In one Oakland, CA neighborhood, residents claim the city is neglecting their much-needed road repairs — and are now demanding change from local lawmakers.
On Wednesday, July 15, residents of East Oakland spray-painted circles around potholes throughout their neighborhood, writing “FIX ME” next to the small craters, CBS San Francisco reported.
While the potholes were hard to ignore before, they’re now impossible to miss. Nor is this a new problem for many Oakland residents — in 2013, a study revealed that 60% of Oakland’s streets were in poor to fair condition.
Driving over rough roads and potholes is more than just a bumpy ride. Cars can incur significant damage when they’re driven over rough roads. Every year, U.S. drivers spend an average of $335 to repair damage caused by rough roads; in major urban centers, this average rises to $746.
“I myself have a claim against the city right now for $5,000 because I damaged my car driving through a pothole,” Anthony McRae, an East Oakland resident, told a local news station.
While the city is supposed to have the money to fund these road repairs through Measure BB, many believe the City of Oakland is funneling these dollars into wealthier communities, neglecting places like East Oakland.
This is especially visible when one looks at the city’s pavement prioritization plan, which draws up plans for new roads everywhere except East Oakland. Many residents are especially concerned that Measure BB could allot as much as $60 million toward building Coliseum City — a planned “mini-downtown” complex which would house the Oakland Raiders’ new football stadium — while leaving East Oakland’s roads in shambles.
“We know that there are funds available to fix these streets and that’s why we’re here today,” Kamara Wilson, a volunteer with the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, said.
McRae agreed, saying this offers more proof than ever that there are now two Oaklands.
“Over on this side, East Oakland in the flatlands, there’s no money coming over here,” he said.