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Op-ed: Oakland Advocates Praise Increased Budget for Street Safety

But the city’s fiscal difficulties reinforce the Council and Administration’s need to update policies so each OakDOT traffic-violence prevention dollar goes further and safety improvements get deployed sooner

3:16 PM PDT on June 15, 2023

A cyclist riding down the mostly completed protected bike lane on Telegraph in Oakland. Photo: Streetsblog/Rudick

The following was submitted to Streetsblog by Traffic Violence Rapid Response, an Oakland-based advocacy group.

Oakland has a traffic-violence crisis where drivers on dangerous roads maim and kill our neighbors. The City Council’s proposed budget increase of $1 million for dedicated traffic-safety improvements, $1 million for sidewalk repair, and $1 million for ADA-compliant curb ramps is a promising step toward making Oakland safer for all. Amidst a record budget shortfall, the Council heard the demands for safer streets from a diverse range of people and groups across Oakland, and this increased funding is a step toward re-imagining public safety.

Given the city’s fiscal difficulties, as soon as the budget is passed, the Council and city administration should update and streamline policies so that each OakDOT traffic violence prevention dollar goes further and safety improvements get deployed sooner. Oaklanders cannot wait for safety.

Reimagining our roads to be safer for all is key. All of us are safer when we address the root causes of Oakland’s problems–whether that is by improving road design, expanding MACRO, increasing access to housing and jobs, investing in our schools, or improving social services. Unlike increasing the Oakland Police Department’s budget by $41 million, these are all proven ways to make Oakland safer for all. Defunding violence prevention, shelter for the unhoused, youth programs, and tenant protections is a continuation of failing policies and a misuse of scarce city funds.

Reimagining public safety to make Oakland safer for everyone is a large undertaking that will take years of continuous work to bring about. We look forward to continuing to work with the City Government, allies, and friends across the city to make that happen sooner.

The post Op-ed: Oakland Advocates Praise Increased Budget for Street Safety appeared first on Streetsblog San Francisco.

The post Op-ed: Oakland Advocates Praise Increased Budget for Street Safety appeared first on Streetsblog California.

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