Evarts I. Blake.

Greater Oakland, 1911, a volume dealing with the big metropolis on the shores of San Francisco Bay .. online

. (page 3 of 30)
Online LibraryEvarts I. BlakeGreater Oakland, 1911, a volume dealing with the big metropolis on the shores of San Francisco Bay .. → online text (page 3 of 30)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

same time the declared policy of the city
government has been to not give to any
single railroad or public combination of rail-
road companies such concessions as would
enable them to monopolize the shipping
facilities of the Oakland waterfront. The
announced policy of the municipal govern-
ment has been to develop and retain under
municipal control and ownership a sufficient
wharfage to insure free access thereto of
all freight carriers that may desire to avail
themselves of the privilege. In carrying out
this policy it is the intention of the munici-
pal government to fix their scale of dock
and storage charges that will invite com-
merce to this port, and at the same time
act as a regulating influence on the wharves
and docks which are occupied by corpora-
tion tenants under long lease.

In addition to the occupants of the water-

front, corporate and private, we have al-
ready mentioned, the following are located
on the estuary or inner harbor:

Works, Overland Lumber Co.. Hunt,
Hatch & Co., Moore & Scott Co., Alaska
Packers" Assn., John L. Howard, Oakland
Gas, Light & Heat Co., Pacific Coast Lum-
ber & Mill Co., Remillard Brick Co., Jas.
P. Taylor Coal Co., Hogan Lumber Co.,
Pacific Fuel Co., Adams Wharves & Docks,
Sunset Lumber Co., United Engineering
Works, Oakland Harbor Development Co.,
Atlas Gas Engine Co., Great Western Pow-
er Co., Larue Wharf & Dock Co.. Hunter
Lumber Co., J. C. Kimball, Hodge & Col-
lins Lumber Co., Pacific Steel & Wire Co.,
California Cotton Mills Co., Standard Gas
Engine Co., E. W. Wood Lumber Co.,
Union Gas Engine Co., Rhodes & Jamison
Co., Worden-Meeker Co., San Francisco
Bridge Co., Taylor & Co.. Geo. E. Dow
Pumping Co.. Capt. E. V. Rideout, Califor-
nia Transportation Co., Oakland Transpor-
tation Co., Pacific States Refineries.

A survey of the Oakland harbor and a
careful observation of the manner in which
private firms, corporations and municipality
have been located on the waterfront and
have wharfing privileges, will show the mag-
nitude of the development work which is
now in hand. A cursory glance will show
to the observer that the claim that here is
to be the best equipped port on the Pacific
Coast by the time the Panama Canal is
opened is no idle claim, but is abundantly
supported by the facts.

When it is taken into consideration that
the development and improvement of the
Oakland harbor, which will certainly be
complete during the next three years, is
only a beginning, the large claim that a few-
decades at most will see here more miles of
usable wharves fit for modern commercial
purposes than in any other port in the
United States, with the possible exception
of New York, is not an idle one. but one
which the children of the present generation
may well expect to see made good.

From Oakland Tribune

Modern Street Work


Oakland's Streets

300 Miles to Provide For and Improvements Under Way Are
Permanent Ones to Meet Needs of Advancements

^y Walter C. Hoioe, Superintendent of Streets

HE activity throughout the
city of Oakland during the
past year in the construction
of permanent pavements,
macadam streets, storm sew-
ers, sanitary sewers and sidewalks has been
most noticeable. A remarkable amount of
street paving work has been accomplished,
and the results throughout the business
section of the city and upon the main ar-
teries leading north and west, have been the
subject of much favorable comment on the
part of the general public. The growth of
this class of construction work has been
remarkable during the past six years. The
increased mileage in permanent pavements,
such as asphalt, basalt block, brick, etc..
during the year 1910 is 250 per cent greater
than the year 1909. and 500 per cent greater
than the year 1904, at which time the per-
manent pavement era first received its im-
petus. Twenty years ago the city of Oak-
land was paved principally with macadam

Macadam Used for Years.

These streets answered well the purpose
for which they were built at that time, as
traffic conditions were light, and the streets
capable of carrying loads to which they were
subjected. This era has long since passed
in certain portions of the city, and in con-
sequence the old macadam pavements had
to be replaced. It was a difficult matter at
first for the Board of Public Works, the
City Council and the street department to
educate the people up to the value of per-
manent pavements. Most of the earlier
work of this class proposed by the City
Council was. without exception, protested
out by the property owners. Macadam
streets had been used for so many years

that in nearly every instance the property
owners were a unit in asking the City
Council to simply redress or remacadam-
ize these streets again. The city officials,
however, found it absolutely necessary to
take a stand and insist upon the laying of
permanent pavements designed upon good
engineering principles and laid under com-
petent supervision and inspection. Some of
the earlier permanent pavements, which
were of bituminous sand rock obtained
from the southern counties, proved to be of
little more worth than the original macadam
streets. These conditions were gradually
eliminated by experience, until at the pres-
ent time the city of Oakland is laying the
most modern class of pavement under spec-
ifications and regulations similar to those
adopted by the engineering departments of
the largest cities in the United States. There
is no doubt that the permanent pavement
era has reached Oakland, and that the years
to come will show a rapid increase in this
class of pavement. Failures in asphalt pave-
ments must be looked for from time to
time; that has been and is still the experi-
ence of many of our eastern cities, even
where the most rigid chemical analysis of
materials has been made, and the most
searching inspection. Experience, however,
will tend to gradually eliminate failures in
this class of work, until it can be expected
that in nearly every case of a permanently
paved street, the pavement will be one that
will have a known length of life.

Property Owners Aid the Work.

It has been a source of great satisfaction
to the administration that the opposition
heretofore made by property owners to
paving the streets with permanent pave-
ments is being gradually overcome. The


Greater Oakland, 1911

clean, smooth, elegant appearance of an
asphalt, vitrified brick or basalt block street
is such a contrast with the old macadam
roadways covered with dust in the summer,
and filled with chuck holes, ruts and mud
in the winter, that property owners are be-
ing convinced of the value of the perma-
nent pavement, both from an esthetic stand-
point and from the standpoint of increased
property values due to the general upbuild-
ing of the street paved.

It is a very noticeable fact upon streets
where building operations have been at a
standstill for a number of years, that as
soon as the street is paved with a high class
pavement, new buildings have been erected,
and a gradual new growth has sprung up in
the building line. Two years ago Piedmont
Avenue, Broadway, East Fourteenth, Mar-
ket, Webster, Harrison, lower Clay Street,
Nineteenth Street and many other streets
were a continual sea of mud during the
winter months and a source of much com-
plaint from the general public. These
streets today are splendidly paved and the
improvement is so noticeable that it will
have a salutary efifect upon continued im-
provements of this character.

During the year 1910, a number of prom-
inent streets, such as Harrison, Alice, Nine-
teenth and others, were paved by the prop-
erty owners, who advertised for bids under
private contracts. This work was done vol-
untarily on the part of the property owners.
A movement of this kind, which has been
heretofore absolutely unknown throughout
the city of Oakland, proves that taxpayers
are slowly but surely being educated by the
city to the value of good pavements upon
their streets.

Classes of Pavement Laid.

Oil Macadam — It has been the custom in
years past for the city of Oakland to install
plain macadam on residence streets. This
class of paving has now been abolished by
the City Council in favor of oil macadam.
In districts of the city where property is
of low valuation, the work is more in the
nature of a surface oiled street than a pure
oil macadam roadway. The Council's action
has been a wise one, as in either case the
oiled surface street is much the superior of
the plain macadam.

During the year 1910, four miles of oil
macadam streets were laid, throughout the
city of Oakland. Experience with the oil
macadam street thus far has proven it to
be clean and dry during the winter months
and free from the objectionable dust nui-
sance of the plain macadam in the summer
months. The increased cost over the plain
macadam is very small, and the elimination
of dust alone more than compensates for the
additonal outlay.

Basalt Block — The first grouted basalt
block pavement ever laid in the city of Oak-
land upon a concrete foundation was in-
stalled on Second Street between Broadway
and Washington Street, last year. This
pavement was laid upon six inches of hy-
draulic concrete with a two-inch sand cush-
ion. The basalt blocks were carefully se-
lected and thoroughly grouted with a one-
to-one grout filler. Expansion joints of
bituminous material were laid at intervals
of fifty feet. This work is probably the best
piece of pavement in the city of Oakland
today. It is subjected to continual heavy
loads and is fully capable of carrying all
the traffic brought upon it. It is doubtful
whether repairs will be required on .this
street for many years. The cost of the
basalt block pavement, however, is practi-
cally double that of asphalt, and for this
reason it is a very difficult pavement to lay
where property owners are compelled to
foot the bills. Doubtless in the years to
come the lower portion of the city will have
to be paved with basalt block or vitrified
brick, but most of this work will no doubt
be done at the expense of the city upon
accepted streets.

Experimenting With Vitrified Brick.

Vitrified Brick — Two blocks of vitrified
brick pavement have been laid on Second
Street, from Broadway to Webster Street,
during the past year. As it was impossible
to secure a suitable brick produced by
brick manufacturers in the State of Califor-
nia, the brick used were brought from Seat-
tle. These brick were laid upon a six-inch
hydraulic concrete foundation and sand
cushion; were thoroughly grouted with a
one-to-one filler, and expansion of joints
installed parallel to the curb line and also
at right angles at regular intervals. Streets

Modern Street Work 29

built of this same class of brick have given The bituminous material is the binding ma-

excellent service in the city of Seattle with terial which holds the pavement together,

but very slight maintenance cost. The cost A mixture that is sloppy or overloaded in

of the brick pavement averages 25 to 30 bitumen invariably fails through humps and

per cent higher than asphalt. The compari- waves on the surface; one that contains too

son between the wear on these two blocks little is apt to disintegrate under the action

of brick roadway, also upon the basalt block of moisture and traffic. A testing labora-

street adjoining, will be noted with interest, tory is the only means of controlling this

and comparisons made with the new asphalt condition. The asphaltic cement used is a

streets contiguous. It is the intention of very important factor in the success of the

the street department to keep accurate ac- pavement and penetration and chemical tests

count of the maintenance costs upon these are absolutely necessary in every instance,

streets for future reference. During the year, the testing laboratory com-

Asphalt-Macadam — About a mile of pleted the following tests:
asphalt-macadam pavement put down upon

a thoroughly rolled subgrade, has been in- Results of Many Tests Made.

stalled on Fourth Avenue during the past Cement Tests — Number of.

year. This pavement is built in two layers Specific gravity, tensile strength,

approximating about seven inches in total constancy of volume, fineness 620

thickness. The lower course is very simi- Sand Tests —

lar to the binder course used on the stand- Granularmetric 12

ard asphalt streets; the upper course is com- Per cent of voids .5

posed of a finer aggregate giving a much Weight per cubic foot 6

denser mixture. The completed street Specific gravity 5

shows a very clean, uniform appearance. Tensile strength 26

Although Fourth Avenue is not subjected Asphalt Tests (Surface Mixtures) —

to the heavy traffic conditions that a great Mineral aggregate 119

many of our permanently paved streets re- Extraction of bitumen 124

ceive, nevertheless, a good general idea of Penetration (Dow) 208

the worth of asphalt-macadam in a moist Chemical analysis asphaltic cement 15

climate like Oakland will be secured through Binder Mixtures —

experience with this piece of work as the Aggregate 56

3'ears pass. Extraction bitumen 43

r„ . ^ , _, , , Bituminous Mixtures —

Testing Laboratory Enlarged. r- i ^ i.

^ J & General tests 25

During the year just passed, the testing Vitrified Brick Tests-
laboratory of the street department has Rattler 43

been enlarged, and considerable new appa- Absorption 43

ratus installed. The value of this testing Macadam Rock Tests-
laboratory is becoming more and more ap- Abrasion 87

parent. Eastern cities have found from '

experience that the maintenance of a testing Total 1437

laboratory very often means the success or I" addition, a large number of analyses

failure of the pavement laid. In an asphalt were made of the old bitumen pavements

pavement, the mineral aggregate must be 'aid in the city of Oakland in order to

so graded as to contain a certain percentage determine their cause of failure. These

of very fine material passing a sieve con- tests of themselves will be of great benefit

taining 200 meshes to the inch. The aggre- to the street department in its future work,

gate is graded through sieves running from and a special report is now being compiled

200 to 10 meshes to the inch, the finer ma- from the data thus taken,

terial filling up the voids between the larger Hassam Pavement a Novelty.
and coarser particles. Upon this mineral

aggregate depends the amount of pure bitu- Hassam Pavement — A stretch of Hassam

men which the paving mixture will carry. pavement which is a new departure for the


Grkatkk Oakland, 1911

citj' of Oakland, is being laid on the north
side of the Twelfth Street dam, running
from Fallon Street to Lake Shore Boule-
vard. This pavement, which is nothing
more or less than a dense concrete with
voids completely filled with small pea stone
and cement grout, the whole being thor-
oughlj' rolled with heavy steam rollers, has
given good satisfaction in a number of
Northern and Eastern cities. No harder
conditions for laying a pavement of this
class could be found. The Twelfth Street
dam has been settling for a number of
years, and any class of pavement that may
be laid upon it is liable to settlement cracks.
The city's experience with this pavement
will be watched with interest.

Work of Street Sweeping.

Three methods of sweeping asphalt and
other permanent pavements are now in
vogue in the city of Oakland, namely: hand
sweeping throughout the retail business sec-
tion; rotary broom (machine) sweeping in
the outlying districts, and sanitary (suction)
machine sweeping in the semi-business and
residence sections. All of these methods
have given more or less satisfaction. The
question of cost, however, is a great factor,
and enters largely into the equation. Hand
sweeping in the business district has proven
to be almost as economical as machine
sweeping, and much more satisfactory, for
the reason that the hand sweepers work
during the entire da3^ making large quan-
tities of pickups, whereas the machine
sweeper simply sweeps the street at night.
This necessitates the employment of a cer-
tain number of hand sweepers in addition
to the machine.

The following figures are the actual cost
of sweeping by hand and by machine:

Rotary broom $ 8.20 per mile

Sanitary suction sweeper.... 11.50 per mile
Hand sweeping 10.16 per mile

In the Street Cleaning Department.

During the year, some 333 miles of gut-
ters and roadways were thoroughly cleaned
by the regular crews employed by the de-
partment. In a territory containing nearly
500 miles of streets, it is, of course, impos-
sible to clean every street in the city dur-
ing the year with a crew of fifty men, the
amount of labor allowed by the City Coun-

cil. A great many streets when cleaned
only once a year remain in fairly good con-
dition until the winter rains; others must be
cleaned much more often in order to remain
in any kind of a sanitary condition.

The following figures show the amount
of money expended in street cleaning on
macadam streets, also the number of loads
of material taken away:

Number of blocks cleaned 5,860

Number of loads of material taken

away 32,880

Amount expended $46,572

Work of Patching the Streets.

Macadam streets throughout the city have
received considerable attention from the
street department during the year. The
streets in the lower portion of the city be-
low Seventh Street, which are a source of
much expense and practically beyond repair,
are continually patched. It is a waste of
money, but must be tolerated until such
time as the citj^ can induce the property
owners to pave the roadways with perma-
nent pavements.

All of the outside residence sections have
received attention from the street depart-
ment in the way of patching during the year.
The department has expended $17,000 for
rock during the year, and has in addition
used the entire output of the city's quarry
upon the macadamized streets of the city.
This is exclusive of the annexed district.

Oiling Oil Macadamized Streets.

The street department has recently ac-
quired a complete road-oiling outfit, con-
sisting of two tank wagons, one steam
pump and vertical boiler mounted on trucks,
and two special Glover oilers. The appa-
ratus was received very late in the season
of 1910, but, nevertheless, some seventeen
miles of streets, including annexed terri-
tory, were treated to coats of surface oil and
screenings. The oiling has proven very
successful and is to be resumed upon a
much larger and more elaborate scale in

Both fresh and salt water is used by the
street department to abate the dust nuisance.
The city now owns some forty sprinkling
carts of modern and up-to-date make and
equipment. In addition, about twenty-five
outside carts are hired each year from in-

Modern Street Work


dividual owners. The city is well covered
during the summer months, but a much
larger equipment could be used to advantage
if it were possible to secure funds for the

From data compiled, the following synop-
sis may be interesting:

Number of sprinkling routes 60

Number of miles covered by routes
(asphalt and unimproved streets

not sprinkled) 280

Number of miles watered per year.. 56,000

Cost per day for water $ 205

Cost of labor and teams, per day.. . 3:25

Total cost per day 530

Total cost per year (200-day season) 106,000
Cost per mile of street sprinkling. . . 1.90

In the Annexed Territory.

In December, 1909, the city of Oakland
anne.xed some 36 square miles of territory.
This territory contains 205 miles of streets,
20 per cent of which are macadamized,
curbed and guttered. An additional 30 per
cent are improved with macadamized road-
way's only, while the remainder are rough
graded or totally unimproved. This in-
crease in street mileage has added an addi-
tional heavy burden upon the street de-
partment, which has required considerable
work of organization. Although but one
year has elapsed since annexation took
place, considerable street work has already
been completed in this annexed territory,
and much more is contemplated during the
coming year.

In conclusion it is interesting to note
the comparison between the mileage of
streets in the principal cities of the United
States with the mileage of streets in the
city of Oakland. Since annexation, Oak-
land has materially increased its mileage
of streets, and now has nearly as many
•niles of roadway as many of the large
)£astcrn cities of greater population.

The following statistics are taken from
the reports of the cities referred to, for the
year ending 1909:

Miles of

Chicago ( 1) 2,976

New York (all boroughs) ( 2) 2,019

New York (Borough of Manhat-
tan only) 459

Boston (7) 514

Seattle, Wash ( 5 ) 573

Portland, Ore (jio) 352

Los Angeles, Cal (6) 575

Detroit ( 9) 372

Bufifalo (4) 670

^Minneapolis (11) 250

San Jose (12) 109

Oakland ( 8) 470

San Francisco ( 3) 825

Oakland's Good Mileage Shown.

While Oakland is w^ell up the line in total
mileage of streets, the following tabulation
shows how far she must go to catch up
with her sister cities in the way of perma-
nent pavements; that is, asphalt, brick,
stone and similar pavements.

Miles of

Chicago ( 1) 1,042

New York (Borough of Man-
hattan only) (2) 435

Boston (7) 127

Bufifalo (4) 271

Detroit (3) 356

Seattle ( 9) 88.4

Portland , (12) 60.5

Tacoma (11) 64

San Francisco ( 5) 252

Los Angeles (10) 67

Oakland (13) 15.5

San Jose (14) 7

Washington, D. C (6) 203.13

Minneapolis ( 8) 111

From the above figures it will be seen
that an immense task confronts the munici-
pality in the way of permanent street im-
provement during the next ten years.

From ' ' Tribune' '


Greater Oaklanu, 1911

Oakland's Public Museum on Par with Other Big Cities

More Than 1 2,000 Specimens Already Classified Covering Natural History

and Other Subjects of a Great Educational Value for the Instruction

and Amusement of Young and Old

HE opening of the Oakland
Museum in October marked
a new era in the history of
this city. The museum is
beautifully located on the
shore of Lake Merritt, facing Oak Street,
near the head of Fourteenth, very near the
Thirteenth Street car line. It is a two-story
frame building, standing in the midst of the
lake shore parks, surrounded by giant trees
with lawns sloping down to the lake, and
beds of blooming flowers.

This is one of the very few municipal
museums in the United States, and as such
it should be an object of interest to every
citizen for everyone has a share in its own-
ership and support. It is to be hoped that
the people of Oakland will realize this and
assist in making it a success and a source
of pride in their municipalit3^

The work of establishing and maintaining
a museum is a task whose magnitude is not
usually recognized. Good institutions can-
not depend on the purchase of private col-
lections, but send experienced men into the
field to select and secure exactly what they
need to build up their various departments.
Otherwise their collections M^ould be incom-
plete, with many duplicates and many va-
cancies. Again, when once collected exhib-
its of organic material must be cared for
constantly to prevent injury by insects,
such as moths and weevils.

Attraction Aim of Classification.

Then the articles must be classified and
arranged scientifically as well as attractive-
ly. And the best institutions have the ex-
hibits labeled in simple, descriptive lan-
guage, so that visitors may not have the
trouble of searching catalogues or gazing at
objects about which they can find out noth-

ing, however interesting these may appear.
A museum in its best form has manj^ lines
of usefulness, some of w-hich are:

1. To act as a repository for curious and
interesting objects.

2. To serve as a source of research to

3. To become a means of education to
the youth of the vicinity.

The Oakland Public Museum aims to ful-
fill all of the above, but at present empha-
sizes the last feature, inasmuch as that is a
new and important departure in museum

Shows Work of Two Men,

The origin and building of the museum
may be accredited to the efforts of Mayor
Frank K. Mott, through whose instrumen-
tality the first collections were purchased
in 1907. Afterward he used his influence to
rescue for Oakland certain collections of

Online LibraryEvarts I. BlakeGreater Oakland, 1911, a volume dealing with the big metropolis on the shores of San Francisco Bay .. → online text (page 3 of 30)