Connect Oakland is a self- organized advocacy organization. We volunteer our time to promote rethinking the underutilized I-980 corridor into a vibrant community that will reconnect West Oakland to Downtown.
Connect Oakland is an open membership organization led by:
Christopher Sensenig, Founder
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5 thoughts on “Build Connections!”
Please contact me regarding Northgate Ave, and the Northgate Neighbors, a group that is fighting for change and believes strongly in the removal of 980.
How about leaving 980 in place but since it is sunken, cover it and build over it . Result would be much more usable land and more connectivity between downtown and West Oakland.
Let us know if you’d like to keep folks updated on this thread – https://neighborland.com/ideas/oak-to-remove-highway-980-wh
We have studied leaving 980 in place. There are three critical drawbacks to that option.
1. 980 currently has a traffic volume that is only modestly higher than the capacity of a well-designed surface arterial. See the traffic information here.
2. Building over 980 would create a tunnel similar to the Caldecott that requires 24/7 staffing and extensive mechanical ventilation. As the Big Dig in Boston proves, this is a far more expensive proposition.
3. Building over the highway would keep the same underutilized infrastructure at great expense without increasing transit capacity or improving transbay resilience.
You folks are correct, in the myopic sense, that I-980 is not necessary to the economic health of downtown Oakland, and boulevarding it would improve the urban environment and economy there.
However, what you either don’t understand, or don’t admit on your website, is that I-980 functions as a “long off ramp” for the regional freeway system.
Caltrans could not remove I-980 without a massive reconstruction of the entire “maze”. The interchanges between I-80/I-580/I-880/CA-24 would all have to be changed. This would cost approximately a jillion dollars and require a lot of right of way, aka people’s houses. I believe the term for this sort of goodness is “robbing Peter to pay Paul”.
Meanwhile, the San Francisco office bubble has inflated and popped and Oakland barely felt a breeze in the process. Maybe in twenty years this might be worthwhile.