The Oakland Department of Transportation's (OakDOT) new program to address abandoned vehicles was the focus of today’s One Oakland Spring Clean event. Mayor Sheng Thao joined Councilmember Treva Reid at an abatement site in East Oakland to thank workers and watch the abatement process of the new Vehicle Enforcement Unit (VEU). This was the second in a series of events focused on city services that make Oakland cleaner and safer.
“Abandoned automobiles are a major concern for our residents and so Oakland went to work on a new initiative to allow us to more efficiently and effectively respond,” said Mayor Thao. “Our City Departments are committed to working together as One Oakland to deliver services as effectively as possible by collaborating on common sense solutions.”
“This reorganization affirmed our commitment to rethinking public safety by allowing our civilian transportation professionals to take the lead on addressing this important concern and so far we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of reports we’ve been able to respond to,” said Deputy City Administrator Joe DeVries. “Our new Vehicle Enforcement Unit is already delivering real benefits for Oaklanders.”
In 2021, abandoned autos were the #2 subject of OAK311 reports. That same year, Oakland’s City Council voted to move responsibility for responding to those reports from the Oakland Police Department to OakDOT as part of the City’s Reimaging Public Safety initiative. This allows for a more rapid response to 311 reports of abandoned vehicles while allowing police to focus on community safety initiatives.
Prior to the February launch of OakDOT’s Vehicle Enforcement Unit, the City removed an average of about 150 abandoned vehicles per month. The new VEU is on pace to double that, approaching an average of about 300 abandoned vehicle removals per month.