Spanning the Rails: BART Transforming Oakland – Presented by RUD
National Transportation Week is in May so the Regional & Urban Design forum is celebrating with “Spanning the Rails: BART Transforming Oakland.”
Development activity has been booming in downtown Oakland throughout the previous economic cycle, and the area’s role as a hub for BART and AC Transit continues to be a major draw for developers in spite of the impacts of the pandemic. But building near operating underground rail lines is no easy feat. BART Board member Robert Raburn and staff from BART’s real estate and structural/civil engineering departments will join us to discuss the process BART undertakes to ensure that the rail can continue to safely operate even as buildings emerge above ground. We will focus on the forthcoming Lake Merritt / Chinatown transit-oriented development planned for BART’s property and other major developments occurring above the BART tracks near the 19th Street/Oakland station. We will discuss BART’s new 10-Year TOD Work Plan, BART’s motivation for supporting development, what it takes to safely design and build near the tracks, and some of the efforts BART is undergoing to make its review process more streamlined.
SPECIAL REQUEST TO AIAEB MEMBERS: Please send any historic BART Station TOD images to Abby Thorne-Lyman at AThorne@bart.gov.
Robert Raburn, BART Director, District #4
Robert Raburn was first elected to the BART Board of Directors on November 2, 2010, and re-elected in 2014 and 2018. Director Raburn is honored to represent the public in District 4 which includes the cities of Alameda, Oakland (partial) and San Leandro (partial). He is focused on transforming BART’s core stations into walkable, high-density centers of jobs and housing. To this end, he promoted the adoption of a bold BART TOD Policy in 2016 calling for 35% affordable housing and a Station Access Policy that prioritizes investments in walking, bicycling, and transit modes. As a leader in bicycle advocacy he helped draft the Measure B expenditure plan that was approved by the voters in 2000. Raburn also contributed to successful local and regional ballot measures that transformed the Fruitvale BART Station. His vision for Safe Routes to Transit is now a regional-wide program. Raburn came to the East Bay in 1979 to study transportation and urban geography at UC Berkeley where he received a doctorate degree. He taught geography and urban planning at San José State University from 1982 to 1990.
Abby Thorne-Lyman, Transit-Oriented Development Group Manager, BART
Abby Thorne-Lyman oversees BART’s Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) program, within the Real Estate & Property Development department at BART. In addition to supervising the ten planned, entitled and under construction TOD projects on BART property, she oversees the policy direction of the program, and recently led development of BART’s 10-Year work plan for TOD and AB 2923 implementation. Formerly she worked in BART’s Strategic & Policy Planning Group, was the Director of the national Center for Transit-Oriented Development, and was a Principal at Strategic Economics, a real estate economics consulting firm. She has a Masters in City and Regional Planning from UC Berkeley and a B.A. from Bryn Mawr College.
Phoebe Cheng, PE, Acting Group Manager for Civil, Structural and Track Engineering
Ms. Phoebe Cheng is the acting Group Manager at BART for Civil, Structural and Track Engineering and Operations Liaisons. She plans, directs, manages and oversees the design and construction activities and operations within M&E, including the engineering efforts of $600M Track and $500M Civil/Structural programs of Measure RR. Ms. Cheng is a California licensed professional engineer, with B.S. of Civil Engineering from UC Berkeley and M.S. of Civil Engineering from MIT.