Oakland Police to Crack Down on Parties, Illegal Vending Around Lake Merritt

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Residents around Oakland's Lake Merritt say the weekend noise, traffic and trash is out of control, and now police will be cracking down on parties and illegal vendors in the area.

Neighbors say the traffic is so bad on the weekends, they can’t even get their cars out of their driveways. One resident, according to the East Bay Times, says vehicles sometimes are triple-parked in front of his driveway, forcing him to walk blocks away to receive a delivery.

The city believes it also could be a public safety issue as emergency responders also have had trouble getting through the snarled Lakeshore Avenue on the weekends.

Vendors can be seen selling alcohol in makeshift bars in tents around the lake, and trash is scattered after nights of partying.

The Oakland City Council has discussed providing some structure for vendors there who sell jewelry and clothing, similar to a pilot program last summer. But for now, city leaders have prioritized a crackdown on the mayhem to make the area safer.

Last summer, the city deployed "park ambassadors" to promote social distancing and other COVID-19 precautions, and streets around the lake were closed to reduce traffic and create more space for pedestrians and bicyclists.

It wasn't immediately clear if the city would bring back those programs and if so how it would pay for them.

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