Watch: Plans to restore local path put on hold after community outcry

A historic shortcut path and steps that link a parking lot at the Claremont Hotel to Alvarado Road are in a state of disrepair. The city of Oakland has a proposal to restore it, but some local residents were so concerned about what the plan involved they launched a petition which, after gathering nearly 500 signatures, has prompted Oakland to temporarily postpone the repairs.

The residents’ main concern was that they weren’t given the chance to provide input, although Oakland disputes this. Sean Maher, a spokesman for the city’s department of transport, told Berkeleyside that city staff had collected community input over the course of 18 months. He said the original project design was amended to accommodate some of that input, including preserving the stone walls on either side of the stairs; incorporating handrails with “baked enamel” finishing that complements the coloring of the existing stone walls; and adding a bicycle channel so cyclists can walk their bikes up and down the stairs.

The path and stairs were built at the same time as the Claremont Hotel which opened in 1915. Oakland estimates 100 people use the shortcut every day.

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