Rockridge Soundwalls

Coming to Rockridge? NO!

Soundwall

The petition drive to approve studies for soundwalls along Highway 24 through Rockridge has failed. The proponents of the study appealed to the City of Oakland to have the studies go forward anyway; but so far, the City has upheld the petition results.

Summary of the petition results

- 300 of the 485 eligible property owners (62%) signed the soundwall study approval petition.
- This fell short of the 67% required to fund the study.
- Under Alameda County statutes, only about 140 of the 485 property owners would have later been eligible to sign soundwall construction approval petitions (assuming that the results of the full Noise Study would have been similar to those of the Pre-NBSSR).
- Just 76 (54%) of these 140 property owners signed the soundwall study approval petitions, far less than would have been needed later to approve actual construction.

Thanks to everyone who helped to prevent the waste of $1.482 million to study soundwalls that would probably never be built. Instead, this money will be used for real improvements - not reports - that are already on the Caldecott Tunnel Settlement Agreement Project List.

Why this website is not going away

There are more soundwall studies on the Caldecott Tunnel Settlement Project List and much of the information on this website is relevant to those studies as well as to the ones which were just defeated. Beyond that, the way in which the City of Oakland created and ran the soundwall study approval process was shameful; and that story is chronicled in detail here. This should be a wakeup call to the people of Oakland, and especially Rockridge, about how their "representatives" do business.

Top 10 reasons not to have soundwalls along Highway 24 in Rockridge

1. Measured noise levels show that the proposed soundwalls are mostly unnecessary.
2. Approving a soundwall study report would preempt funding for tangible projects like intersection improvements and pedestrian lighting.
3. Only 133 properties would see a significant (5 decibel) noise reduction.
4. $1.182 $1.482 million would be wasted if the studies are approved but soundwalls are not built.
5. The City would have to compete with many other Alameda County transportation projects for $5 million to build the soundwalls. It is "highly unlikely that a sound wall will ever be constructed in the Rockridge area" (Victoria Eisen, City of Oakland Consultant for Caldecott-funded Projects); "These studies do not guarantee construction, and construction funding will be extremely difficult to impossible to come by" (Wlad Wlassowsky, Transportation Services Division Manager, City of Oakland).
6. Noise and air pollution at the Rockridge BART station, which would be bracketed by soundwalls.
7. Aesthetic considerations.
8. Possible losses in property values adjacent to Highway 24.
9. Soundwall grafitti removal would be the responsibility of the City of Oakland, not CalTrans, creating a tagger's paradise.
10. The approval process was manipulated and there are serious ethics issues.

This website was not originally intended to compete in length with "War and Peace", but it kept growing as the saga of the Rockridge soundwalls unfolded. If you would like to know more, read:

- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- An editorial
- The history of what has happened up to now
- Details about the manipulation of the soundwall approval process
- An original analysis of the Noise Study, which shows that soundwalls are not necessary in most of Rockridge
- Links to other sources of information, including documents, newspaper articles, and local television coverage

I'm interested in your comments on the proposed soundwalls and on this website.
Please e-mail me at Comment@RockridgeSoundwalls.org.

- Jon Gabel, 39 year Rockridge resident, RCPC Board member 2008-2012,
Founder Rockridge DVD Project

www.RockridgeSoundwalls.org last updated: April 24, 2014