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North Oakland’s worst pothole: Meet the contenders

on April 29, 2011

In honor of this month’s city pothole repair blitz, we asked you to nominate the worst pothole in North Oakland by commenting on this site or on our Facebook page — and oh boy, did you name names! Dozens of you wrote in to describe the city’s sinkholes that have made biking a tooth-ratting adventure and driving an obstacle course.

We’ve narrowed down the nominees to the top 16 offenders, using the most commonly named intersections and short stretches of road cited by our readers. (We didn’t count nominations for entire streets, since it’s hard to narrow the “worst” of an entire street down to a single pothole, especially for main artery roads that may cover dozens of city blocks.)  Now it’s up to you to pick the worst of the worst, the most unholy of the holey.

The poll will be open until noon on Wednesday, May 4 and we’ll announce the winner (or is it the loser?) that afternoon.

Will it be Oakland Avenue at the 580 entrance, where Meggie Ghidella has spotted a pothole “the size of an extra large pizza and about 6 inches deep”?

Or a few blocks away at Lakeshore Avenue and the 580, where Dave Bryan says “It’s the moon down there!”

Or Jackson Street near the 880 overpass, which John Teall says “looks (and feels) like bomb craters.”

How about 37th Street between Telegraph and Webster, where Kari Rice says “The potholes are bigger than the speed bumps!”

Or the intersection of Perkins and Vernon, which Mick Frederick says “made me bite my tongue.”

Or the stretch of Telegraph near the 24 Highway overpass, which Troy Gilbert says “has about ruined my Maxima.”

You can click here for a map of all 16. (It’s a Google Map, so you can use Street View to see the streets themselves if you aren’t familiar with them.) One vote per person, so choose wisely! May the worst pothole win!

(Don’t forget, to request a Public Works pothole repair during the blitz you can call 510-615-5566 or go online to



  1. Britt Thesen Tanner on April 30, 2011 at 7:12 am

    Thanks for doing this survey. You have actually identified 15 corridors, though. The segments of Shattuck overlap for about 6 blocks. You may want to combine them into one option: Shattuck from Aileen to Woolsey.

    • Oakland North Staff on April 30, 2011 at 8:48 am

      Hi Britt, thanks for the compliments! We decided to break the Shattuck entry into two segments, because although many people nominated the Shattuck area for “worst,” they fell into two major camps — those who thought the worst area was on the northernmost segment near the Berkeley border, and those who thought the worst part was further south, closer to the Hwy 24 overpass. We also tried to keep each entry down to just a few blocks, to avoid naming entire corridors/streets (because it’s hard to pick the “worst pothole” out of an entire major roadway.) So you are right that there is a little overlap, but we’re hoping people will just vote for whichever end of the Shattuck strip they think is the worst!

  2. Three New Tires This Year Alone on April 30, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    Thanks for the pothole story and the follow-up survey. It really has me cracking up to read the descriptions of the “unholiest of the holey”… I’ve had so many tires recently that have suddenly been warped beyond repair. So now my driving has become a vigilant campaign of pothole avoidance. I’ve observed countless other drivers doing the same. I mean, I know this is Oakland, home of the side show, but I’ve never seen so many cars zig-zagging through our neighborhoods.
    Anyway… Cheers to Oakland North, for the light-hearted spin on our seriously hazardous roads.

  3. Alex Roselle on May 1, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Telegraph Ave. between Highway 24 and 51st Street doesn’t have some bad potholes, so much as it IS one giant pothole that stretches for two blocks!

  4. del on May 1, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    As a bike rider I can avoid most, but those pot holes/obstacle course on telegraph near 24 are totally out of control!

  5. Alina on May 2, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Fun post. Thank you.
    And it seems that Telegraph @ 24 is winning. I think it’s the same as the stretch undergoing repairs in the 4/26 story. Public Works and Oakland North readers’ priorities are on the same page!

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