGETARY CHANGES
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