** PROJECT UPDATE **
The grant agreement was signed in early 2023, and most projects will begin in Fall/Winter 2023.
In early 2022, the City of Oakland received notification of a grant award from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to fund four projects in West Oakland. Collectively, these four projects are the West Oakland Sustainable Transportation Equity Project (STEP). The grant agreement was signed in early 2023, with most project elements beginning in Summer or Fall 2023.
STEP’s overarching purpose is to increase transportation equity in a way that benefits residents of disadvantaged and low-income communities. Based on environmental justice principles, STEP funds projects that are priorities for historically under-served and over-burdened residents by requiring that projects center the knowledge and expertise of these residents through all phases of the project.
The West Oakland STEP grant will fund the following projects identified by community residents and stakeholders:
- West Oakland Truck Management Plan Implementation, which includes improving truck route signage, truck and trailer parking enforcement, and truck traffic calming recommendations
- West Oakland Pedestrian Improvements and Urban Greening, which includes building up to 2.3 miles of sidewalks, planting up to 2,000 trees and shrubs, and developing a community-based stewardship model
- West Oakland Bike Resource Hub, which includes hosting free monthly workshops, free Earn-A-Bike programming, and free bike repair services, and installing fix-it bike stations throughout West Oakland
- West Oakland Transit Access Improvements, which includes upgrading 14 bus stops in West Oakland and piloting a West Oakland Universal Basic Mobility Program to distribute 1,000 prepaid transit and shared mobility passes to West Oaklanders
These projects are directly implementing the recommendations and strategies from a community-driven process to reduce emissions and improve transportation options called Owning Our Air: The West Oakland Community Action Plan (WOCAP), which was adopted by City Council in 2019.
The grant application was successful due to collaboration with community-based organizations. These projects will be implemented in partnership with the following community-based organizations that have strong roots in West Oakland:
- West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project (co-lead)
- Oakland Parks and Recreation Foundation
- The Crucible
- Urban Biofilter
The grant from CARB will provide about $7.66 million in funding. The City of Oakland and Alameda County Transportation Commission (CTC) is providing a local match of about $2.8 million. In total, about $10.5 million will be invested in these four projects in West Oakland over three and a half years. On July 5, 2022, Oakland City Council authorized the Oakland Department of Transportation to accept the CARB grant and enter into contracts with our community partners in order to implement West Oakland STEPS.
The grant from CARB comes from the Sustainable Transportation Equity Project, or STEP, a pilot program launched by CARB in 2020 to improve transportation equity. The funding supports implementation of clean transportation projects in low-income and disadvantaged communities, or those overburdened by pollution. The West Oakland STEPS were chosen from a competitive pool of projects that were submitted from jurisdictions across the state of California.
Cathy DeLuca, firstname.lastname@example.org