Grand Lake Commercial District Online Survey is Over!

8/10/16: Thanks for your responses to our online neighborhood survey! We’ll be tabulating the results over the next few days…

East Bay Express Best Neighborhood!

The Grand Lake is proud to be voted the 2015 East Bay Express Best Neighborhood!

Splash Pad News

You can find all the Splash Pad Newsletters here! The August, 2016 edition is now available.

Grand Ave Road Diet Meeting Wednesday 7/8/2015

June 2016 note: although the ‘road diet’ has been competed, this is still an important list of initial requirements as discussion about its impact continues.
Councilmember Abel Guillen held a community meeting Wednesday, 7/8/2015, 7:00pm at Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church (Barnett Hall) to discuss reconfiguration of the traffic lanes on Grand Ave from Elwood Ave to Jean St.

From Abel’s announcement “The proposed road diet would reconfigure the current four vehicle lanes (two travel lanes in each direction) into a total of three vehicle lanes – one vehicle lane and a bike lane each way with a two-way left-turn lane in the center. The improvements will make it safer for pedestrians to cross the street, enhance access and comfort for bicyclists, reduce conflicts and collisions for vehicles turning onto and off of Grand Ave., and discourage excessive traffic speeds.”

A number of years ago the same change was made to Lakeshore between Mandana and the Piedmont border. The Lakeshore road diet was very successful. Do we think a road diet on Grand will be equally successful?

WOBO (Walk Oakland Bike Oakland) is supporting the proposal. Here are links to the City’s flyer and WOBO’s flyer about the project.

City of Oakland Road Diet Flyer

WOBO Road Diet Flyer

You can also find WOBO’s article about the proposal at Scroll down. It’s the second article on the page.

Some neighbors are opposing the project, mostly because of concerns about the potential for traffic congestion. I don’t have any write-ups detailing the opposition. I’ll see if I can come up with one. I do however have the City’s traffic data documents for Grand Ave, all 17 of them.

Grand Ave ADT 2013

13350916 – Grand Ave — Elwood Ave

13350915 – Grand Ave — Elwood Ave

13350914 – Grand Ave — Mandana Blvd

13350913 – Grand Ave — Mandana Blvd

13350912 – Grand Ave — Pedestrian Crossing at 3612 Grand Ave

13350911 – Grand Ave — Pedestrian Crossing at 3612 Grand Ave

13350910 – Grand Ave — Weldon Ave

13350909 – Grand Ave — Weldon Ave

13350908 – Grand Ave — Pedestrian Crossing at 3758 Grand Ave

13350907 – Grand Ave — Pedestrian Crossing at 3758 Grand Ave

13350906 – Grand Ave — Sunnyslope Ave

13350905 – Grand Ave — Sunnyslope Ave

13350904 – Grand Ave — Boulevard Way

13350903 – Grand Ave — Boulevard Way

12766702 – Grand Ave — Wildwood Ave

12766701 – Grand Ave — Wildwood Ave


Neighborhood Beautification

April 2016: To see what has been accomplished in the past few years, head to the group facebook page here (you need to have a facebook account to see the list).

Use to report neighborhood issues to Public Works on your computer or mobile phone.

May 2013 Grand Avenue Survey Results

Here are the results of the May 2013 survey about Grand Avenue, sparked by the desire of Alchemy Bottle Shop to open on the Avenue.






Four of the eleven questions were free-form text questions. You can find the answers to those four questions at the following links or from the navigational sidebar in the left column.

3. Which Grand Avenue businesses (up to five in approximate order) so you patronize most frequently?

12. Please briefly describe what you like about the Grand Avenue commercial district between the Grand Lake Theater and Ace Hardware.

13. Please list the shops and/or services that you’d like to see added to the current mix on the stretch of Grand.

14. Please describe what, if any, improvements you’d like to see on this stretch of Grand.

Regulation of Unattended Donation Boxes

This Tuesday, Oaklandʼs Community and Economic Development Committee will consider a resolution to impose regulations and fees for all unattended donation bins. From her March 2012 newsletter, here is Councilmember Pat Kernighanʼs explanation of the rationale for taking up this issue:

Oakland has seen an explosion of large metal donation containers sponsored by both non-profit and for-profit organizations. The boxes are springing up all over the City, mostly on private property such as in parking lots, near gas stations and grocery stores. The most frequently seen boxes belong to Campus California TG and US’Again, both of which have been the subject of many investigative news reports easily found online. Campus California has increased the number of boxes in Oakland from fewer than 20 last year to more than 70 this year.

If the boxes are found on public property, an encroachment permit is required. The companies were informed of this a few years ago and the boxes mostly disappeared from public places. If you see a box on a public sidewalk, you can report it to Public Works at

The boxes on private property are an issue because they are not presently regulated at all. However, they can attract graffiti, illegal dumping and scavenging, and become an eyesore. Furthermore, local non-profits such as Goodwill Industries and St. Vincent de Paul have reported a decline in donations to their area drop-off centers, which seems to correlate with the proliferation of the metal bins. Non-profits like Goodwill, St. Vincent de Paul and the Salvation Army use donated good for re-sale in their thrift shops. This not only recirculates the goods in the local economy, but also provides revenue for job training programs that directly serve Oakland residents. The organizations that are sponsoring the unattended boxes are reselling the goods overseas and either simply making a profit or in some instances using some portion of the revenue to support overseas charities.

With these issues in mind, several residents requested that the City consider regulation of the unattended donation boxes in the same way that other municipalities have done either through use of existing Planning Code requirements or some other type of permitting process. Councilmembers Kernighan and Brunner have brought forth a request for staff to develop a regulatory process that makes most sense. The Community and Economic Development Committee (CED) will consider their recommendation at its March 27th meeting.

The CED Committee meets at 2:00 pm at City Hall in the Mark Dunakin Hearing Room (Hearing Room 1). The agenda and report on this item will be available 10 days in advance of the meeting at If you would like to speak on this item, you can fill out a speaker’s card in advance online or in person before the item is called for discussion.

Please watch for a lengthy report on Oakland Local (to be posted shortly) that provides background information on the three major donation bin operations.

The most persuasive argument in their favor is that the bins are admittedly more convenient. I’d maintain, however, that “doing the right thing” inevitably trumps “convenience” and I’m willing to bet Mitt Romney’s $10,000 that the overwhelming majority of Oakland’s citizenry agree. I’d also safely wager that a lot of folks reading this article (and knowing what they know now) are wishing they could have back the books that got sold (or more likely pulped) and the clothes that got baled, sold and shipped overseas for resale.

Welcome to Grand Lake Neighbors

Welcome to the Grand Lake Neighbors website. Grand Lake Neighbors is a group of volunteers working together to preserve and improve the Grand Lake district of Oakland. Our mission is threefold:

  • Communication – sharing information and keeping each other informed about issues in our area
  • Solving problems – tapping into the incredible talent in our neighborhood to address specific problems
  • Effecting change – being an agent for improving our quality of life

Our primary focus is on sharing information. We hope to foster an information network that provides broader communication among the many individuals and groups that are now working independently.

We are just getting started. Technically, the site went live on July 13, 2009, and the first substantial content appeared in July. We welcome your input, ideas, and, since this is a volunteer effort, your help. Please leave a comment. Do you like what we are doing? What neighborhood issues are important to you? What kind of information could we provide that would be helpful to you?

Take a look at the About Us and History pages for more information on who we are and where we came from. And check out the useful links to community resources on the right.