In the 1960s, the Bay Area Rapid Transit District, also known as BART, was instrumental in the decline of West Oakland’s struggling 7th Street neighborhood.
Early that decade, BART proposed building a track down the center of 7th Street to service shoppers and commuters traveling to downtown San Francisco. Many in the neighborhood believed that BART’s District Board was heavily weighted in favor of San Francisco’s business interests. Some speculated that Oakland was simply a thoroughfare for people from wealthier parts of the Bay Area who shopped or worked in San Francisco, with poor minority neighbors bearing the brunt of the impact promised by a significant BART undertaking.
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