Warren Logan’s Fight for Safer Streets

by | Sep 21, 2022

Inspiration Team A Contributor from our Next-Gen Inspiration Team

Warren Logan standing in downtown Oakland. Photo courtesy City of Oakland.

Warren Logan is confident that if we fight for safer streets, we can have them. As the former Policy Director of Mobility and Interagency Relations with the City of Oakland, Logan has played an instrumental role in fighting for safe, bikeable, and walkable streets throughout the city. 

“In Oakland, by the numbers, you are more likely to be hit by a car than cancer or a stray bullet,” says Logan.

According to a 2018 Oakland Equity Indicators Report, the City of Oakland experiences approximately two severe or fatal traffic crashes each week, which disproportionately impact those who are Black, Indigenous, or people of color (BIPOC), high priority communities, and seniors.

During Logan’s tenure with the City of Oakland, he directly addressed the issue he was most passionate about: transportation equity. He strongly advocated for the Safe Oakland Streets (SOS) Initiative as an emergency response to the pandemic and traffic safety concerns. 

“Black and brown people are taught to accept what is in front of them,” says Logan. “We and everybody deserve more.”

From implementing traffic safety projects to conducting citywide crash analyses, Warren made BIPOC communities a priority and increased the participation of the most impacted residents in community meetings. He also worked with communities and local businesses on Oakland Slow Streets, which designates certain blocks for use by bikers and pedestrians only.

Logan cycling down a protected bike lane in Oakland’s Temescal Neighborhood. Photo: Kerby Olsen, City of Oakland.

Logan cycling down a protected bike lane in Oakland’s Temescal Neighborhood. Photo: Kerby Olsen, City of Oakland.

After six months with the Oakland’s Mayor’s Office, the COVID-19 pandemic started. Logan took on a second role, serving as Oakland’s Emergency Response Director and Community Resilience Officer.

Through this new position, Logan was able to apply traffic safety to other emerging issues such as the need for more public open space. For example, Logan advocated to remove the I-980 freeway, which has historically divided West Oakland from the city’s main downtown. 

“In two years, we were able to turn this project from a pipe dream to a million-dollar state-sponsored concept study. It is now someone’s actual job to figure out what will happen to this freeway,” says Logan. 

Logan’s passion for community reflects his family’s long history of civic engagement. His grandfather, Theophilus Logan, currently 105 years old, was instrumental in supporting Black families trying to purchase homes in Southern California as the first African-American Board of Realtors president.

“Every person in my family asks: how do we help the people around us?” says Logan. “My answer: I try to think about the upstream issues and ask the ‘why’ questions to get to the heart of things.”

After two years with the City of Oakland, Logan joined Lighthouse Public Affairs. This California-based consulting firm tries to foster collaborative relationships between government, neighborhood leaders, and private stakeholders so they can tackle big challenges, such as climate change, affordable housing, and equitable mobility, together.

In the middle of one of the hottest years on record, Logan says he wants to fight the idea that there is nothing we can do about climate change. “I hope that we take hyperlocal action [to increase our] climate resilience,” says Logan. “We are somewhere between a sinking ship and melting iceberg, but I want to prove to people that we can dream again.”

Other Recent Posts

Three Tales of Trouble and Triumph in the East Coast Fight Against Storm Surge

In this January mini-series, KneeDeep reaches across the continent to the East Coast to see how New York, New Jersey and Miami are wrestling with rising seas, whether they are succeeding in getting the local populace on-board, how the Army Corps’ is faring in its slow embrace of more nature-based flood-protection, and what parallels can be found here in San Francisco Bay. Three different angles on the same story, including one presented for your listening pleasure, by reporters Lilah Burke, Robin Meadows, and Ashleigh Papp.

How Far Can Metro Harbors Go on Nature-Based Shore Protection?

Typical flood protections rely on engineered structures. But there’s a new push at the national level of the US Army Corps of Engineers to prioritize working with nature. Storm surge plans currently underway in New York, Miami and San Francisco highlight a range of nature-based fixes.

Storm Surge Resilience Jigsaw Confounds New York

An Army Corps storm surge and flood plan for the New-York-New Jersey waterfront, now going through a public comment period, could be the most far-reaching coastal resilience project the region has seen thus far. The preferred alternative, however, is leaving advocates and community groups questioning if all the pieces will ever fit together.

In Atlas of Disaster, No One is Safe

According to the Atlas of Disaster, 90% of U.S. counties have had an extreme weather event in the last ten years, and California had more disasters than any other state between 2011 and 2021. The report also offers a cost-effective path forward.

Oaklanders Leading on Climate

The 14 graduates of the inaugural 2021 Oakland Shoreline Leadership Academy have new skills to confront the rising tide head-on. “It’s completely changed how I look at the environment,” confesses Academy alum Shy Walker.

What Exactly is a Bomb Cyclone Anyway?

It’s hard for me to imagine a scarier name for weather than bomb cyclone — the kind of California experienced on January 4, 2023 — and in the days leading up to the storm, the media frenzy amped up my fears even more. Next, PG&E and my internet provider warned me of service outages. Then, Governor Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency.

About The Author

Lujain Al-Saleh

is a labor organizer based in Oakland, California. She graduated with a Master of Public Health in Global Health & Environment from the UC Berkeley School of Public Health in 2020 and completed her undergraduate degree from the Environmental Science & Management program at UC Davis. Throughout the past decade, she has collaborated on a range of advocacy campaigns to address issues of environmental justice in the Bay Area and Central America.