Mayor Sheng Thao Launches Community Safety Initiatives for Oakland’s Business Districts
Five After Five: A pilot program for secure downtown parking launches in time for the holidays.
Oakland, CA – Downtown Oakland diners, shoppers, workers, and business owners can now park in the City of Oakland’s secure Franklin Plaza Parking Garage seven days a week under the Five After Five pilot program. Five After Five was one of several community safety initiatives announced by Mayor Sheng Thao during the State of City address on October 17, 2023.
“Oakland’s downtown and neighborhood business districts feature a mix of vibrant bars, diverse cuisines, and eclectic entertainment and shopping experiences. Five After Five is the result of collaboration between small business owners, workers, and residents about how we can work together to make these destinations more secure and welcoming. Greater coordination between the Oakland Police Department and safety ambassadors, as well as technology improvements, will also enhance safety downtown and in our neighborhood business districts,” said Mayor Sheng Thao.
Five After Five allows downtown visitors and workers to park at the Franklin Plaza Parking Garage located at 19th Street and Franklin Street for a flat rate of $5 on weekdays after 5:00 p.m. and all day on weekends. Hours of operation for the garage are also extended beyond Monday to Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. The extended garage hours are:
- Monday through Wednesday: 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
- Thursday through Friday: 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m.
- Saturday: 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.
- Sunday: 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Building on 2022’s Shop Safe investments in Downtown security cameras, the City of Oakland is funding new security personnel at the Franklin Plaza Park Garage to protect visitors and help prevent vehicle break-ins. As part of Oakland’s launch of the Corridor Safety and Ambassador initiative over the holiday season in key commercial districts such as Downtown, the Airport/Hegenberger Corridor, and the Fruitvale, Downtown will add more safety ambassadors, connect area businesses with a citywide camera network, and improve coordination with the Oakland Police Department in the greater Downtown area. The Oakland Police Department will increase patrols and deploy special units to enhance safety downtown and in neighborhood business districts during the holidays.
In a statement, Councilmember Carroll Fife: “Many small businesses in District 3, such as Bar Shiru and Crybaby, have been stepping up and sharing methods for holistic community safety that not only speak to their values, but are also tangible solutions that can be implemented through public policy. It is these conversations with the D3 council office that have led to the Five After Five pilot and I am grateful for their leadership and organizing efforts. While we work on the long-term transformative demands that we so badly need, such as affordable rent and low-interest financing, I anticipate this program will help us to move towards a more vibrant and bustling downtown.”
“On behalf of The Fox Theater, we are proud to be working with the City of Oakland and City of Oakland Parking Partners to provide secure, convenient and affordable parking for our patrons and staff. Over the past six months we have been working closely with the Franklin Plaza Garage for all of our concert parking needs with resounding success. We hope that this success carries over into this 5 After 5 program to benefit this entire arts and entertainment district and beyond. With these new rates and expanded hours, we encourage our concert goers to check out any of our amazing neighborhood bars/restaurants before or after the show at their leisure and with peace of mind,” said Tony Leong, General Manager, The Fox Theater.
“Thank you to everyone who worked together to help launch this important pilot program to enhance the vitality of our businesses and the safety of our community. I’m pleased we are able to provide secure parking and later hours, to better serve residents, customers, workers, and our growing restaurant and nightlife scene,” said Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan.
“On behalf of myself as a local business owner and my colleagues across the Uptown-Downtown nightlife industry, we are excited to be working with the City on rebuilding and revitalizing the neighborhood. Creating affordable, secure parking options for nightlife employees and patrons is an impactful first step forward in that effort. And it is indeed just the first step. We’re looking forward to continuing our work with the City on several other projects in the months ahead, including improving lighting in all key corridors, refreshing the 19th Street BART alley and extending key City agency resources to nightlife industry hours.” – Shirin Raza, Co-Owner Bar Shiru and Member of the Uptown Downtown Nightlife Committee.
Five After Five, Corridor Safety, and Ambassador are part of Mayor Sheng Thao’s comprehensive community safety strategy, which includes new automated license plate readers, specialized teams like the Oakland Police Department’s auto burglary suppression unit, and citywide foot patrols. Foot patrols units cover the following areas:
- Jack London Square, Piedmont Avenue
- College Avenue, Montclair District, Grand Avenue, Lakeshore District
- Chinatown, Old Oakland
- Telegraph Avenue Corridor (1600 block – 2700), Broadway, Valdez Street
- Uptown, Franklin Street Corridor, Lake Merritt
- City Hall
- Fruitvale Upper, Diamond District
- Laurel District
- High Street, Foothill Boulevard, International Avenue Corridor
- Fairfax, Bancroft Avenue, Seminary Avenue Corridor
- 106th Avenue and Foothill Boulevard, MacArthur Avenue Corridor
- Hegenberger Road, Edgewater Drive Corridor
The Oakland Police Department also deploys Trust Building Officers to provide targeted assistance to community members and businesses in Chinatown, Little Saigon, Fruitvale (from the Transit Village along International Ave. corridor to 42nd Ave), and at 98th Avenue and Bigge Street.
Oakland’s Economic and Workforce Development supports 11 existing Business Improvement District programs that leverage over $9 million in private funds and nearly $400,000 in City funding to provide over 55 Ambassadors in business districts across the City with regular safety patrols and cleaning services that augment the City’s baseline services.
Last week, the Department of Violence Prevention opened a community hub in the Fruitvale Business District in partnership with the Unity Council. A crisis response team with violence interrupters and gender-based violence specialists will operate out of the hub to foster engagement, intervention, and healing opportunities.
The Five After Five pilot program begins on October 31 and will run through the holiday season. Oakland will evaluate the pilot and make recommendations for future implementation. Information about Five After Five is available at Oaklandca.gov/5after5.