Thursday, February 25, 2010

unequal parking enforcement

There's an article on SF Gate about unequal parking enforcement in different areas of Oakland. A memo from senior parking enforcement supervisor Ronald Abernathy tells parking officers to give "courtesy notices" for parking on the sidewalk and parking in the wrong direction in Montclair and Broadway Terrace (AKA Upper Rockridge). Residents of East Oakland get a $40 to $100 ticket instead.

While there are some narrow streets in the hills that can require creative parking to keep the roads clear, other parts of Oakland have them, too (the article mentions Outlook Avenue which runs through Millsmont and Eastmont Hills.) Unequal enforcement of the parking regs is just wrong. Now that some parking officers have brought this to public attention, hopefully it'll get fixed quickly.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Oakland neighborhoods map

Please note there is an updated version of the map here. You can also use the special URL,

For some time, I've been wanting a neighborhood map of Oakland. A while back Google Maps added tags for the neighborhoods, and Yahoo Maps even marks them with colored polygons at some zoom levels. But I'm a fan of Google Maps (not just because K works for Google), so I wanted something like that in Google Maps. That works at all zoom levels. And includes some of the lesser known and unofficially designated neighborhoods like Dogtown. Not too much to ask, right?

I found one Google Map that someone had created with data from the city, but it doesn't always load properly, and it only had the 'official' neighborhoods. The Oakland Department of Public Works has a good map showing some of the alternate names, but it's not in Google or Yahoo Maps and doesn't have boundaries.

So after poring over various maps, including the Oakland Museum's Neighborhood Search, the aforementioned DPW map, Wikipedia, and others, I created my own. Besides including various unofficial neighborhoods, it can be layered with other Google Map layers like Transit, Traffic, etc. or my map of Oakland signs. You can even view it in Google Earth, and lay it over 3D terrain, with 3D buildings, etc.

View Larger Map

I'll be the first to admit the map isn't perfect. Any outright errors are likely mine, not from the source maps. And neighborhoods don't usually begin and end exactly on street boundaries (except sometimes freeways that cut a swath through them), so it's bit arbitrary to begin with. But hopefully you'll find it useful and/or interesting for your explorations of Oakland.

Monday, February 22, 2010

signs: Steele's Discount Scuba

Steele's Discount Scuba

On Telegraph is the venerable Steele's Discount Scuba.

Friday, February 5, 2010

signs: Diesel Books

Diesel Books

On College near George and Walt's is a great little bookstore, Diesel Books. They don't have tons of room, so they're selective about what books they choose to carry and display. And they've got a great sign, too.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

signs: Quality Liquor

Quality Liquor

On East 18th around the corner from the Parkway Theater is this old sign. The storefront is currently a photo shop. Bonus birds for DC.