Skip to Content
Streetsblog San Francisco home
Streetsblog San Francisco home
Log In

Update on Oakland DOT’s Lakeshore Protected Bike Lane Project

Public seems fairly positive and accepting towards the coming project. Let's hope it stays that way

A rendering of the plan. Image: Oakland DOT

Oakland's Department of Transportation held the second of four pop-up meetings Wednesday evening along Lake Merritt to explain an upcoming project to construct another segment of protected bike lane. This one will run on Lakeshore from El Embarcadero by the Pergola to East 18th at Lindy by the Lake.

The plan is to piggy back the project on a utility project that will rip up Lakeshore in the Fall of 2024. The new bike lane, rendered in the lead image, will resemble the existing two-way cycle track on Lakeside on the opposite side of the Lake.

"We should have the plans 100 percent designed around July," explained Jane Mei, an Oakland DOT Transportation Planner at Wednesday's pop-up.

Once the utility project is nearing completion "Oakland DOT will take over to begin construction on the bikeway which, will then continue into 2025," wrote Bike East Bay in a blog post. "If all goes well we hope to see this new facility open for riders before the two year anniversary of Maia’s crash."

Bike East Bay is referring to the death last August of Maia Correia, 4. The pre-schooler was killed on Lakeshore when a parked driver threw open his door without looking, causing Correia and her father to crash their bike. Maia, who was wearing a helmet, sustained a fatal brain hemorrhage.

Mei listening to a visitor at Wednesday's pop up. Photo: Streetsblog/Rudick

Mei also explained there will be no loss of parking or travel lanes. Instead, the space for the bike lane will be taken from the street's wide center-turn lane. James Vann, an architect who lives across the street, inquired about vendors and moving trucks that now park in the center-median. He was concerned they may start parking on top of the bricked area pictured in the lead image, as they do now with the protected bike lanes on Telegraph. Mei and others discussed the possibility of adding solid bollards or something similar to prevent that.

"Overall this will make this area much more bike-friendly," said Craig Kometani-Dittmann, another nearby resident who stopped by to find out about the project.

Craig Kometani-Dittmann opined that the project will make the whole area more bike-friendly. Photo: Streetsblog/Rudick

Another visitor who asked not to be identified worried that cyclists might blow through the crosswalks and crash into pedestrians. He wanted to know if it was possible to raise the crosswalks to slow riders down at this potential conflict point. Mei said that was not part of the plans.

Kirby Dominick, another nearby resident who stopped by, was positive about the coming project. But his overriding concern was about the danger of drivers endangering children, something he hopes the project will reduce. "Having a 15-month-old really changed my perspective," he told Streetsblog.

Dominick was unaware of the death of Maia and that the reason this project's timeline was moved forward was because of the ferocious advocacy of Sheila McCracken, Maia's aunt. McCracken met with the mayor, Councilmember Nikki Fortunato Bas, and then DOT Director Fred Kelley and demanded the project move forward immediately.

"Then this is for my daughter now," said a visibly shaken Dominick.

Oakland's Lakeside protected bike lane, nearing completion back in 2019, when Ryan Russo ran Oakland's DOT. A rare instance of leadership that didn't depend on a horrible tragedy. Photo: Melanie Curry/Streestblog

Oakland DOT has no plans to similarly speed up other sections around the lake, such as on Grand, and even the section of Lakeshore between East 18th to the estuary channel path will not have a protected lane for years to come. Additionally, the existing estuary channel bike path, which connects the lake and the estuary, has became unusable since the area transferred to Councilmember Fortunato Bas under redistricting.

In Streetsblog's view, it's great that Lakeshore is moving forward, but so tragic that Oakland's current political leadership can't seem to get the larger project of ringing the lake with protected bike infrastructure sped up (and some politicians can't even manage to maintain existing vital infrastructure connected to the lake).

A look at part of the estuary channel path, which the Lakeshore path would lead into. It has been blocked, flooded, and completely unusable under Fortunato Bas. Note the car parked on it Wednesday during the Oakland pop up. Photo: Streetsblog/Rudick

There are two more pop-up meetings planned around the lake for the Lakeshore project, one at The Pergola at Lake Merritt on Saturday, May 4, from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. and a final one at the Grand Lake Farmer’s Market, Sat, May 25, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. (Update/note: the May 4 meeting was cancelled)

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter