Rockridge Soundwalls

Approval process: Deception

Why did it appear that ACTC's Freeway Soundwall Policy was being applied to the Highway 24 soundwall approval process? Here is the evidence.

Note: The Rockridge News is published by the Rockridge Community Planning Council (RCPC), which is a member of the Fourth Bore Coalition. All back issues of The Rockridge News referenced below have been removed from the RCPC website, Previously, this site had provided the complete issues containing the cited articles.


November 8, 2010: Public meeting at Kaiser Elementary School, Oakland re the Caldecott Settlement Agreement projects, including soundwall studies. Present was Vivek Bhat of ACTC, who explained the ACTC soundwall approval policy. Also present was Iris Starr, AICP, City of Oakland Public Works Agency, Division Manager of Infrastructure Plans and Programming.


March 17, 2011: E-mail from me to Iris Starr, "Back in November, I requested some information from you but I did not receive it. My request was for the details on the petition process for the approval of sound walls. I would appreciate it if you could send it or a link to it. Thanks!"

March 17, 2011: E-mail from Iris Starr to me, "I apologize. It took me some time to get the information, and then I forgot to send it to you. Here it is, attached". Attached was the ACTC Freeway Soundwall Policy.


May 7, 2011 Rockridge News, page 5, "Caldecott Settlement Project List Posted: Soundwall Studies, Intersections, Bicycle Facilities, More, Proposed for Funding":

"An agreement with the Alameda County Transportation Commission and Caltrans must be signed with the city regarding funding and the list of projects."


July 2, 2011 Rockridge News, page 11, "Freeway Sound: Pervasive, Possibly Harmful if Unmanaged":

Following a list of environmental laws regulating sound levels:

"These regulatory acts began to inform traffic-noise regulations adopted by the Federal Highway Administration (FWHA), and now must generally be considered by agencies eligible for federal transportation funding, such as the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC)."


May 5, 2012 Rockridge News, page 13, "On the Nature and Likelihood of Soundwalls Coming to Rockridge":

"Building Soundwalls or Not

The Alameda Counry Congestion Management Agencey (ACCMA*) Freeway Soundwall Policy,adopted in 2002 and later revised, defined a review and ranking system for retrofit soundwall projects. The policy defines four criteria for determining if a soundwall is warranted: …

The screening process starts with a request for a soundwall. The jurisdiction, in this case the city of Oakland, agrees to sponsor the request and take responsibility for coordinating public input. As one element of the city's agreement with Caltrans, an initial screening or pre-NBSSR study, was conducted by Caltrans' consultant…The pre-NBSSR study identifies four areas along SR 24 that meet the criteria of the ACCMA soundwall policy and are considered cost-effective. The study, accepted by the ACCMA, is available at …

A petition favoring construction of a soundwall must be signed by a property owner from 100 percent of the households with a property line immediately facing the proposed soundwall and 75 percent of the households …If the required quota of petition signatures aren't submitted, the city can appeal to the ACTC, if it feels that public support is nonetheless strong.

* The ACCMA has since been replaced by the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC). Same job, different name."


June 2, 2012 Rockridge News, page 11, "Caldecott Tunnel Settlement Projects Begin to Move Into Construction":

"Projects 7 and 8 are Highway 24 soundwall studies. The city has hired consultant Victoria Eisen of Eisen | Letunic, who managed the public process to develop the ranked list, to coordinate an informational public meeting at which the soundwall study process prescribed by ACTC will be presented…"

Note: contains a compilation of its articles favoring the approval of soundwalls. In that compilation, the web version of the June, 2012 article was edited to remove the reference to ACTC.

Previous Next