OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — Harold Street, a long-neglected road in East Oakland is known for being one of the bumpiest streets in the city.

Thursday afternoon, that changed.

Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf announced the launch of a project called the Great Pave, a $100 million plan to repave hundreds of streets in Oakland — many in city councilman Noel Gallo’s east Oakland district.

Gallo said the declining streets of east and west Oakland, often riddled with cracks, potholes and uneven surfaces, have been overlooked for years.

“Those are areas that are completely, daily neglected from the mayor all the way to the council to the schools,” he said.

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Gallo said a study by Oakland’s Department of Race and Equity confirmed what people who live in his district already know: that the greatest need for street paving is in his district and in West Oakland. The project will prioritize East Oakland for repaving. Altogether, 71 streets in Gallo’s district will be repaved.

Neighbors have been organizing to draw attention to the problem for years.

In 2015, protesters rallied in the streets of East Oakland chanting and spray-painting potholes with the words “Fix Me!”

The Great Pave will be funded by a 2016 bond measure approved by voters. The city hopes to pave approximately 100 miles of roadway in Oakland by the end of the three-year program.

Derrick Collins, who lives in the neighborhood near Harold Street, said he is relieved to finally see the changes.

“I’m just glad this is going to be a smooth ride for everybody,” he said.

Christin Ayers

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