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Bicycle Infrastructure

Oakland Gets Grants for Safety

Protected bike lanes and intersections are coming for 7th and Market and other parts of Oakland. Image: OakDOT

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Oakland secured over $30 million from the California Active Transportation Program Tuesday evening, to fund protected bike lanes and other safety improvements, confirmed Ryan Russo, head of the city's Department of Transportation, in an interview with Streetsblog.

As indicated in the tweet above (Logan is another OakDOT official) two separate grants will fund the construction of protected bike lanes and intersections on Seventh Street from West Oakland BART to Martin Luther King, Jr., Way, a distance of about a mile. Bus lanes will also be part of the project, as shown in the map in the lead image and the cross-sectional diagram below from the OakDOT web page. They also show the transformation that will be possible through the grant, versus what would have otherwise been a repaving project with conventional, striped bike lanes wedged between parked cars and moving traffic:

Screenshot from 2021-02-09 14-26-55

East Oakland Neighborhood Bike Routes

The East Oakland Neighborhood Bike Routes plan, for which OakDOT is also receiving a grant, will repave and create a system of greenways, also known as bike boulevards, similar to what exists in Berkeley. However, they will be more integrated than Berkeley's network, with traffic signals to help cyclists cross major thoroughfares. This "will result in a high-quality build-out of a large section of the city's bike plan in that part of town all at once, instead of the usual piecemeal bike network implementation," wrote Bike East Bay's Robert Prinz, in an email to Streetsblog.

The following streets will be repaved and become bicycle priority streets with diverters, speed bumps, traffic circles, bulb-outs, and other measures to deter through automobile traffic and make it safer for people on foot or bicycle. From the plan's web site:

    • Hamilton St - Rudsdale St - D St - Royal Ann St between 69th Ave to 105th Ave
    • Foothill Blvd - Arthur St - Plymouth St between 64th Ave to 79th Ave
    • 81st Ave between San Leandro St to Bancroft Ave
    • 85th Ave between San Leandro St to Bancroft Ave

"This is a result of our community-driven plans," said Russo, adding that his department "heard a real desire for neighborhood circulation, ability to go to school, to go to the library, and frustration around the general condition of streets in East Oakland."

Screenshot from 2021-02-09 14-44-53
From Oakland's 2019 bike plan. The grant will allow a system of safe"greenway" streets through East Oakland.
From Oakland's 2019 bike plan. The grant will allow a system of safe"greenway" streets through East Oakland.

With the grants, he hopes to start inexpensive measures to make these streets more inviting for cyclists and pedestrians soon, with repaving and concrete treatments coming after that. "Now that we have the grants we'll really examine what we can deliver over the next few years, including doing inexpensive, quicker versions as we wait for more robust capital interventions to get designed and developed."

"Bike East Bay is pleased to see West Oakland and Deep East Oakland get needed resources to improve safety and better connect neighborhoods," said Bike East Bay's Dave Campbell. "There are many lacking connections in East Oakland and in West Oakland 7th is a crucial corridor."

See Streetsblog California for more on the State Transportation Commission's Active Transportation Program.

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