As Darby commented on an earlier post, you don’t need to be in the hills to find hazards. A good fraction of the residential landslides in Oakland get mentioned in the Tribune, and they happen downslope, too, mainly along the creeks. Last week my buddy Jef visited a notorious example along Wallace Street, downvalley from Highland Hospital. The one above, on McKillop Street in the Fruitvale neighborhood, made the news throughout 2006, and I prepared a rudimentary case study of it for my About.com site.
The clues are plain, both on the map and on the ground. Look below: Just a few steps from that pitiful collapsed house is this view toward the hills. It’s pretty; it’s worth a little extra on a home’s selling price. But why is there a big empty space in the middle of one of Oakland’s older neighborhoods? A fire might clear a lot of land, but people would rebuild. Why does McKillop Street have two parts, one here and a stub at the far end of the park? Why isn’t there a nice bluff along Sausal Creek like there is elsewhere?