Laurel Access to Mills, Maxwell Park & Seminary (LAMMPS)

Status:
Planned

About

Community-Based Transportation Plan Improving Transportation in Our Neighborhoods As MacArthur Boulevard curves along between Seminary and High Street, there are challenges to walking, riding, crossing or otherwise attempting to use the sidewalks, paths and crosswalks. The City of Oakland is engaged in a transportation project to make travel along this corridor easier, safer and inviting for all users and the nearby neighborhoods. In 2010, the City and community collaborated and decided upon the Preferred Concept Plan to improve MacArthur Boulevard from High Street to Seminary Street. The project is dividing now into several phases of implementation due to available funding. In the first phase of construction, the City will implement the section from High Street to Seminary. Benefits to travelers will include new ADA curb ramps, crosswalks, pedestrian lights, landscaping, bicycle lanes, multi-use paths, new traffic signals (at Pierson Street), reconfigured intersections, pavement marking and striping.

What is LAMMPS?

LAMMPS is a community-driven, community-based plan designed to improve transportation conditions along MacArthur Boulevard between High Street and Seminary Avenue. This project presents an opportunity for residents, business owners, students, and youth to share their concerns and ideas about making the MacArthur corridor safe and more inviting and to become part of the planning. This plan could help to make the MacArthur corridor safer, easier to navigate, and more attractive. Through a series of community meetings and other points of community engagement, you can give the project planners your thoughts and opinions. Your input is extremely important. Through participation, you and your neighbors can share ideas that will help improve travel where you reside. Make known your preferences and ideas on neighborhood amenities to enhance your area. Preferred Concept Plan Over the course of four community meetings, we have worked with you to envision a better corridor with improved safety and access, listened to your concerns, and presented design alternatives that reflect your visions and incorporate physical and policy constraints. On July 28, 2010, two design alternatives were presented to the community. After this meeting, we asked for your participation in an online survey that was open from July 28 through August 20, 2010. Feedback received through the survey, during the community meetings, online, and via telephone was used to guide the design team in finalizing a preferred concept plan that would best reflect the community’s visions and safety concerns. This preferred concept plan was then presented to the community on October 7, 2010. The final concept plan report and exhibits from the October 7, 2010 meeting can be viewed through the links below.

Community Participation Process

The LAMMPS preferred concept plan was developed over the course of four widely-attended community outreach meetings where residents, employees, business owners, passer-byes, and advocates were given the opportunity to voice their concerns and contribute to a vision of a better corridor with improved safety and access. The design team solicited ideas and feedback from community members though each stage of the development of the plan. Between meetings, community members shared their thoughts and concerns through email, phone calls, an online feedback form, and an online survey. Over the course of three community meetings, we have listened to your concerns, worked with you to envision a better corridor with improved safety and access, and presented design alternatives that reflect your visions and incorporate physical and policy constraints. After presenting the design alternatives, we asked for your participation in an online survey, which was open from July 28 through August 20, 2010. The survey results, along with feedback received at the meetings and online, are now being used to guide the design team in finalizing an alternative that will best reflect the community’s visions and safety concerns. All communities along the corridor from High Street to Seminary Avenue who could benefit from this planning project were encouraged to participate. Through this outreach and planning process, community members provided the crucial details on how to make the corridor more beautiful, how to maximize connections and how to provide for safe passage while walking, rolling, strolling, or otherwise moving along MacArthur. Community Meetings Project Introduction and Overview - March 25, 2010

Community Design Workshop - May 8, 2010 (Mobile Workshop and Design Charette)

Reviewing Alternatives, July 28, 2010

Presentation of Design Concept - October 7, 2010

Neighborhood Group Links

*If your neighborhood group is not on this list and you would like to be notified about future LAMMPS meetings, please email dgregg@oaklandnet.com.

LAMMPS Project History

The genesis of the LAMMPS Project took place in August 2005, under the direction of Claire Antonetti, Chair of the Blight and Beautification Neighborhood Action Team (B&BNAT), a sub-group of Maxwell Park’s Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council (MPNCPC). An art conservator by profession, Ms. Antonetti had long been a resident of Maxwell Park, had used the MacArthur/Pierson gateway to travel in and out of the community daily, and for years had hoped to see a transformation take place throughout this long-blighted and unsafe corridor. As a result of continuously witnessing the progressive decline of the area since living in the neighborhood, the day came when Ms. Antonetti recognized that she would have to initiate revitalization herself if she wanted change. With her long-time aspiration of creating a rejuvenated and safe gateway to the community, Ms. Antonetti sought the open position of Chair of the Maxwell Park NCPC’s B&B NAT, which she used as a platform to spearhead what would become a long, but steadfast road toward making the much-needed improvements to the community’s gateway; and which would also prove to be the most significant conservation project she would generate to date. As the B&B NAT was expanded to include interested community members in the project, the group had the good fortune to capture the interest of Robert McGillis, the Vice Chair of the MPNCPC. Being an architect, and using this corridor everyday, Mr. McGillis could offer both his special set of skills and his experience working with the City of Oakland to the project, as well as providing existing plans and aerial photographs of the neighborhood and planning area, to be used throughout the initial phases of the project. Slowly, the enterprise began to gain the momentum needed to shape its objectives and primary goals: namely to regain a sense of place in the community by making the MacArthur/Pierson corridor a safe, beautiful gateway that residents of Maxwell Park could take pride in, and utilize more fully. The B&B NAT plan would concentrate on the City and Caltrans properties that impacted the area so greatly, with an eye toward improving the intersections and surrounding areas to equal the adjacent manicured properties of Mills College. Of equal importance would be promoting safety for foot, bicycle, auto and bus transit, while establishing a safe, viable link for Maxwell Park and Mills College to the Laurel shopping district. With early support from District 6 Council Member, Desley Brooks, a connection was forged with Caltrans, and with general support from former Mayor Jerry Brown’s office, from 2005-2006, the project was well underway. In 2007, Councilmember, Jean Quan’s office contacted the B&B NAT and expressed an interest in working together to promote a plan based on her forum Envisioning MacArthur Blvd.: Planning Community Growth for the Next 30-Years, an event conducted at Mills in 2005. With this new development, Richard Cowan, Chief of Staff for Councilmember Quan, joined the ranks and lent his guidance and skills to the project. Mr. Cowan became a key collaborator as he helped join Jean Quan’s ideas for the area with the B & B NAT’s vision, while soliciting participation and input from all affected neighbors and stakeholders. Soon thereafter, Mills College came on board: Andrew Workman, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs, Rene Jaduslever, Vice President of Operations, Karen Fiene, Mills College Campus Architect, and Brian Harrington, Mills Architectural Assistant, all lent sound advice, experience and a much-needed Mills overview to round out the project. By now, the group's steering committee was fully established and began conducting joint-meetings hosted by Mills and organized and chaired by Ms. Antonetti. During this time, new alliances were forged with Caltrans, AC Transit, and the City of Oakland’s Community and Economic Development Agency, especially its Neighborhood Revitalization and Transportation Planning departments. The clear purpose of these meetings was to investigate grant funding, and in order to obtain such financial support, the group began to establish proof that the project was essential to the health and safety of the community. Working with Councilmember Quan and her staff to garner necessary evidence for the plan, 560 neighbors helped define the project by answering a B&B NAT questionnaire/survey, carefully-crafted by Nomi Aloof, to establish what daily users and surrounding residents of the corridor felt was lacking in the area, and what improvements they would like to see along the gateway. Concurrently, Alysha Nachtigall, a Mills student, joined the project and authored an award-winning policy analysis on linking Mills and its surrounding neighborhood to the Laurel. With these two essential tools delivered, the Oakland City Council voted unanimously in 2008 to support the project, which permitted David Ralston, a City of Oakland Community and Economic Development (CEDA), Redevelopment Project Manager and Urban Economic Analyst, to write a thoughtful proposal for a Caltrans Community-Based Transportation Planning Grant, to fund a feasibility study. In the summer of 2009, Caltrans awarded the project $257,000 to conduct the study, due in large part to Mark Zabaneh, Caltrans Division Chief, Project Manager, who attended steering committee meetings and acted in an advisory capacity, as well as being a key promoter of the project. Jean Quan’s office generously provided an additional $60,000 matching grant. With the allocation of funds, the project was assigned a high-ranking Project Manager, Iris Starr, Senior Transportation Planner for the City of Oakland, and the LAMMPS Steering Committee was positioned to begin the interviewing process in order to hire a talented team of consultants responsible for interfacing with the community and conducting the feasibility study. At the end of the committee’s search, the following team of consultants was established and the project was officially launched:

  • Kimley-Horn and Associates - Linda Debolt and Paul Krupka, traffic & civil engineering and transportation planning
  • Robert Sabbatini - streetscape design, landscape design and outreach facilitation
  • Envirocom Communications Strategies - Surlene Grant, public and community outreach, meeting and design facilitation
  • PLS Survey, Inc. - Topographical and right-of-way surveys

The current feasibility phase of the project will be comprised of various community outreach and visioning sessions, traffic analyses, engineering studies/surveys and landscaping studies, which will culminate in a comprehensive plan for street improvements and possible bicycle/ pedestrian pathways along MacArthur Boulevard from High Street to Seminary Boulevard. The project Steering Committee, consisting of Claire Antonetti, Robert McGillis, Karen Fiene, Brian Harrington, and Richard Cowan, will continue to meet regularly with the consulting team, and will also continue to work with other stakeholders in the project, such as Caltrans, AC Transit and the surrounding neighborhoods. Once the outreach sessions and studies are complete, the consulting team will generate a final set of plans and drawings based on its findings, with a projected completion for the study at the end of 2010. With plans in hand, the next step will be applying for funding to implement Phase One, the High to Mills portion of the MacArthur corridor. In turn, the final two phases, from Mills to 55th and from 55th to Seminary, will also require grant awards toward project implementation; and will continue to rely on community support to drive the successful outcome of the entire endeavor.

Community-Based Transportation Plan Process

  1. This plan is currently undergoing and has been fully funded for the first phase of the overall process. In this phase a community-based concept design plan and corridor study will be developed. The outcome of the corridor study and community engagement will be a concept design plan with 35% construction level design drawings complete.
  2. In phase two, an environmental review process will be conducted. Every non-exempt development project is required to undergo an environmental review process under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). In this process, the lead agency (the City of Oakland) discloses any potential environmental effects of the project. Funding is still needed for this phase.
  3. In phase three, construction level drawings (to 100%) will be completed and a cost estimate will be developed. Funding is still needed for this phase.
  4. Finally, the design gets constructed. Funding is still needed for this phase.

Phase One Milestones

LAMMPS Process Chart

Funding

This project is funded by a Community-Based Transportation Planning Grant from Caltrans, along with a contribution from City Councilmember Jean Quan (District 4). Additional in-kind contributions from the City of Oakland’s Public Works Agency, Neighborhood Planning, Marketing and Cultural Arts Departments come in the form of marketing and outreach. Mills College is a participant in this effort, and has graciously offered to facilitate outreach and community meetings.

Stay In Contact

Click here to sign up for email notifications when our website is updated, or to receive meeting notifications by mail. City Contact Information: Iris Starr, Sr. Transportation Planner (510) 238-6229 or istarr@oaklandnet.com 
 Se habla Español. Llama Iris a (510) 238-6229 y solicite a un intérprete. * Call (510) 238-6229 or email istarr@oaklandnet.com at least 5 days before a community meeting to ensure translation services are available. * Llama (510) 238-6229 o por correo electrónico istarr@oaklandnet.com por lo menos 5 dias antes de una reunión comunitaria para garantizar los servicios de taducción están disponibles.