A bus stop in East Oakland that has become a troubled spot that seems to be used more by criminals and drug addicts has local residents calling for a change Wednesday.
Broken needles, trash, and empty liquor bottles are strewn around the AC Transit bus stop at International Boulevard and 85th Avenue directly in front of an Oakland Boys and Girls Club.
“I see people snorting stuff and shooting up,” said Gabrielle, a 17-year-old girl who attends the Club. “There’ll be there be little kids that have to walk past here and go to the store and there are ihe crackheads. And that’s not good for their environment.”
Some people in the neighborhood said they’ve seen everything from drug use and drug dealing, to sex and people using the shelter as a toilet.
One father who had just walked his son to the Boys and Girls Club said the bus shelter should be removed.
“I don’t want him to see what they be doing at this bus stop. What are they doing? Something of everything they ain’t got no business doing,” said Oakland resident Nate Reed, who grew up in the neighborhood.
On New Year’s Eve, a 13-year-old boy Lee Weathersby III was walking home from the Boys and Girls Club when he was shot and killed on 104th Avenue, less than a mile from his home.
The Boys and Girls Clubs of Oakland President Calvester Stanley said it is an example of the neighborhood dangers and blight which children encounter every day.
“We serve kids ages 6 to 17 and they have to pass by it to get to and from the clubhouse, to and from school, and to and from the church across the street,” said Stanley.
Last May, KTVU first highlighted this bus stop’s problems when someone at the stop stole a gold chain from a woman who was coming from Allen Temple Baptist Church across the street.
After that report, the city and Clear Channel Outdoors, which has a contract to maintain and operate the shelters, sent crews to clean up the site. Now, however, people say it’s as bad as before.
“It just makes for a culture in which this kind of thing can fester and persist,” said Stanley.
KTVU reached Jason King, Vice-President of Corporate Communications for Clear Channel Outdoor, who sent a statement on behalf of the company.
“Clear Channel Outdoor maintains hundreds of miles of transit shelters throughout the bay area including Alameda County and the City of Oakland region for residents and visitors and on behalf of the Transit District,” the statement read. “As part of this valued contract, we provide businesses an affordable advertising medium while maintaining the shelters’ appearance on a weekly basis.”
The statement continued: “Clear Channel Outdoor, like other concerned members of the community, wishes to make these locations as safe and clean as possible. We welcome the opportunity to work closer with the city, residents and law enforcement to ensure the safety of all transit users when using any shelters we maintain.”
King told KTVU that Clear Channel Outdoor crews service that bus sstop more than once a week.
The Club says the shelter should be torn down or the bus stop should be moved elsewhere.