Oakland, California

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Oakland, California
Nickname: "Oaktown, Bump City, The Town, The O"
Location in Alameda County and the state of California
Coordinates: 37°48′N 122°15′W
Country United States
State California
County Alameda
Mayor Jerry Brown (D)
Area  
 - City 202.4 km²  (78.2 sq mi)
 - Land 145.2 km²  (56.1 sq mi)
 - Water 57.2 km² (22.1 sq mi)
Elevation 1 m
Population  
 - City (2006) 411,755<ref name=e1>Template:Cite web</ref>
 - Density 2,751.4/km²
 - Metro over 7 million
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
Website: http://www.oaklandnet.com

Oakland, founded in 1852, is the eighth-largest city in California<ref name=e1/> and the county seat of Alameda County. It lies on the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay, nestled against the Berkeley Hills and bordering five of the East Bay Regional Parks. To Oakland's north is Berkeley, home to the renowned University of California, Berkeley, and to its west across the Bay Bridge is San Francisco.

Oakland is located in the San Francisco Bay Area, the fifth most populated metropolitan area in the United States. The Bay Area has a population of over 7 million. As of 2006, Oakland's population was 411,755<ref name=e1/>, making it the third-largest city in the San Francisco Bay Area, after San Jose and San Francisco.

Oakland is home to the Port of Oakland, one of the three major shipping ports on the American West Coast. The metropolitan area is served by the Bay Area Rapid Transit System from convenient stations for Oakland commuters. Oakland also hosts Oakland International Airport, which serves most of the low-cost air travelers' market to and from the San Francisco Bay Area. Travellers on public transportation may exit BART or Amtrak at the Coliseum/Oakland Airport intermodal station to take a connecting AirBART bus to the airport.

Major employers in Oakland include the local, state, and federal governments, United States Postal Service, the Port of Oakland and carriers associated with the port, regional transportation and utility authorities, Kaiser Permanente, Clorox, Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream, Ask.com and commercial bakeries.

Contents

[edit] History

Image:Oakland california 1900.jpg
View over Oakland in 1900.

The earliest recorded inhabitants were the Huchiun tribe,<ref>http://www.nativecc.com/OhloneTribalMap.html</ref> belonging to a linguistic grouping later called the Ohlone (a Miwok word meaning "western people"). In Oakland, they were heavily concentrated around Lake Merritt and Temescal Creek, a stream which enters the San Francisco Bay at Emeryville.

Oakland, along with the rest of California, was claimed for the Spanish king by explorers from New Spain in 1772. During its days under the Spanish Empire in the late 18th to early 19th century, and later under an independent Mexico in the early 19th century, the area which later became Oakland (along with most of the East Bay), was granted to Luís María Peralta for his Rancho San Antonio. In the area of the ranch that is today occupied by the downtown and extending over into the adjacent part of Alameda (originally not an island, but a peninsula), there grew a woodland of oak trees. This area was called "encinal" by the Peraltas, a Spanish word which means "oakland", the origin of the later city's name. Upon his death in 1842, Peralta divided his land among his four sons. Most of Oakland fell within the shares given to Antonio Maria and Vicente. They would open the land to settlement by American settlers, loggers, European whalers, and fur-traders.

Full-scale settlement and development occurred following California being conquered by the United States during the Mexican-American War, and the California Gold Rush in 1848. The original settlement in what is now the downtown was initially called "Contra Costa" and was included in Contra Costa County before Alameda County was established on March 25, 1853. The California state legislature incorporated the town of Oakland on May 4, 1852.

The town and its environs quickly grew with the railroads, becoming a major rail terminus in the late 1860s and 1870s. In 1868, the Central Pacific constructed the Oakland Long Wharf at Oakland Point, the site of today's Port of Oakland. The Long Wharf served as both the terminus of the Transcontinental Railroad as well as the local commuter trains of the Central (later, Southern) Pacific. The Central Pacific also established one of its largest rail yards and servicing facilities in West Oakland which continued to be a major local employer under the Southern Pacific well into the 20th century. The principal depot of the Southern Pacific in Oakland was the 16th Street Station located at 16th and Wood which is currently (2006) being partially restored as part of a redevelopment project.

A number of horsecar and cable car lines were constructed in Oakland in the latter half of the 1800s. The first electric streetcar set out from Oakland to Berkeley in 1891, and other lines were converted and added over the course of the 1890s. The various streetcar companies operating in Oakland were acquired by Francis "Borax" Smith and consolidated into what eventually became known as the Key System, the predecessor of today's publicly owned AC Transit. In addition to its system of streetcars in the East Bay, the Key System also operated commuter trains to its own pier and ferry boats to San Francisco, in competition with the Southern Pacific. Upon completion of the Bay Bridge, both companies ran their commuter trains on the south side of the lower deck direct to San Francisco. The Key System in its earliest years was actually in part a real estate venture, with the transit part serving to help open up new tracts for buyers. The Key's investors (incorporated as the "Realty Syndicate") also established two large hotels in Oakland, one of which survives as the Claremont Resort. The other, which burned down in the early 1930s, was the Key Route Inn, located at what is now West Grand and Broadway. From 1904 to 1929, the Realty Syndicate also operated a major amusement park in north Oakland called Idora Park.

The original extent of Oakland upon its incorporation lay south of today's major intersection of San Pablo Avenue, Broadway and 14th Street. The city gradually annexed farmlands and settlements to the east and north. Oakland's rise to industrial prominence and its subsequent need for a seaport led to the digging of a shipping and tidal channel in 1902 creating the "island" of nearby town Alameda. In 1906 its population doubled with refugees made homeless after the San Francisco earthquake and fire who had fled to Oakland. In 1915, a Chevrolet plant was opened at the southern border of Oakland. By 1920, Oakland was the home of numerous manufacturing industries, including metals, automobiles, and shipbuilding.

[edit] 1920s

The 1920s were economic boom years in the United States as a whole, and in California especially. Economic growth was fueled by the general post-war recovery, as well as oil discoveries in Los Angeles, and the widespread introduction of the automobile. Oakland grew significantly in the 1920s. According to the Oakland Tribune yearbook for 1925, more houses were built from 1921 to 1924 than in the period 1907 to 1920.<ref>Prentice, Helaine Kaplan, Rehab Right, Ten-Speed Press. ISBN 0-89815-172-4</ref> Many of the single-family houses still standing in Oakland were built in the 1920s. Many large office buildings downtown were built in the 1920s, and reflect the architectural styles of the time.

[edit] World War II

During World War II, the East Bay Area was home to many war-related industries. Among these were the Kaiser Shipyards in nearby Richmond whose medical system for shipyard workers became the basis for the giant Kaiser Permanente HMO, which has a large medical center at MacArthur and Broadway, the first to be established by Kaiser.

The war attracted large numbers of laborers from around the country to Oakland, many of whom were African Americans from the western South (Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Arkansas), who enjoyed great prosperity during the war years.

[edit] Post-war years

Image:Merrittview.jpg
View of Lake Merritt looking toward downtown Oakland and the Alameda County Courthouse.

Soon after the war, the shipbuilding and automobile industries virtually evaporated, as did the jobs that came with it. Many who came to the city did not leave and decided to settle in their new home of Oakland. Meanwhile, many of the city's more affluent residents left the city after the war in order to move into newly developing suburbs to the north and south of Oakland's city borders, as part of a nationwide phenomenon of white flight.

Also in this time period, the freeway system was constructed while the Key System was dismantled. The largest high rise was constructed on the west side of Lake Merritt, the headquarters building of Kaiser Permanente (the industry, not the HMO). Also in this era, the seedy, rundown area at the foot of Broadway was transformed into Jack London Square. A TV broadcast station was established there, today's KTVU.

Nonetheless, by the late 1960s, Oakland, which had been quite prosperous and affluent before the war, found itself with a population that was increasingly poor and black.

[edit] 1960s and 1970s

The poverty and segregation which had developed in Oakland in the postwar years had helped increase the crime rate, which heightened the fears of the conservative, white, middle class-dominated local government. White policemen were recruited from the Deep South, the very place many in Oakland had escaped from. The civil rights movement had yet to make its mark. Consequently, tensions rose quickly between the Oakland police and members of the black community. Inspired by the activism of both the national civil rights movement and the students at the University of California in Berkeley, Huey Newton organized the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense.

The city was also home to an innovative funk music scene which produced well-known bands like Sly & the Family Stone, Graham Central Station, Tower of Power, Cold Blood, and The Headhunters. Larry Graham, the bass player for both Sly & the Family Stone and Graham Central Station, is credited with the creation of the extremely influential slap and pop sound still widely used by bassists in many musical idioms today. It was also during the 1960's when the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club's Oakland Chapter, began to grow into a formidable organization. By the 1980's it was the most feared and respected of all Hells Angels chapters. Its Oakland Clubhouse still sits at 4019 Foothill Boulevard in East Oakland. In sports, the Oakland Athletics MLB club won three World Series in a row (1972, 1973, and 1974); the Golden State Warriors won the 1974–1975 NBA championship; and the Oakland Raiders of the NFL won Super Bowl XI in 1977.

[edit] 1980s and 1990s

In the late 1980s and 1990s, Oakland featured prominently in rap music, both as the hometown for such artists as MC Hammer, Digital Underground, Spice 1, Hieroglyphics, Souls of Mischief, Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, The Luniz, Keak Da Sneak and Too $hort, and for its featuring in the lyrics of several songs, such as Baby Got Back, California Love and I Got 5 On It. However, the most famous rapper to come from Oakland was the legendary Tupac Shakur. 2pac, who grew up in Baltimore, New York, and later Marin City, moved to Oakland in January 1989 at the age of 17 and lived there longer than in any other city. He began his career as a roadie and dancer for Digital Underground. Tupac mentions Oakland in several of his songs and what it was like living there. Outside of the rap scene, Grammy award winning artists Green Day, En Vogue and Tony! Toni! Tone! (headed by Raphael Saadiq) also emerged from the dynamic city. In 2005, R&B singer Keyshia Cole also emerged from Oakland.

The Loma Prieta earthquake occurred on October 17, 1989, in the greater San Francisco Bay Area, measuring 7.1 on the Richter magnitude scale. Several structures in Oakland were badly damaged. The double-decker portion of the Cypress Viaduct freeway (Interstate 880) structure, located in Oakland, collapsed, killing 42. The eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge also sustained significant damage and was closed to traffic for one month. Throughout the 1990s, buildings throughout Oakland were retrofitted to better withstand earthquakes.

On October 20, 1991, a massive fire (see 1991 Oakland firestorm) swept down from the Berkeley Hills above the Caldecott Tunnel. 25 were killed and 150 injured and over 2,000 homes were destroyed. The economic loss has been estimated at $1.5 billion. Many homes were rebuilt much larger than they originally were.

In late 1996, Oakland was the center of a controversy surrounding Ebonics (African American Vernacular English), an ethnolect the outgoing Oakland Unified School District board voted to recognize on December 18.

[edit] 2000s

Image:Oaklandatnight02192006.JPG
View of downtown Oakland looking west across Lake Merritt.

Jerry Brown, who was elected mayor of Oakland in 1998, initiated a plan to bring an additional 10,000 residents to downtown Oakland. The plan has resulted in several redevelopment projects near Lake Merritt, Jack London Square, and other neighborhoods just outside of downtown. These redevelopment projects have been controversial as many residents see these projects as gentrification, resulting in the loss of lower-income and minority residents in downtown Oakland. Additionally, the weakening of the Bay Area economy in 2000 and 2001 resulted in low occupancy of the new housing and slower growth and economic recovery than expected. As of 2004, the population of Oakland has increased to 409,300.

In recent years demand for high-rise condos and towers has surged, as in San Francisco; there are currently many proposals for high-rise buildings, including a 63 floor, 827 ft. (252 m) tower that will rival the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco. The developer says that the height could be pushed up to beat out the Transamerica Pyramid, possibly giving Oakland a considerable skyline as well.<ref>http://sfcityscape.com/log.html (see "high and mighty")</ref>

Additionally, the Oakland Athletics began searching for a site on which to build a new baseball stadium. The Athletics were interested in a site near Telegraph Avenue and 20th Street in downtown Oakland, but the site was instead slated for a housing development. The site was favored by the Athletics for a new stadium as it was accessible by public transit and nearby freeways. As of 2006, the Athletics are pursuing alternative sites for a new stadium outside of downtown Oakland, and even outside of the city altogether, drawing fears by some fans that the franchise may eventually leave Northern California (the southern suburb of Fremont has been named in the press as a possible site for a new A's ballpark).

In February 2006, the Oakland Ballet closed due to financial problems and the closure of their performance facility, the Calvin Simmons Theater at the Kaiser Convention Center. The Oakland Ballet had been performing in Oakland since 1965.<ref>http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/02/01/OAKBALLET.TMP</ref> A new use for the Kaiser Convention Center has been proposed. In July 2006, the Oakland City Council approved a bond measure to expand the city's library system and convert the closed Kaiser Convention Center into a replacement for the city's aging main library. The redevelopment of the Kaiser Convention Center is designed to nucleate a cultural and educational district with the nearby Oakland Museum of California and Laney College.<ref>http://www.oaklandlibrary.org/PR/pr080106LibraryBond.htm</ref> Oakland voters will decide on the library bond in November 2006.

Ron Dellums, a former Berkeley city council member and U.S. Representative, was elected mayor in June, 2006. The mayoral election race was contentious between Dellums and other candidates, including Oakland city council president Ignacio de la Fuente and councilmember Nancy Nadel.<ref>http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/01/19/BAGTQGPAKH1.DTL</ref> Each candidate had different visions of Oakland's future and different ideas about how to combat crime, encourage appropriate urban development, and foster successful public schools. Dellums barely won the required majority of votes needed to win without the need for a runoff election in November.<ref>http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/06/17/OAKMAYOR.TMP</ref>

[edit] Geography and climate

[edit] Geography

Oakland is located around 37°48' North, 122°15' West (37.8, -122.25)GR1, in the longitudinal middle of California, on the east side of San Francisco Bay.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 78.2 mi² (202.4 km²). 56.1 mi² (145.2 km²) of it is land and 22.1 mi² (57.2 km²) of it (28.28%) is water.

Oaklanders most broadly refer to their city's terrain as "the flatlands" and "the hills," which up until recent waves of gentrification have also been a reference to Oakland's deep economic divide, with "the hills" being more affluent communities. About two-thirds of Oakland lies within the flat plain of the San Francisco Bay, with one-third rising into the foothills and hills of the East Bay range.

[edit] Climate

Oakland's climate is typified by the temperate and seasonally arid Mediterranean climate. More specifically, it has features found in both nearby coastal cities such as San Francisco and inland cities such as San Jose, so it is warmer than San Francisco and cooler than San Jose. While it does not abut the Pacific Ocean proper, its position on San Francisco Bay directly across from the Golden Gate means that the city gets significant cooling maritime fog during the summer. It is far enough inland, though, that the fog often burns off by midday, allowing it to have stereotypically sunny California days.

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg high temp. °F (°C) 57
(14)
61
(16)
63
(17)
66
(19)
69
(21)
72
(22)
73
(23)
73
(23)
75
(24)
72
(22)
64
(18)
58
(14)
Avg low temp. °F (°C) 45
(7)
48
(9)
49
(9)
51
(11)
53
(12)
56
(13)
57
(14)
58
(14)
58
(14)
55
(13)
49
(9)
45
(7)
Rainfall in. (cm) 4.9
(12)
4.3
(11)
3.6
(9)
1.4
(4)
0.6
(1)
0.1
(--)
0.1
(--)
0.1
(--)
0.3
(1)
1.3
(3)
3.1
(8)
3.2
(8)
Table 1: Oakland Climate Data<ref>http://www.weather.com/weather/wxclimatology/monthly/USCA0791|Weather.com – Monthly Averages for Oakland] Accessed 15 Sept 2006</ref>

[edit] People and culture

[edit] Demographics

City of Oakland
Population by year
<ref>http://www.census.gov/population/www/documentation/twps0027.html</ref><ref>http://www.census.gov/popest/estimates.php</ref>
1880: 34,555 1950: 384,575
1890: 48,682 1960: 367,548
1900: 66,960 1970: 361,561
1910: 150,174 1980: 339,337
1920: 216,261 1990: 372,242
1930: 284,063 2000: 399,484
1940: 302,163 2005: 395,274

[verification needed] As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 399,484 people, 150,790 households, and 86,402 families residing in the city. The population density was 7,126.6/mi² (2,751.4/km²). There were 157,508 housing units at an average density of 2,809.8/mi² (1,084.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 35.66% African American, 23.52% White, 0.66% Native American, 15.23% Asian American, 0.50% Pacific Islander, 11.66% from other races, and 4.98% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 21.89% of the population.

The US Census Bureau 2005 estimates show 31.00% African American, 26.10% White, 0.60% Native American, 16.40% Asian American, 0.90% Pacific Islander, 14.00% from other races, and 4.80% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 25.00% of the population.

The African American population has been shrinking since the mid-80s, while the Latino population has been growing. Oakland is one of the most ethnically diverse and integrated cities in the country.<ref>Lopez, Alejandra. (2001). Racial/Ethnic Diversity and Residential Segregation in the San Francisco Bay Area. Retrieved on 17 Sept 2006. Quinn, Lois M. and Pawasarat, John. (2003). Racial Integration in Urban America: A Block Level Analysis of African American and White Housing Patterns. Retrieved on 17 Sept 2006.</ref>

There were 150,790 households out of which 28.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.0% were married couples living together, 17.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.7% were non-families. 32.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.38.

An analysis by the Urban Institute of U.S. Census 2000 numbers showed that Oakland has the third-highest concentration of gays and lesbians among the 50 largest U.S. cities, behind San Francisco and Seattle. Same-sex couples are 2.94 times as likely to live in Oakland as in the typical American city, the Urban Institute analysis found. According to the same study, Oakland has the nation's largest population of lesbian couples.<ref>http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/08/27/BAGDLKQ5EU1.DTL</ref>

In the city the population was spread out with 25.0% under the age of 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 34.0% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from 45 to 64, and 10.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 93.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $40,055, and the median income for a family was $44,384. Males had a median income of $37,433 versus $35,088 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,936. About 16.2% of families and 19.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.9% of those under age 18 and 13.1% of those age 65 or over.

See also: Maps of Oakland, California

[edit] Crime

Image:Oakland Court House California USA.jpg
Alameda County Courthouse in Oakland

Though substantial gains have been made as evidenced from the Uniform Crime Reports published by the FBI, the city still ranks high in California for most categories of crime. In the 2006 Morgan Quitno crime rankings, Oakland is ranked the eighth most dangerous city nationwide and the second most dangerous in California after Compton. As of November 2006, Oakland had 139 murders, with the majority of victims and/or murderers from an African American background and the average age being 28 years old. <ref>http://journalism.berkeley.edu/ngno/stories/027272.html</ref> The murder rate increased 21% from only 94 murders in 2005, compared to 88 murders in 2004 being the lowest number down from 108 killings in 2003. The past few years into the millennium saw the lowest amount of murders, compared to the 1990's when there were known to be an average of 160 murders in Oakland each year.<ref>http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4176/is_20060102/ai_n15976907</ref> The majority of the crimes being committed occur in the flatlands of the city.

[edit] Revitalization

Oakland has experienced an increase of population and of real-estate prices in the past decade, attributable to economic recovery and Mayor Brown's "10k Plan" which has resulted in large amounts of new multi-family housing and development. In addition, Oakland's weather, location, hillside neighborhoods with views of San Francisco and the Bay provide an attractive alternative to high rents and home prices in nearby San Francisco. Because of its size, Oakland offers a substantial amount of shopping districts and restaurants representing cuisines both homegrown and worldwide.

[edit] Newspapers

The Oakland Tribune published its first newspaper on February 21, 1874. The Tribune Tower, which sports a clock, is one of Oakland's landmarks. At key times throughout the day (8:00am, noon, 5:00pm), the clock tower clarion plays a variety of classic melodies, which change on a daily basis.

The East Bay Express, most notable for putting actor Gary Coleman on the ballot for governor in the 2003 California recall election,<ref>http://www.eastbayexpress.com/Issues/2003-08-06/news/recall.html eastbayexpress.com| News | Gary for Governor! | 2003-08-06</ref> is based in Emeryville and distributed throughout Oakland.

[edit] "There's no there there"

Image:Oakland HERE-THERE.jpg
A BART train descends into Berkeley at the border between Oakland and Berkeley in front of the HERETHERE sculpture.

Many Oaklanders are frustrated by the misuse of the most famous quote said about their city, "there's no there there," uttered by Gertrude Stein upon learning as an adult that her childhood Oakland home had been torn down. Contrary to popular belief, the comment was not meant to disparage the city, but rather to express a sentiment similar to "you can't go home again". Modern-day Oakland has turned the quote on its head, with a statue downtown simply titled, "There." Additionally, in 2005 a sculpture called HERETHERE was installed by the City of Berkeley on the Berkeley-Oakland border at Martin Luther King Jr. Way. The sculpture consists of eight foot high letters spelling out the words "HERE" and "THERE" in front of a ramp that carries the BART rapid transit tracks from its elevated section in Oakland to the underground section in Berkeley.

[edit] Attractions

[edit] Nightlife

The culture and energy of Downtown Oakland is graced by an assortment of bars and nightclubs ranging from punk-rock makeovers of dive bars, such as the Golden Bull and the Ruby Room, to modern bistros and dance clubs, such as Luka's Taproom and Lounge, @17, and The Oasis, to diverse hipster spots such as Radio, Geoffreys, Karribean City, and art and jazz bar Kaffe Van Kleefe. Oakland is home to a world-class jazz venue, Yoshi's, near Jack London Square. The Bay Area hip-hop movement known as "Hyphy" was invented in the streets of Oakland and soon made its way to clubs, such as Mingles and Sweet Jimmys. Recent months have seen the growth of the "Oakland Art Murmur" event, occurring in the Uptown neighborhood the first Friday evening of every month, which features concurrent art openings from many galleries including 21 Grand, Boontling Gallery, Ego Park, Mama Buzz, and Rock Paper Scissors.

Oakland is also known in the Bay Area as the home of Hyphy. A word that was coined by an Oakland rapper named Keak Da Sneak. Oakland is dubbed "Land of the Sydeshow" by the bay and is a big city in Bay Area hip hop culture.

[edit] Sports

Club Sport Founded League Venue
Oakland Athletics Baseball 1901 (in Oakland since 1968) Major League Baseball: American League McAfee Coliseum
Oakland Raiders American Football 1960 (in Los Angeles from 1982-1994) American Football League: American Conference. AFC West McAfee Coliseum
Golden State Warriors Basketball 1948 (In Oakland since 1971) National Basketball Association: Western Conference. Oakland Arena
Oakland Slammers Basketball 2005 International Basketball League (2005-): Merritt College
Image:Ballpark.jpg
The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Complex, which was built in the 1960s and includes a stadium and arena, houses all three of Oakland's professional teams.

Former teams:

[edit] Neighborhoods

Image:Oakland California 20041129.jpg
Aerial view looking west over downtown Oakland, Lake Merritt and the Port of Oakland.

The city of Oakland stretches from the San Francisco Bay up into the East Bay hills. The character of these neighborhoods continues to change as waves of migrants from within the United States and other countries relocate here. Also, the changing economy lures more technically skilled workers to Oakland.

The common large neighborhood divisions in the city are "Downtown Oakland," "East Oakland," "North Oakland," and "West Oakland." East Oakland actually encompasses more than half of Oakland's area, stretching from Lake Merritt southeast to San Leandro. North Oakland encompasses the neighborhoods spread between Downtown and Berkeley and Emeryville. West Oakland is the area between Downtown and the Bay, partially surrounded by the Port of Oakland.

Another broad geographical distinction is between "The Hills" and "The Flatlands" (or "The Flats"). The Flatlands are the historically working-class neighborhoods located in the relatively flat areas closer to San Francisco Bay, and the Hills are the more upper-middle/upper-class hillside neighborhoods along the northeast side of the city. This hills/flats division is not only a characteristic of the City of Oakland, but extends beyond Oakland's borders into neighboring communities in the East Bay's urban core. Downtown and West Oakland are located entirely in the Flatlands, while North and East Oakland incorporate both Hills and Flatlands neighborhoods.

[edit] Downtown and Lake Merritt

[edit] East Oakland

Main Article, East Oakland

[edit] North Oakland and Montclair

[edit] West Oakland

[edit] Education

[edit] Primary and secondary education

Most public schools in Oakland are operated by the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), which covers the entire city of Oakland; due to financial troubles, it has been in receivership by the state of California since 2002.

OUSD schools have overall performed poorly for years. In the 2005 results of the STAR testing, over 50% of students taking the test performed "below basic," while only 20% performed at least "proficient" on the English section of the test.<ref>http://star.cde.ca.gov/star2005/viewreport.asp</ref> Some individual schools have much better performance than the city-wide average, for instance, in 2005 over half the students at Hillcrest Elementary School performed at the "advanced" level in the English portion of the test.

Several factors have been blamed for poor performance, including an inefficient top-heavy administrative structure and a student body that is often poor or from a background of limited English proficiency.

The three biggest high schools are Oakland High School, Oakland Technical High School, and Skyline High School. The Oakland Military Academy, Oakland School for the Arts, Unity High School, and Oakland Charter Academy are public charter schools that operate outside the domain of the OUSD.

There are several private high schools. Notables include the secular The College Preparatory School and Head-Royce School, both with tuitions around $25,000 per year and the Catholic Bishop O'Dowd High School, Holy Names High School and St. Elizabeth High School. Catholic schools in Oakland are operated by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland.

Julia Morgan School for Girls is a private middle school for girls housed on the campus of Mills College.

[edit] Colleges and universities

Colleges and universities include:

Oakland is also the home of the headquarters of the University of California system.

[edit] Transportation

[edit] Freeways, bridges, and tunnels

Oakland is served by several major highways; Interstate 80, Interstate 580, Interstate 880, Interstate 980, California State Route 13 and California State Route 24. Stubs of planned freeways were constructed at the High Street exit from I-880 and along Hegenberger Avenue near I-880; these freeway projects were abandoned.

Image:Cypress structure.jpeg
Portion of the collapsed Cypress Viaduct in Oakland.

In 1989, the Loma Prieta earthquake caused the Cypress Freeway double-decker segment of I-880 to collapse, killing 42 people. The old freeway segment had passed right through the middle of West Oakland, forming a psychological barrier; following the earthquake, the freeway was rerouted around the perimeter of West Oakland and rebuilt in 1997. The east span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge also suffered damage from the quake when a 50-foot section of the upper deck collapsed onto the lower deck; the damaged section was repaired one month after the earthquake. As a result of the earthquake, a significant seismic retrofit was performed on the western span of the Bay Bridge, and the eastern span is scheduled for replacement, with the new span projected to be completed in 2014.

Two underwater tunnels, the Webster and Posey Tubes, connect the main island of Alameda to Downtown Oakland, coming above ground in Chinatown. In addition, the Park Street, Fruitvale, and High Street Bridges connect Alameda to East Oakland.

In the hills, the Leimert Bridge crosses Dimond Canyon, connecting the Oakmore neighborhood to Park Boulevard. The Caldecott Tunnel carries Highway 24 through the Oakland Hills, connecting central Contra Costa County to Oakland. The Caldecott has three bores, with a fourth one planned.

[edit] Mass transit

Public bus service is provided by AC Transit, which was created from the old privately owned Key System. Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) is the Bay Area metro system headquartered in Oakland, with major transfer hubs at MacArthur and Oakland City Center/12th Street stations. BART's headquarters was located in a building above the Lake Merritt Station until 2006, when it relocated to the Kaiser Center over seismic safety concerns. The Alameda/Oakland Ferry operates ferry service from Jack London Square to Alameda, San Francisco, and Angel Island.

[edit] Air

Oakland is served by the Oakland International Airport, which is located 4 miles (6 km) south of downtown Oakland. One of three international airports in the San Francisco Bay Area, airlines serving Oakland International provide service to numerous destinations in the United States, as well as Mexico. It has proven a popular alternative to San Francisco International, thanks largely to a heavy Southwest Airlines presence.

[edit] Rail

The city has regional and long distance passenger train service provided by Amtrak, with a station located blocks from Jack London Square served by the Amtrak Capitol Corridor, Coast Starlight and San Joaquin train routes. Capitol Corridor trains also stop at a second, newer Oakland Coliseum station. Amtrak's California Zephyr stops at Emeryville station, just outside of Oakland's borders in the city of the same name.

Freight service, which consists primarily of moving shipping containers to and from the Port of Oakland, is provided today by the Union Pacific (which absorbed the Southern Pacific in the 1990s), and to a lesser extent by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (which now shares the tracks of the Union Pacific between Richmond and Oakland).

  • Historically, Oakland was served by several railroads. Besides the transcontinental line (the "overland") of the Southern Pacific, there was also the Santa Fe (whose Oakland terminal was actually in Emeryville), the Western Pacific (who built a pier adjacent to the SP's), and the Sacramento Northern (eventually absorbed by the Western Pacific which in turn was absorbed by UP in 1980).

[edit] Sea

The Port of Oakland is the largest seaport on San Francisco Bay and the fourth busiest container port in the United States. It was one of the earliest seaports to switch to containerization, thereby displacing San Francisco which never modernized its old waterfront.

[edit] Sister cities

Oakland, California has seven sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International:

[edit] See also

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[edit] References

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[edit] External links


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