International Boulevard (Oakland, California)
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International Boulevard is a street in Oakland, California, formerly known as East 14th Street, that changes names while stretching from suburban Hayward (where it is known as Mission Boulevard and as such, also runs through Union City, Fremont (where it passes the historic Mission San José), and eventually the city of San Jose), through San Leandro (where it retained the original name of East 14th after the name was changed inside the Oakland city limits in 1996), and East Oakland (known since 1996 as International). South of 44th Avenue, the street is signed as California State Route 185 (SR 185, or simply referred to as Highway 185); after the junction with Highway 92 (which carries the San Mateo Bridge) in Hayward, it is signed as part of Highway 238. As such, it is one of the longest continuous streets in the Bay Area. In 1996 Oakland changed the name of its section of East 14th Street to International Boulevard, including the portion maintained by the city between Lake Merritt and 44th Avenue as well as the alignment under SR 185's designation as it approached suburban San Leandro, which opted to keep the East 14th name for its alignment of the street.
The street has one section which has developed into an Hispanic neighborhood, around Fruitvale, with some economic development. A small section north of Fruitvale has some Asian businesses. Most of the street runs through predominantly low income African American communities.
Some portions of the street are known as areas of prostitution, and are part of the city's problems with underage prostitution. The California Highway Patrol has stepped in (as a state-funded road, SR 185 is under CHP jurisdiction) to assist with crime prevention. Award winning short film, International Boulevard a documentary, covers the issue of Commercially Sexually Exploited Children (CSEC) in Oakland and on a national level.
References and Sources
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