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Call to Action: Sign Petition for a Safer Grand Avenue

Streetsblog readers need to sign this petition to restore the road diet and wide bike lanes on Grand Avenue in Oakland

Photo of the side of Lake Merritt that faces Grand Avenue. Credit: Walk Oakland Bike Oakland

Note: GJEL Accident Attorneys regularly sponsors coverage on Streetsblog San Francisco and Streetsblog California. Unless noted in the story, GJEL Accident Attorneys is not consulted for the content or editorial direction of the sponsored content.

Advocates with Walk Oakland Bike Oakland are urging the Oakland Department of Transportation to reduce the number of motor-vehicle travel lanes (from four travel lanes to three) in a developing plan to make Grand Avenue safer. They want you to sign their petition.

From the petition document:

Every year Oaklanders are injured along Grand Avenue by Lake Merritt from dozens of car crashes-- this has to stop, we demand a safe Grand now! We want a Lake Merritt for everyone, of all ages and abilities, to access and enjoy safely and comfortably. And we want to enrich the connections between the lake and the local businesses that serve visitors and residents alike.

Let’s have safer crosswalks, safer biking and better transit access. We can smooth traffic flow and stop dangerous speeding drivers. There is more than enough space for us all on Grand Ave.

Readers will recall that at the request of AC Transit, OakDOT was deleting the single most important item from the plan that would make Grand safer for pedestrians: the removal of one traffic lane. All evidence shows this lane removal would reduce speeding and save lives without impacting throughput. It also would make reeom for a wide, safe protected cycle track around the lake.

More details from the petition letter:

The city’s initial Grand Ave redesign from Broadway to Elwood Street (2 blocks past 580) was a strong start. Most importantly, it narrowed the street to make it safer for everyone. The initial designs improved pedestrian safety by adding bulb-outs, refuge islands, and signals. The initial design improved safety for families on bikes and included a 2-way cycle track on the west side of the lake continuing right through to the east end of the lake, and a protected bike lane west-bound as well. The initial design also made multiple improvements to bus service along the corridor. This can all be done while still letting people who need to drive along Grand get where they are going efficiently.

But the most recent designs show most of these benefits removed or minimized. The two-way cycle track east of Bellevue is removed completely, the center islands to keep walkers safe go away, and a dangerous speeding car lane was introduced. The new design is a big step backwards.

Streetsblog couldn't agree more. Be sure to sign the petition now.

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