OMG, shocker! Oakland does something good for DTO nightlife!

I feel kind of sad admitting this, but over the past few years, I have gotten extremely jaded about the City’s ability to do, like, anything right, ever. So much so, in fact, that anytime I do hear about something good, I’m like, completely floored and immediately look for ways the City is going to screw it up.

But sometimes, the City does manage to do things right, and today we get a great example of that.

Downtown nightlife business owners have been clamoring for years to get the street sweeping hours pushed back. Right now, most of downtown gets their streets swept between midnight and 3 AM. Since we have, like, constant street sweeping down here, that means that like half the parking spaces outside all these bars and clubs are just suddenly gone every night at midnight.

This is annoying for patrons arriving late at these businesses, who often have difficultly finding a place to park. This is annoying for owners and employees at these businesses, for the same reason. And it is annoying for patrons who arrive early for a night on the town, and either notice the street sweeping sign and have to cut their night short in order to move their cars in time, or don’t notice the sign and come back from a night on the town to find a street sweeping ticket on their cars.

So what does the City announce yesterday? That they’re going to move the downtown street sweeping hours. Most of the current midnight to 3 AM streets are getting switched to 3 AM to 6 AM street sweeping, exactly like people have been asking for forever. I had to read the press release like six times before I could believe it. Sad, huh? I mean, happy about the street sweeping, but…you know.

Furthermore, the City has apparently learned something from this summer’s parking meter debacle, and actually has a visitor-friendly plan in place to ease the transition:

To avoid frustration during the signage transition period, the City’s parking enforcement staff will provide a grace period from October 26 to November 30. Rather than leaving citations on cars, parking enforcement staff will leave a courtesy flier explaining the changes and encouraging parkers to review the new signage. Following the grade period, street sweeping parking restrictions will be strictly enforced.

Business owners in the area will receive a letter and a flier so they can help alert their patrons to the changes.

I guess the City can learn, after all.

21 thoughts on “OMG, shocker! Oakland does something good for DTO nightlife!

  1. navigator

    Anyone know what’s going on with Cafe Madrid on Broadway? I drove by Saturday night just before 10:00 PM and the place was dark. I hope they’re doing OK.

  2. Steve Lowe

    Max: maybe the deal is to provide a special incentive to the several Arts & Entertainment areas now a-building all over Oakland and thereby take advantage of the mini-boomlet and energy that these new businesses could bring to Oakland.

    If waiving the fees, business licenses, etc., is seen as a compelling welcome sign to restaurateurs, cabaret owners, etc., then the spillover effect for other businesses means lots and lots of people with disposable incomes moving around downtown where, less than a half century ago, the streets were so crowded, it was difficult to get around.

    After all, it’s the Peter Van Kleefs who lend the individuality, character, fun and sense of place to an area because he and those like him always design their establishments so that they resonate with the most human-scale architecture (funny how it’s always the preservation-worthy buildings): it’s the overkill of city planning that, after all the political fine-tuning, logrolling and groupthink, creates the ugh sterility of projects like, well, Forest City where retail goes begging.

    Where is this important dialogue officially happening around town? If it’s st the Chamber or in City Hall, I (and several others) haven’t heard it much except in the Sports & Entertainment Task Force, and maybe it’s high time to merge the Land Use Task Force with S&E so that the more questionable assumptions made by Oakland’s recent Retail Study can be appropriately critiqued by the actual owners of restaurants, shops, cafes and bistros whose considerable expertise has not been adequately tapped.


    – S

  3. Coolhand Luke

    I just got a ticket for that 12-3am bullshit the other month! Question though: Is the city allowed to send me a ticket in the mail if they never physically put one on my car???

    I saw the meter maid as I walked up to my car. She saw me and drove off. So, I’m thinking that she’s letting me slide. Then two months later I get a $63 ticket in the mail. Is that legal?

  4. Robert

    I don’t know about the legality, but I do think that at 1 in the morning the meter maid has a legitimate concern for her safety, and this needs to be allowed for. I think mailing the ticket seems a reasonable approach to balancing safety concerns.

  5. Greg

    The mailing the Ticket thing….A Berkeley Police Officer ticketed me for double parking for 30 seconds with my flashers on and never leaving the vehicle nor putting the vehicle in park. I simply stopped at a green light to grab something from a friend at the corner.

    Got a ticket in the mail 2 months later.

  6. len raphael

    CHL, what’s your perspective on sideshows? From what little i know, the danger and overall riskiness is a substantial part of the attraction. The other part is the social scene. So try to tame them is a waste of time.


  7. dave o


    The sideshows are an obvious display of courage the likes of which are in every culture. It is hard to see how appeals to safety are going to resonate with the participants. Actually, such appeals validate the whole point of the sideshow – that it is dangerous and therefore a good way to get the attention of females. That the police have attempted these “crackdowns” before with no effect or even counterproductive effects, makes you wonder about the intelligence behind their policies.

  8. dave o

    This idea that the city would cooperate with its own citizens is an obvious hoax because it goes completely against their sadistic culture, especially regarding the poor or people interested in any kind of nightlife. They promote retail because everything about retail is miserable. Much of it is created in Chinese sweat shops: miserable. Stocking shelves: miserable. Raising cash to pay for the stuff: miserable. The environmental impacts of creating the stuff: miserable. In contrast, a joyful social scene is completely offensive to the mean spirited people who shape much of city authoritarian culture. (See Geoffrey Peet, Oasis Night Club, Cafe Ace, Zanaba, Alice Arts, and many others who struggled against heavy persecution and civil-rights violations to try to make Oakland the vibrant place that it could and should be)

  9. Ralph

    Cafe Madrid is open morning to early evening. If there is an event at Paramount it will stay open a little later.

  10. Daniel Schulman (das88)

    well gee whiz it looks like they are swapping street cleaning times with the Jack London District. Street sweeping signs here are being changed to reflect a move FROM 3-6am TO 12-3am.

    Hey my apartment might not be as busy as all of downtown but occasionally I like to “entertain” after midnight.

  11. len raphael

    the whole discussion about retaining and attracting industry here has been ongoing since the end of W W II.

    i think residents even blamed their cc members for not preventing it.

    Long time east oakland residents will tell you about Ford moving out of Oakland and how nothing ever took it’s place. Wasn’t that in the early 50′s? Some story about various big food processors.

    According to the Beth Bagwell book about postwar East Bay, much of urban removal was intended to clear the black and white riff raff left over from the WW II boom, and open up space for industry that even then was moving out of Richmond, Berkeley, and Oakland.

    Then the move was to other parts of Northern CA, later to Nevada, later to Southern USA, and then overseas, but similar reasons which are largely outside of our cc’s control.

  12. Robert

    Len Raphael,
    Regarding Ford moving out of Oakland, are you thinking of GM moving to Fremont in the late 1950′s? The site (roughly, 73rd Ave between Bancroft and MacArthur Blvd) was later developed as the Eastmont Mall. It stayed about 20 years, long enough for the existing retail district along MacArthur Blvd to completely die, at which time it closed , leaving virtually no grocery stores or retail for many square miles.

  13. len raphael

    The person who was telling me, said it was Ford and that the site was vacant ever after. i’ll check to see if i got it wrong because the only Ford plant i’d heard of was in Richmond before it left.