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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: News

Re: “Mobility and Equity

I have watched the scooter onslaught of Oakland since the morning after the first 500 were unceremoniously dumped on the street. I spent much of the past year and a half recuperating from double knee replacement requiring me to walk slowly and carefully with a hiking stick. Never did I think sidewalks could become more dangerous than they already were from thoughtless speeding bicyclists. Was I wrong!! Im better now and I walk a LOT. I have observed danger to pedestrians (disabled or not) from inexperienced, thoughtless, speeding and/or well under the age of 18 riders on the sidewalks is way worse than from bicycles or skateboards. If scooters are in bike lanes, rare except for commuters, they often speed through red lights endangering pedestrians in crosswalks not to mention their non-helmeted selves at 20 mph. Never have I seen any enforcement by anyone from the scooter companies. The only enforcement is from an occasional pedestrian yelling or muttering This is a sidewalk not a bike lane. Ive been in one other city - Austin Tx - where the scooter riders seemed better behaved. Oakland has not gotten it together in any way shape or form with enforcement or regulation of scooter use. And frankly my expectations in this regard are LOW.

Posted by Francesca M. Austin on 07/22/2019 at 5:17 PM

Re: “Hillside Residents Focus on the Serious Business of Fire Prevention

Oakland residents can come by the City's climate equity workshops: this Wed, July 24 in District 7, and the City-wide workshop downtown on Wed, July 31. Among the array of City actions for discussion is climate adaptation, including wildfire preparedness and prevention.…

Posted by djaber on 07/22/2019 at 3:00 PM

Re: “Mobility and Equity

The sidewalk riding prohibition needs to be enforced. Yes. Without burdening the 'low income' riders with steep fines. What is the solution? Compulsory community service, EVEN for the rich kids? Or?

Posted by Rebecca Weinstein on 07/22/2019 at 10:02 AM

Re: “Mobility and Equity

The NOT riding on sidewalk needs to be enforced, yes! WITHOUT burdening the 'low income' with high fines and or jail! What is the solution? Compulsory community service? A choice between a super high fine (the rich kids could pay) or a few hours community service? or?

Posted by Rebecca Weinstein on 07/22/2019 at 10:00 AM

Re: “Mobility and Equity

The newbie scooters get better transit justice than the disabled and the disability rights movement got going in the seventies. When will the disabled see just transit options?

I bet most people who are not in wheelchairs don't know how abysmal public transit is for wheelchairs. Sure Alemeda has a program to transport folks in wheelchairs. We can make appointments but these buses can be several hours late. And these disabled-access buses also sometimes phone to say "we aren't coming" and they do this when the wheelchair-bound has a medical appointment. Too bad. The staffing is inadequate so I guess the pay is inadequate.

Oh, and yes, I can use the regular buses. The ramps to get on and off AC transit buses is not close to a good angle for wheelchair riders. Few bus drivers seem to have ever been trained to take into consideration where they park the bus before using that ramp. Where the . . . .

I was out in Oakland today. I just couldn't cope with the pain of all the bumps so I cancelled my plans. Ouch ouch ouch.

Opting to ride in the street is quite unsafe, I know, but I regularly roll in the street because it is the only way to get past the too-damaged-for-me-to-ride-on-sidewalk reality. . .

Posted by Tree Fitzpatrick on 07/21/2019 at 9:35 PM

Re: “Mobility and Equity

No helmets required on these things in Oakland. Tisk tisk.

I live in Berkeley but I have been at a skill nursing facility for some rehab so I am rolling around in N. Oakland, near its downtown, in my power wheelchair. I see these scooters ridden in sidewalks every day I am out in Oakland.

What rankles me about Oakland's alleged claim, by just one administrator, that Oakland wants equitable transpotation. This surprised me because Oakland sidewalks and ramp curves at corners for wheelchairs are shockingly treacherous for wheelchair bond citizens. There are many blocks, maybe one out of three, that are literally impassable by a wheelchair so I have to go back, often for an entire block, and scan for a place to cross.

It is galling to come upon construction blocking the sidewalk while I see bicyclists on the always smooth and well maintained bike lanes.

Are bikers more important than disabled people? It looks like Oakland thinks so.

The disgraceful condition for wheelchair dependent folks can cause me actual and avoidable pain because sometimes the best option is still full of guts and holes and bumps. Every bump in my chair hurts me but the bikers have smooth lanes?

It is completely unacceptable, and would not cost the city anything (but would cost the construction biz) to more carefully insist that when construction impedes a sidewalk for wheelchair users, it does adequate reparation, even temporary repration, of the sidewalk. And, wake up, it is not enough to put an orange cone on a hole. REquire notices at the end of the blocks so wheelchair users know the sidewalk is untraversible? Require more prompt repairs.

I have gotten to know the sidewalks closest to my rehab place so I know which blocks are not passable but it isn't always easy to find an alternative.

We all like to think we have made great strides in disabled access but sidewalks full of large holes, street corner ramps for wheels that are rutted and full of holes and lumps. . . these things keep many disabled from going out into the world.

I am angry that the east bay seems to take great care to provide safe bike lanes without providing decent access to the disabled.

Posted by Tree Fitzpatrick on 07/21/2019 at 9:30 PM

Re: “Mobility and Equity

In W. Oakland, youth on rented scooters mug people. As a disabled person, I am tired of scooters blocking sidewalks, and having to dodge scooters and cyclists on the sidewalk. At least the sidewalks will be safe during Burning Man, when W. Oakland is hipster free!

Posted by Holly Harwood on 07/18/2019 at 10:20 PM

Re: “Mobility and Equity

Tell me how these companies are enforcing rules. Seriously, how?

Lyft has it written right on their scooters - so clearly that I, someone who's never even gotten on one can see it - that you need to stay off the sidewalk and yet these people come racing down the sidewalk on scooters with zero regard for people (and dogs walking on them).

They're not going to make any real attempt to keep people off the sidewalk on these things until lawsuits start popping up. (Or, a scooter rider hits the wrong person on the sidewalk and gets their ass whooped - or worse - and the media takes notice.)

Posted by Ashley McCartney on 07/18/2019 at 2:15 PM

Re: “Mobility and Equity

Prove to us that the companies are actually enforcing the policies that keep pedestrians, the disabled members of the community, and the riders safe. Laws and EULAs and policies have yet to curb the bad behavior of selfish riders who consistently ride the sidewalks, park obstructively, and expect the right of way to be ceded whenever they want it to be. Prove that the companies are making real efforts to deal with this behavior and maybe you'll end up with something other than a dystopian transportation nightmare.

Posted by Pedestrians First on 07/17/2019 at 3:19 PM

Re: “Mobility and Equity

So Oakland is getting it right because anecdotally the author and some Oakland administrator thinks so (anecdotally).
SF is getting it wrong because the data says so.

Posted by Jack R on 07/17/2019 at 3:10 PM

Re: “Mobility and Equity

"Right" as defined exactly how...

I'm getting bloody tired of having them come at me, against traffic in the lane I'm driving in, weaving across lanes in and out of traffic and my all time favorite, doing all of the above in the dark with no lights.

They make bike riders look almost responsible.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 07/17/2019 at 12:45 PM

Re: “The Warriors Attempt to Reverse Their Legal Losing Streak

I'm down with Council President Kaplan. Trying to stick ALL the residents of Oakland/Alameda County with a $40 million debt for renovations made solely to benefit the Warriors is despicable. Especially since the Warrior owners are filthy rich and they just dumped Oakland/Alameda County like a bad date despite fierce fan loyalty during all those years the Warriors sucked. Very disappointing that Warrior owners are showing the same crass disloyalty recently exhibited by Diva D-Bag Durant.

Posted by Sherri Yeager on 07/16/2019 at 8:30 PM

Re: “Santa Rita Inmate Suffocated From Restraints Used by Deputies

I was housed there with Juan (may Allah bless his spirit) and there needs to be a thorough investigation into the Santa Rita jail. From the scorching hot infamous BEANS and "meat sauce" that we're expected to scarf down and accept the painful burns from the overcooking the dinner trays endured.The month it takes to see a nurse for even psychological issues. The misclassification of inmates who have psych problems and end up housed with gp and ultimate pose a threat to the rest of the population is becoming more and more of a potentially dangerous issue. Santa Rita is in violation of numerous laws and rules and unfortunately there are multiple situations that fall under the same category as that of my friend Dejuan Armstrong. Santa Rita sheriff's office and medical staff are unscrupulous in their tactics and don't mind forging documents to benefit their motives however so it be in their best interest.If possible I'd like to be able to make known to the public what is most oftentimes muted outside of the walls of the institution. I can be contacted @ (510)707-9371 Tyrone D. Mollett

Posted by Baba TrapKing on 07/15/2019 at 6:43 PM

Re: “That Old Gas Stove Is Not Your Friend

Also, I think the city of Berkeley should look into the feasibility of banning the release of intestinal gas. Perhaps a bond issue could be floated to provide public dispensaries for Bean-O or similar products.

It's worth looking into!

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 07/15/2019 at 12:38 PM

Re: “That Old Gas Stove Is Not Your Friend

I dunno, but I like cooking with gas. Makes better food for reasons known only to those who actually cook I guess. Readers of this rag must dine out or order in a lot. Judging from the content and ads.

Why not ban SUVs? Going to much smaller cars and bicycles makes more sense to me than messing with the environmental damage caused by my woking and baking.

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 07/15/2019 at 12:31 PM

Re: “This Is Not An Emergency — It's Just Oakland 911

The City government under two different Mayors and multiple City Administrators on several occasions have promised us vast improvements in 911 call answering time (not response time). They alternate excuses between not having the money to replace their systems and not being able to hire dispatchers.

Just because there has been civic amnesia from the massive dismantling of local journalism, multiple City Auditors who ignore it, and a vast turnover of residents, don't let the City officials act like this something new.

Posted by Len Raphael on 07/14/2019 at 7:48 PM

Re: “The Next Generation of Cell Towers Has a Next Generation of Deregulation

I'd like to get a copy of that sign to make yard signs in our area- Fairfax,Ca
let me know how to do that- thanks
Valeri Hood Fairfax, Ca

Posted by democracy is coming on 07/13/2019 at 2:53 PM

Re: “This Is Not An Emergency — It's Just Oakland 911

Actually, TDD access to 911 services is mandated by federal law. The mandate was demanded by deaf/hard of hearing advocates. So it's not a "choice" on the part of the city. It's an absolute requirement. Given the costs associated with provisioning SMS access (and a complete redesign/rebuild of the 911 call center to accommodate it) and lack of funds in Oakland, it's not surprising that SMS isn't supported here (or much of anyplace else for that matter).

I need to point out, the answering system that Dr Heilicser claimed is "unheard of", isn't some "Rube Goldberg", home brew invention "thunk up in Oakland" but a system commercially provisioned by a service equipment provider. That statement is disingenuous at best if he has really been working with 911 systems for 35 years and show that yet again EBX fails miserably at fact checking.

While having the latest technology in emergency services is a wonder thought, so are unicorns, elves, and small fuzzy animals for all... And not very practical.

Until EVERYONE pays their fair share (taxes), there just isn't money for all of the neat thing we want. I don't know of anyone who works for free; Doesn't want a decent wage.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 07/12/2019 at 10:07 PM

Re: “The Next Generation of Cell Towers Has a Next Generation of Deregulation

...And there is the battle cry of the entrenched, entitled and WILLFULLY IGNORANT.


The same "local control" that fed jim crow, feeds no housing, rampant crony politics and the anti-vax contingent.

And EBX beating the drum loudly and long.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 07/12/2019 at 9:49 PM

Re: “This Is Not An Emergency — It's Just Oakland 911

Thanks Mr. Lazarus for bringing this issue up. Perhaps it could be progressive to bring this service up to a higher standard and the services following Fire, police, EMS, etc. up to a higher standard. Is this an Oakland value? Do we have to live our past of bad service, an Oakland tradition?

Posted by Jeff Diver on 07/12/2019 at 7:00 PM

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