Town Crier: What you can do about the Oakland hills’ neglected roads


Potholes and parking are making us crabby. And yes, the two are related because they add stress to driving on increasingly crowded Oakland roads. The pitted streets read like a laundry list: Park Boulevard, Thornhill Drive, Valley View, Shepherd Canyon, Tunnel … and on and on. Critics note despite Oakland’s high property taxes that never seem to quench our city’s thirst for spending, streets like Thornhill have been on the repaving list for years.

Here are two things you can do: One is to “blow up” the 311 phone line with pothole reports. The second is to attend an OakDOT (Oakland Department of Transportation) Paving Plan meeting at 7 p.m. March 28 at the Berkeley Tennis Club. Here is some information to check out beforehand:

Now on to parking. Not an hour goes by when cars aren’t parked in red zones all over Montclair — and especially outside Starbucks. The Town Crier understands the critical need for caffeine more than most, but zones are red for a reason. Parking in the red forces motorists out of their lanes — sometimes into oncoming traffic. Consider the brazenly bad behavior of two motorists on a blind curve on Snake Road last week. They got out of their cars, blocking traffic, so that one driver could give the other a cigarette. Couldn’t this have been done in the park, just 100 yards away?

Around town: New security cameras are going up in Montclair Village, paid for by a successful Go Fund me campaign (launched by the Montclair Village Association) that’s raised more than the initial $5,000 goal. Lucky California kicked off the initial campaign with $10,000 of equipment that has already led to more than one theft arrest. If you want to donate, go online to

The reviews are coming in on Lao Taé, the Laotian Thai restaurant that quietly replaced Camber recently at 6516 Moraga Ave. The restaurant is under new management and closed briefly to make some changes to the menu and ambience. I haven’t eaten there yet, but they’re getting lots of “love” on Yelp.

Email bag: And speaking of restaurants, reader Jennifer Miller likes the new Taps and Takeout at 5736 Thornhill. “Owner Joe Frankel lives in Montclair, and this has been a hit since he opened,” she writes, adding that neighbors like the homemade soups, Reuben sandwiches and fish and chips.

Ginny Prior can be followed on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and at Email her at


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