Oakland Bay Trail Progress and Challenges - You Can Help!

Oakland’s Measure DD, endorsed by your Bicycle Coalition and passed by voters in 2002, includes funding for several portions of the Bay Trail through Oakland. Many cyclists are already enjoying some of the completed projects, including
sculpture at 66th Ave

Current Projects – Your Input Can Help:

  1. High Street Bridge Underpass

    Plans call for the Bay Trail to traverse under each of the three estuary bridges along the Oakland shoreline. The first of these will be the High Street Bridge. Oakland staff is currently negotiating with Alameda County (the bridge operator) to utilize an existing catwalk beneath the bridge to carry the Bay Trail. Use of the catwalk will avoid objections of the Coast Guard. Lighting and security cameras are currently in place above the bridge roadway and sidewalk. The City would install new lights and security cameras at the catwalk trail and tie them into the existing system. Use of this existing structure allows the project to move forward with a review by Bay Conservation and Development Commission which is a project supporter.

    We anticipate that a successful partnership between the City and the County can be worked out. To make that success more likely, we encourage our members to contact their County Supervisor to ask for their support for the partnership. Your communication should let the supervisor know that this link in the Bay Trail is important to you and should be completed for the following reasons:salt grass image

    • 1) SAFETY - The trail is currently completed on the west side of the bridge; the East Bay Regional Park District is currently in negotiations with the property owners to the east to complete that trail section. Without this underpass, pedestrians and bicyclists will still need to make a hazardous crossing of High Street.
    • 2) A LOGICAL CONNECTION - The existing catwalk can easily be adapted to carry the bay trail. Lighting and security are already in place. Adding trail users should have minimal impact on bridge operations and maintenance.
    • 3) COUNTY POLICY - Finally, Alameda County is a major supporter of the Bay Trail. Completion of this vital link is in complete agreement with that policy of support.

    What you can do: Please take a moment to make these points to your County Supervisor. The bridge is located in District 3, represented by Wilma Chan. If you live in District 3, please contact Ms Chan. If you live in another district, you may wish to contact your own County Supervisor.

  2. Bay Trail Through the Oak to 9th Project
    This is another issue where input from our members can be helpful. The Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) is overseeing the future construction of a mixed use residential & commercial development at Oak & 9th Avenue along the Embarcadero. The Measure DD Coalition (of which your Bicycle Coalition is a member), has requested that the developer be required by BCDC to complete an interim Bay Trail through the property within 18 months of permit issuance. More details on the Oak to Ninth Project.perspective drawing of Oak to Ninth

    However, the purchase agreement between the developer and the Port of Oakland has been modified in such a way that the interim trail construction could be delayed for at least 5 and perhaps 10 years. The Measure DD Coalition has written to the BCDC. A copy of that letter is is included here and the informative Exhibits to that letter are attached at the bottom of this posting.

    What you can do: Please use this information to send your own plea to the BCDC that the interim trail not be unreasonably delayed.

    San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission
    50 California Street, Suite 2600
    San Francisco, California 94111
    Phone: 415.352.3600
    Fax: 415.352.3606
    Email: info@bcdc.ca.gov

Measure DD Coalition Letter to BDCD:

September 7, 2010

Bay Conservation and Development Commission
50 California Street, Suite 2600
San Francisco, CA 94111

Dear Chair Randolph and Commission Members:

This letter serves as a request from the Measure DD Community Coalition that, as a condition of its permit, the Bay Conservation and Development Commission require the Oak to Ninth Project developer to install an interim Bay Trail throughout the entire project within 18 months of issuance of the BCDC permit.


The Measure DD Coalition was formed in 2003 and sanctioned by the Oakland City Council to provide public input concerning projects and expenditures designated in the 2002 Measure DD Bond. One of the key themes of the $198M Bond was improved access to the shoreline which included the Oakland Estuary, Lake Merritt, and major creeks in Oakland. Measure DD designated $22M for park projects and continuation of the SF Bay Trail along the Estuary shoreline. These projects were in compliance with the Estuary Policy Plan adopted in 2000 by the City Council as a component of the General Plan. A majority of the Oak to Ninth Avenue area is public trust land which cannot be privatized. Accordingly, no housing was proposed for the Oak to Ninth Avenue area in the General Plan.

In 2003, the Port of Oakland, trustee of the 64-acre Oak to Ninth parcel, entered into an exclusive negotiating agreement with Oakland Harbor Partners (OHP) for the Oak to Ninth development parcel. OHP proposed a project that did not reflect Oakland’s Estuary Policy Plan for this area.

In 2004, Senator Perata initiated legislation on behalf of the Port of Oakland to trade out 8.75 acres of sovereign public trust lands so that housing could be built on the Oak to Ninth site. Senate Bill 1622 passed and was chaptered as Chapter 542, Statutes of 2004.

In 2006, the Oakland City Council amended the Estuary Policy Plan to incorporate the proposals of OHP for 3,100 housing units and a 40% decrease in open space for the area. The initial proposed schedule for the construction of the project was 2008 through 2022.

In spring 2010, the purchase agreement for the Oak to Ninth Avenue property was revised to permit a delay: the Port of Oakland received 25% down with the understanding that construction would not begin before a final payment which could occur as late as 2015. The revisions also included an extension opportunity at 2015.

Rationale for this Request

1. Delay is frustrating the clear intent of the voters. In November 2002, over 80% of Oakland voters passed Measure DD. The bond language specified:

Waterfront Trail and Parks Acquisition and Construction including $22 million for acquisition and development of the following parks along the Estuary waterfront: * Estuary Park at mouth of Lake Merritt Channel into the Estuary * Meadows Park at 5th Avenue * New park in area of 9th Avenue Terminal * Union Point Park at 23rd Avenue

Only the last of these parks and trail segments has been constructed. The others have been put on hold because they fall within the Oak to Ninth parcel. When the City and Port of Oakland determined that the General Plan would not fit the intent of the designated developer, the City Council amended the plan and approved a delay in construction of the San Francisco Bay Trail in the Oak to Ninth area.

Measure DD’s capital expenditure plan included $41,245,982 for Waterfront Trail and Parks Acquisition and Construction. Beginning in 2003, expenditures of these funds have yielded substantial progress in extending the Bay Trail through other areas along the Estuary. However, no progress has been made in the Oak to Ninth area.

Further, under the City’s development agreement with OHP, completion of any interim portion of the Bay Trail is not required until 2020 at the soonest!

(See Exhibit C, Phasing Schedule excerpt, which calls for interim trail segments at the completion of Phase 1 of the development, expected to be five years from the project start after OHP makes final payment in 2015.)

The voters’ intentions are being fulfilled in all areas specified in the Measure DD bond language except within the Oak to Ninth parcel. An interim Bay Trail is needed now to help mitigate this delay. 2. There is no certain time frame for providing Bay Trail access. Economic conditions have affected the Oak to Ninth development schedule in the past and may do so again in the future, with the potential to further delay access to this public trust shoreline. An interim Bay Trail is needed now to help mitigate this uncertainty by filling this critical gap in Trail continuity.

Our thanks to the Commission for considering this request.

Measure DD Interim Bay Trail Drafting Committee: Sandra Threlfall James E. Vann Naomi Schiff

File attachment: PDF icon BCDC_9_7_10-1.pdf Image icon oaklandMeasureDDLogo.jpg Image icon 66thStSculpture.jpg Image icon saltGrassImage.jpg Image icon oak2NinthPlan.jpg