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Eyes on the Street: 8th Street in West Oakland Looking Good

A project to transform 8th from a deadly speedway back into a residential street is making real progress

Traffic circles and other treatments going in on 8th, seen here at the intersection with Wood Street. Photos: Streetsblog/Rudick

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.

Oakland DOT is showing real progress on its 8th Street West Oakland Traffic Calming Project. There are now nearly complete traffic islands and concrete center-lines on roughly a mile of street. From the project page:

The goal of the project is to traffic calm the street into a quiet residential street. This included reducing the speed limit. Other project elements include paving the length of the street, upgrading curb ramps to meet accessibility standards, installing high-visibility crosswalks and installing traffic circles, speed humps to reduce speeding, and hardened centerlines to reduce the speeds of turning drivers at intersections as well as a new mid-block crosswalk on 8th Street between Adeline Street and Filbert Street.

Streetsblog took a tour of the street this week to check out the speed humps, bulbouts, ramps, crossings and other safety features. Plants and landscaping are still on order.

Plants will be added to the traffic circles

Readers will recall that the calming features of the project, which should be completed this spring, are in response to an epidemic of speeding and major, sometimes fiery crashes in the area.

A crash at 8th and Chester, Nov. 2020. Let’s hope there will be less of this, thanks to concrete traffic calming that forces drivers to slow (or crash) before they hit a house. Photo: Tim Courtney

A neighborhood group called “Safe 8th Street Oakland” was formed some four years ago to gather data and lobby the mayor and District 3 councilmember Carroll Fife to get serious, concrete speed-controlling features added to planned repaving. To make their case, they measured speeds of motorists regularly exceeding 75 mph through their neighborhood. The speed limit is 25.

“Advocates have been pivotal in my education about transportation safety, because I don’t regularly ride a bike or walk around due to being in meetings throughout the day,” wrote Fife in an email to Streetsblog. “The research and advocacy from engaged residents is critical to me moving legislation internally that the community sees as life saving measures to slow down traffic with the goal towards minimizing and ultimately eliminating fatal collisions.”

Boulders/forced daylighting are also apparently part of the project

More from the project page, which explains that construction is …

… funded by $500,000 from Measure KK, Oakland’s Affordable Housing and Infrastructure Bond that was passed by voters in 2018. The project is part of the Department of Transportation’s Paving Plan and will implement recommendations in Oakland’s Pedestrian Plan and Bicycle Plan.

Project implementation began in 2023 and is currently ongoing

A mid-block crosswalk with pedestrian refuge

It’s good that Oakland DOT is using concrete to enforce the speed limit, rather than depending on signage and police. If Streetsblog had any criticism, it would only be that they could have gone a bit further, using crash-proof bollards at the fronts of the hardened centerlines to stop even the most egregious drivers in the largest vehicles from wreaking havoc.

Still, this is going to do wonders to make the neighborhood safer and more livable. This is the way to make a “slow street,” rather than just putting up little plastic posts and asking people to be nice and drive carefully. There’s an artwork component too, which is already coming together. A picture of that and more below.

Combined bulbouts and the hardened centerline will make it much harder to speed through here.
One criticism: see the gap in the center line for a utility cover? If the gap were widened and the crosswalk set back so the crosswalk goes through the gap, it could be even safer for pedestrians.
Note the evidence of tire hits in the nose of the hardened centerline. It’s amazing how new infrastructure gets beat up so quickly by bad drivers. But that’s also evidence as to why it’s needed

The post Eyes on the Street: 8th Street in West Oakland Looking Good appeared first on Streetsblog San Francisco.

The post Eyes on the Street: 8th Street in West Oakland Looking Good appeared first on Streetsblog California.

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