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Author Topic: Good Article about removing 980, and its history  (Read 5060 times)

jander

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Good Article about removing 980, and its history
« on: April 17, 2019, 11:07:36 PM »

https://sf.streetsblog.org/2019/04/17/inside-the-push-to-tear-down-an-oakland-freeway/

By removing just the section of freeway next to downtown Oakland, the city would get thirteen empty city blocks. Parks, leafy boulevards, and affordable housing could spread down that corridor. Trains could whisk people underneath: This section of I-980 runs through a massive trench, some twenty feet below the rest of the city streets, which could serve as a ready made tunnel for the second much-needed subway crossing planned between Oakland and San Francisco. And once the ConnectOakland team started thinking about rail, they realized there would be plenty of space not just for the train system, BART, but also for a commuter line between San Francisco and San Jose, and for Amtrak, and maybe even for high-speed rail. There could be enough room for an entire underground rail yard to store trains and shuffle them between tracks.
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jander

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Re: Good Article about removing 980, and its history
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2019, 11:08:53 PM »

Cities were losing people and their tax revenue in the 1970s, and Oakland thought it could stem the tide with a massive downtown redevelopment. It drew up plans for a downtown shopping center with freeway offramps running directly to its garage, so that suburbanites could do their shopping without ever setting foot on Oaklandís streets. But this downtown plan depended upon finishing the freeway, and the fastest way to do that was to say ďyesĒ to all of Clayís demands. (In the end, the plans for the shopping center fell apart and it was never built).
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Good Article about removing 980, and its history
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2019, 12:09:33 AM »

Trouble is there that I-980 still carries a large amount of traffic and functionally replaced I-880 when it was damaged in the Loma Prieta Earthquake.  Any act that removes limited access road capacity that currently exists in the Bay Area I'm not in favor of.  Somehow I-980 is being lumped in as the modern "Embarcadero Freeway" when it doesn't deserve such levels of disdain. 

Affordable housing in the Bay Area?...now that's a pipe dream if I've ever heard one.

Also, we had a previous I-980 thread going not too long ago.  Perhaps these two could be merged?

https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=24601.0
« Last Edit: April 18, 2019, 12:17:17 AM by Max Rockatansky »
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DTComposer

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Re: Good Article about removing 980, and its history
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2019, 11:58:58 AM »

None of that makes any sense to me:

Anything that would place more traffic on the MacArthur Maze should be a non-starter.

A rail tunnel in that corridor wouldn't serve any purpose:
BART is already in a tunnel a half-mile away. If a second transbay tunnel was started in the 980 corridor (so that the Richmond and Antioch lines would use it) then the 19th Street and 12th Street stations are...abandoned? Relocated a half-mile away from downtown Oakland? Those are the busiest BART stations outside of the Market Street corridor.

Meanwhile, ignoring the fact that a San Francisco-San Jose commuter line (Caltrain) exists and has for 125+ years, making a SF-SJ line via Oakland is redundant (because of BART), and would not use the 980 corridor anyway - a) because once it's done on 980, there's no existing rail corridor to jump onto; b) it would never reach 980 in any case - it would simply go onto the Capitol Corridor at Jack London.
Same with Amtrak. Where would it go north of 980?

In any case, they solved the problem when they state the freeway is in a trench. Just leave the freeway and cover it between 11th and 20th Streets.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Good Article about removing 980, and its history
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2019, 12:45:53 PM »

A carry over from the previous I-980 thread that I forgot last night is that the freeway still gets 100,000 plus cars a day.  As noted above forcing more vehicles onto the MacArthur Maze would only worsen traffic issues. 
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bing101

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Re: Good Article about removing 980, and its history
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2019, 02:06:39 PM »

Wait isn't I-980 a continuation of CA-24. I-980 and CA-24 has to carry traffic from the Diablo Valley who commute to Oakland and San Francisco though. Also I-980 was part of a proposed southern crossing bridge to South San Francisco at one point though prior to the southern crossing being shifted to Hayward to San Bruno though with I-238 meeting up with I-380 though.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2019, 02:09:09 PM by bing101 »
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Good Article about removing 980, and its history
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2019, 02:14:00 PM »

Wait isn't I-980 a continuation of CA-24. I-980 has to carry traffic from the Diablo Valley who commute to Oakland and San Francisco though.

Correct, but when CA 24 was around there wasnít a link connecting I-580 to I-880 (old CA 17).  The urbanism movement around the Bay Area has targeted I-980 as some sort of focal point for urban renewal in Oakland.  Iíd argue that housing costs (which isnít a good thing in my opinion) skyrocketing has pretty much already start the path to urban renewal in Oakland.  That begs the question, what is demolishing a freeway carrying 100,000 plus vehicles a day going to actually accomplish besides creating more traffic problem.  If there was an alternate solution like finishing the CA 77 freeway before I-880 and I-580 in addition to a full interchange at I-580/CA 13 I could see more of a reasonable argument for getting rid of I-980. 
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: Good Article about removing 980, and its history
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2019, 03:42:31 PM »

Which side has greater momentum in their cause? The tear-it-down crowd, or the leave-it-alone crowd?
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Good Article about removing 980, and its history
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2019, 03:52:05 PM »

Which side has greater momentum in their cause? The tear-it-down crowd, or the leave-it-alone crowd?

The tear-it-down crowd certainly is the one pushing the most and being the loudest.  So far I havenít really seen anything from anyone in Caltrans or of importance State wise really making comment on it.  Iíd suspect not many people at the State level really care, I donít believe there has been anything popping up on the CTC regarding I-980?
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Re: Good Article about removing 980, and its history
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2019, 03:59:30 PM »

I go through the CTC minutes, and I certainly don't recall anything. If there was, it would be on my 980 pages, as well as any articles on the subject.
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skluth

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Re: Good Article about removing 980, and its history
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2019, 04:13:07 PM »

Which side has greater momentum in their cause? The tear-it-down crowd, or the leave-it-alone crowd?

The tear-it-down crowd certainly is the one pushing the most and being the loudest.  So far I havenít really seen anything from anyone in Caltrans or of importance State wise really making comment on it.  Iíd suspect not many people at the State level really care, I donít believe there has been anything popping up on the CTC regarding I-980?

The tear-it-down crowd is louder right now because those drivers using I-980 regularly probably don't realize there are some who want to remove it. You can bet if there was suddenly an announcement that I-980 would be torn down there would be a lot of vocal opposition to that.
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Re: Good Article about removing 980, and its history
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2019, 04:18:06 PM »

Which side has greater momentum in their cause? The tear-it-down crowd, or the leave-it-alone crowd?

The tear-it-down crowd certainly is the one pushing the most and being the loudest.  So far I havenít really seen anything from anyone in Caltrans or of importance State wise really making comment on it.  Iíd suspect not many people at the State level really care, I donít believe there has been anything popping up on the CTC regarding I-980?

The tear-it-down crowd is louder right now because those drivers using I-980 regularly probably don't realize there are some who want to remove it. You can bet if there was suddenly an announcement that I-980 would be torn down there would be a lot of vocal opposition to that.

Looking at a map, it looks similar to the I-345 situation. One leg of a "square" that allows drivers to use the other three legs if it is torn down, and over 100k AADT. The main difference is that I-345 is part of a through route, while I-980 is for short and medium length trips, not long distance.
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TheStranger

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Re: Good Article about removing 980, and its history
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2019, 04:23:26 PM »


Looking at a map, it looks similar to the I-345 situation. One leg of a "square" that allows drivers to use the other three legs if it is torn down, and over 100k AADT. The main difference is that I-345 is part of a through route, while I-980 is for short and medium length trips, not long distance.

However there are two major differences:

- There is no way for drivers on 880 north to get to Route 24 otherwise, as the MacArthur Maze has never had ramps from 880 north (historically 17 north) to 580 east or from 580 west to 880 south

- Given how busy the MacArthur Maze itself is (as the only point of access from Oakland directly to San Francisco), providing any sort of alternate away from it is pretty important, even for just that one set of movements. 
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Good Article about removing 980, and its history
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2019, 04:29:54 PM »

Which side has greater momentum in their cause? The tear-it-down crowd, or the leave-it-alone crowd?

The tear-it-down crowd certainly is the one pushing the most and being the loudest.  So far I havenít really seen anything from anyone in Caltrans or of importance State wise really making comment on it.  Iíd suspect not many people at the State level really care, I donít believe there has been anything popping up on the CTC regarding I-980?

The tear-it-down crowd is louder right now because those drivers using I-980 regularly probably don't realize there are some who want to remove it. You can bet if there was suddenly an announcement that I-980 would be torn down there would be a lot of vocal opposition to that.

Looking at a map, it looks similar to the I-345 situation. One leg of a "square" that allows drivers to use the other three legs if it is torn down, and over 100k AADT. The main difference is that I-345 is part of a through route, while I-980 is for short and medium length trips, not long distance.

Thatís what I was getting at a couple posts above.  The next closest limited access route that would connect I-580 and I-880 is all the way in Hayward at I-238.  Removing 980 greatly reduce the potential number of movements and force traffic onto surfaces that arenít designed the handle the load.  980 functionally is still part of CA 24 for all intents and purposes, Iíd argue that it has far more regional utility than is being stated in these articles. 

It should be noted that there are a couple major gaps in the planned freeway system in Oakland that would have negated the need for 980 had they actually been built.  I touched on CA 77 up thread but CA 13 to I-80 comes to mind as well. 
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skluth

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Re: Good Article about removing 980, and its history
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2019, 04:32:31 PM »

https://sf.streetsblog.org/2019/04/17/inside-the-push-to-tear-down-an-oakland-freeway/

By removing just the section of freeway next to downtown Oakland, the city would get thirteen empty city blocks. Parks, leafy boulevards, and affordable housing could spread down that corridor. Trains could whisk people underneath: This section of I-980 runs through a massive trench, some twenty feet below the rest of the city streets, which could serve as a ready made tunnel for the second much-needed subway crossing planned between Oakland and San Francisco. And once the ConnectOakland team started thinking about rail, they realized there would be plenty of space not just for the train system, BART, but also for a commuter line between San Francisco and San Jose, and for Amtrak, and maybe even for high-speed rail. There could be enough room for an entire underground rail yard to store trains and shuffle them between tracks.

So what about the traffic (over 100K vehicles daily) who use I-980? What of those who drive CA 24 to Oakland and use I-980 as the freeway connector to I-880? Those vehicles will need an expanded I-580 to the bridge then new ramps and a widened I-880 to maintain a similar capacity.  This isn't the Embarcadero Freeway which blocked the waterfront and dumped onto a city street. This is a continuation of a freeway to another freeway.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Good Article about removing 980, and its history
« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2019, 04:44:37 PM »

I go through the CTC minutes, and I certainly don't recall anything. If there was, it would be on my 980 pages, as well as any articles on the subject.

My assumption would be until something pops up on the CTC minutes none of this 980 tear down talk as any real momentum.  The completed 980 really isnít even all that old.  Demolishing 980 would be a tall order as selling point after such a short time period and expecting the state to pay for it. 
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oscar

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Re: Good Article about removing 980, and its history
« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2019, 05:34:18 PM »

https://sf.streetsblog.org/2019/04/17/inside-the-push-to-tear-down-an-oakland-freeway/

By removing just the section of freeway next to downtown Oakland, the city would get thirteen empty city blocks. Parks, leafy boulevards, and affordable housing could spread down that corridor.

"Affordable housing" is enough of a fantasy in the Bay Area as is. Parks and leafy boulevards make it even more likely that the I-980 corridor would be thoroughly gentrified, rather than being of any help to the people who now live in the vicinity.

The mixed feelings (to put it mildly) about a proposed New Orleans freeway removal, among local residents, are illustrative. They were afraid that the freeway removal could improve the neighborhood to the point of pricing out the people who now live there, destroying their community in the process.
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Re: Good Article about removing 980, and its history
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2019, 07:00:16 PM »

Thatís what I was getting at a couple posts above.  The next closest limited access route that would connect I-580 and I-880 is all the way in Hayward at I-238.  Removing 980 greatly reduce the potential number of movements and force traffic onto surfaces that arenít designed the handle the load.  980 functionally is still part of CA 24 for all intents and purposes, Iíd argue that it has far more regional utility than is being stated in these articles. 

In my 20s I lived out in Concord, and getting to a ballgame at the Coliseum or going to Oakland Airport required taking CA 13 down to I-580, exiting at either Seminary or Edwards and trekking across East Oakland.  Edwards Avenue in particular is a narrow, steep 2-lane residential street, even passing a school, although it does eventually open onto the 73rd Ave./Hegenberger Road boulevard.  The completion of that final mile or so of I-980 was a huge relief, even more so in the years after the 1989 earthquake.
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TheStranger

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Re: Good Article about removing 980, and its history
« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2021, 10:46:51 PM »

https://www.sfgate.com/commute/article/oakland-980-freeway-biden-infrastructure-bay-area-16172033.php

A couple of thoughts:

The "Housing of all income levels" thing for the planned boulevard and city blocks is an interesting assertion when the road they are modeling after (Octavia Boulevard in SF along the former Central Freeway) pretty much is the core of the upper-middle/higher-class modern Hayes Valley.

No mention at all of how people from 880 will now reach 24 and vice versa.  That to me is the more interesting engineering challenge should this come to pass, will 24 basically become unreachable from the Nimitz Freeway without either going through San Lorenzo on 238 or through stoplights along the 980-replacement boulevard? 
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Chris Sampang

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Re: Good Article about removing 980, and its history
« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2021, 12:03:47 AM »

The webpage http://www.connectoakland.org/ has a progression of images that show the aerials of Interstate 980 over the last 36 years. It seems like the idea is to rebuild the grid system just east of Interstate 880 and place housing. I wonder if the freeway could be placed underground with cut and cover tunnels rather than building the at-grade boulevard. I agree with Chris, there is no consideration for how to make the movement from I-880 north to State Route 24 east. I guess they would just take the at-grade boulevard past the new housing? I-980 is part of the best route to travel from State Route 24 corridor communities to Oakland International Airport, so hopefully that will be a consideration as part of any study to reclaim I-980.
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bing101

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Re: Good Article about removing 980, and its history
« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2021, 11:17:21 AM »

https://sf.streetsblog.org/2019/04/17/inside-the-push-to-tear-down-an-oakland-freeway/

By removing just the section of freeway next to downtown Oakland, the city would get thirteen empty city blocks. Parks, leafy boulevards, and affordable housing could spread down that corridor.

"Affordable housing" is enough of a fantasy in the Bay Area as is. Parks and leafy boulevards make it even more likely that the I-980 corridor would be thoroughly gentrified, rather than being of any help to the people who now live in the vicinity.

The mixed feelings (to put it mildly) about a proposed New Orleans freeway removal, among local residents, are illustrative. They were afraid that the freeway removal could improve the neighborhood to the point of pricing out the people who now live there, destroying their community in the process.
Yes it's a mixed one too if I-980 was removed then we will run into the gentrification debate.
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heynow415

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Re: Good Article about removing 980, and its history
« Reply #21 on: May 13, 2021, 11:25:24 AM »


Looking at a map, it looks similar to the I-345 situation. One leg of a "square" that allows drivers to use the other three legs if it is torn down, and over 100k AADT. The main difference is that I-345 is part of a through route, while I-980 is for short and medium length trips, not long distance.

However there are two major differences:

- There is no way for drivers on 880 north to get to Route 24 otherwise, as the MacArthur Maze has never had ramps from 880 north (historically 17 north) to 580 east or from 580 west to 880 south

- Given how busy the MacArthur Maze itself is (as the only point of access from Oakland directly to San Francisco), providing any sort of alternate away from it is pretty important, even for just that one set of movements.

And the third is that trucks are not permitted on 580 east of 24/980 so that would really leave truck traffic in the lurch getting from the Diablo  Valley to the port or points south. 

I get the reasons to remove it; it did sever the western part of the city from downtown.  However, as noted by others, this is not a "dead end" freeway into city streets ala the Embarcadero.  Whatever the cost of removing it, constructing new connector ramps at the Maze (and widening the approaches to it), and dealing with the myriad other impacts of doing so, it would seem to be of greater benefit to build over the section between 11th and 18th Streets since it's already in a trench.  The street grid in this section could be restored to reconnect the neighborhood and provide a whole lot of developable "land" albeit on a podium that could be used to address housing need mixed with neighborhood-supporting commercial and some park space.  The Big Dig in Boston was a mess in construction and cost but the end product is that walking or driving the city streets you'd never know it's there if it wasn't pointed out. 
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Re: Good Article about removing 980, and its history
« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2021, 03:13:28 PM »




 The Big Dig in Boston was a mess in construction and cost but the end product is that walking or driving the city streets you'd never know it's there if it wasn't pointed out.

"Why is this open wannabe park here?"

Yes, it's better since the Central Artery came down.  But also yes, you know it's there.

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Re: Good Article about removing 980, and its history
« Reply #23 on: May 13, 2021, 04:02:53 PM »

It's clear to me that the push to tear down I-980 is based on local considerations without thinking too much about regional. The fact is, 980 is carrying some regional traffic that will have to go....somewhere.

Now, the http://www.connectoakland.org/ people mention that a lot of the complexity and current traffic is due to people actually entering and exiting from 980 into downtown Oakland. So, why not de-scope 980 into just a direct connector between 880 (really, only to/from the south) and 580/24 (just need to/from the east on 580 and 24), and let the local interchanges on 24, 580, and 880 take the local traffic? Probably wouldn't need a freeway more than 2 lanes in each direction at that point, and you can call it ramps instead of a freeway if people would like that better. It would have a much smaller footprint, whether it remains where it is, or whether it goes underground or gets capped (which I would support).

Re: BART, there is some context here around capacity. YES, there is already a BART line a few blocks away, but it's at capacity, so the the authors are interested in adding more (eventually leading to an additional crossing of the Bay). Is this cheaper / more effective than adding capacity to the existing lines? I don't know, but I would guess it would be infeasible to widen the existing lines (from 2 to 4 tracks, for example), especially without disrupting existing service.
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Re: Good Article about removing 980, and its history
« Reply #24 on: May 13, 2021, 07:16:56 PM »


Re: BART, there is some context here around capacity. YES, there is already a BART line a few blocks away, but it's at capacity, so the the authors are interested in adding more (eventually leading to an additional crossing of the Bay). Is this cheaper / more effective than adding capacity to the existing lines? I don't know, but I would guess it would be infeasible to widen the existing lines (from 2 to 4 tracks, for example), especially without disrupting existing service.

A future Second Tube notwithstanding, from MacArthur there are already four tracks up to the point they enter the tunnel where it is three tracks.  With the 12th and 19th St. stations having stacked platforms (two tracks on the upper level, one one the lower) it has always mystified me why they didn't either build or provide for the fourth track under Broadway, thus enabling balanced throughput.  As it is now, Richmond and Pittsburg trains "outbound" can travel in parallel on the two upper level tracks but SF or Berryessa trains "inbound" can only go one at a time, with the attendant distance separation using the single/lower level track and platform, creating a choke point that affects the whole system.  There has been plenty of debate over the years as to why BART wasn't built in the NYC four track express/local arrangement (it would have been prohibitively expensive) but this section should have been a no-brainer given its essential role in the system.
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