Oakland’s Golden Gate neighbors are rallying to prevent a proposed McDonald’s renovation that would also expand their 24 hour drive-thru to seven days a week. Neighbors are concerned with the increased litter, traffic and violence this might bring to the historically troubled stretch of San Pablo Ave. A reported 50 neighbors were in attendance for a February 5th community meeting with the franchise owner Ed Smith, his development consultant and a representative of McDonald’s Corporation.
Photo Credit: Michael Hamilton, SPAGGIA.org
The restaurant rebuild is being required by the corporation as part of a nationwide modernization effort of which this particular franchise was identified as the oldest in Northern California. The owners are arguing that the increased hours are necessary to offset the cost of the rebuild and that the bigger building and longer hours would actually benefit the community by providing needed food at all hours and by “attracting police as customers”. Mr. Smith reported that roughly 60-65% of the restaurant’s revenue is generated by drive-thru customers and estimated the restaurant itself clears approximately 1,100 transactions per day.
Residents, already fed up with the existing safety problems in the area that reportedly include vehicle noise & speeding, drug dealing and prostitution, are worried that 24/7 drive-thru service would only exacerbate these problems. Neighbors have also created the website McLitter.com to spotlight the issues of litter that are inherent with car-centric fast food establishments. The site purportedly captures a matrix of 67 examples of littering found within a one mile radius walk of the store.
Residents are miffed about the short notice the community was provided and an outdated, inaccurate & incomplete city staff report about the project. Neighbors are advocating the hearing be delayed so the project can be properly noticed and vetted by the community. Concerned neighbors are being asked to email David Valeska, the Oakland Planning Commission head planner for this project before 2/10 (when public comment period ends) and attend the planned February 18th public hearing. The complete Planning Commission staff report can be read here.
Read more about neighbor efforts and use the automated comment form on SPAGGIA.org →