Howard Terminal District At Full Buildout

Howard Terminal Ballpark Plan Said To Have Safety And Security Issues In New Report

In its latest effort to derail the Oakland Athletics Howard Terminal Ballpark Plan, The East Oakland Stadium Alliance hired the Edward Davis Company, called “a national leader in enterprise security risk assessment,” to study Howard Terminal. The firm found “seven critical vulnerabilities in the under-planned project,” and explained them in the report that’s part of this post. Here’s the press release:

Oakland – Today, the Ed Davis Company released a comprehensive report analyzing the safety and security of the A’s proposed development at the Port of Oakland, which includes a ballpark, luxury condos, and high-rise office space. Recognized for their work on national crisis and emergency response, the firm’s team met with port tenants, maritime businesses, the Oakland Police Department, Union Pacific, and labor leaders to conduct its assessment, which included surveying the project site and reviewing the detailed description provided in the City of Oakland’s Draft Environmental Impact Report.

The final analysis identifies a number of serious safety and security concerns that would put the lives of existing and new residents, ballpark visitors, and maritime workers at risk should the project move forward. The key vulnerabilities of the waterfront project include:

Lack of safe pedestrian access
Dangerous traffic conditions
Limited emergency access and evacuation routes
Vulnerability to terrorist events
Prevalence of toxic and hazardous materials
Limited public safety resources
Waterway congestion

A link to the full report is available here.

“Any elected official reviewing the viability of this plan should have serious concerns for the safety of the thousands who live near or visit this project,” said Ed Davis, former Police Commissioner of the City of Boston and CEO of the Ed Davis Company. “This development would create one of the largest evacuation disaster scenarios I have seen in my 35 years in public safety, and presents both immediate and long-term safety risks.”

“As we rejoin crowds after more than a year apart, the City of Oakland has a greater responsibility to consider the health and safety of its residents. Crowd safety is essential whether the threat is from natural disasters, terror, cyberattack, or gun violence,” said Professor Juliette Kayyem of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a former Department of Homeland Security official in the Obama Administration. “In the case of any major threat to public safety, tens of thousands of people could be trapped with few exit routes and limited access for law enforcement.”

The report concludes that Howard Terminal is an unsafe location for a ballpark or residences and poses a unique safety threat due to its proximity to an active rail line, a heavy truck corridor, and the Oakland Estuary. With limited ingress and egress routes and the potential for serious traffic congestion, emergency access and evacuation will be especially challenging should a disaster-level event take place. The analysts’ overall assessment is that regardless of the limited mitigation measures proposed, the project cannot satisfy basic safety needs of the community and jurisdiction due to insurmountable vulnerabilities.

Stay tuned.

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