Many Bay Area freeways and rail lines were designed without regard for their impact on local communities. Often these projects fractured communities, bringing noise pollution, barriers to walking and cycling, and higher rates of asthma and heart disease. These burdens have fallen heavily on people of color and historically marginalized communities. Oakland is at the heart of this story and illustrates the tension between infrastructure’s benefits and harms.
This report looks at how key regional transportation infrastructure currently intersects in Oakland — and how it might do so differently in the future. The next generation of transportation investments and policy could rectify past planning injustices to facilitate a healthy, climate resilient and equitable Oakland. The ideas in this report build on existing plans and suggest ways to ensure that they connect with and support one another. The result is a holistic vision that will require bold collective action.
SPUR and AECOM’s Bigger Picture series proposes ideas for key locations in San Francisco, San José and Oakland, the Bay Area’s three largest cities. Each exploration represents an opportunity to tackle major regional challenges through local planning processes. And, conversely, each suggests how big investments in infrastructure can — if planned carefully — bring about positive transformation for the immediate neighborhood.