6/26/2020: Oakland Slow Streets Expands with Safer Streets in High Priority Communities

Posted: June 26th, 2020 1:22 PM

Last Updated: June 26th, 2020 1:27 PM

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The City of Oakland announced today that beginning June 26, five intersections along Fruitvale Ave will receive Slow Streets: Essential Places crossing improvements and three blocks in the heart of Chinatown will have Slow Streets installations.

The Slow Streets: Essential Places effort will make intersection safety improvements in the heart of the Fruitvale district, where there’s a hub of essential services along Fruitvale Avenue, including the Unity Council Senior Center, La Clinica de la Raza’s Clínica Alta Vista (which also serves as a COVID-19 testing site), Los Hermanos Produce Market, and El Charro Super Mercado. The City is prioritizing this area for improvements due to the combination of essential services, high pedestrian and vehicle volumes along a "High Injury Corridor" (where severe and fatal traffic crashes concentrate) and high COVID-19 rates. The improvements include:

  • Fruitvale Ave and E 15th St - push button deactivation and signage alerting people that they no longer need to push the button to get a walk signal (to be implemented next week)
  • Fruitvale Ave and E 16th St (south & north), and Fruitvale and E 17th (north) - we will use traffic cones to reduce the travel lane to one lane in each direction to improve visibility of pedestrians in the intersection. This also creates a safe place ("pedestrian refuge") for people crossing the street to more easily navigate across the street. A few of the intersections will have curb extensions also using traffic cones to help shorten the crossing distance and increase visibility of pedestrians in the crosswalk
  • Fruitvale Ave and E 18th St - push button deactivation and signage alerting people that they no longer need to push the button to get a walk signal (to be implemented next week)
  • Fruitvale Ave and E 19th St - signage

The Slow Streets coming to Chinatown are intended to provide more space for physically distant transportation and recreation adjacent to the Lincoln Recreation Center and a nearby Slow Street that connects Chinatown to Downtown and Lake Merritt (Alice St from 11th to 19th Street). This initiative is the result of ongoing discussions with community leaders in Chinatown to envision streets that can better serve the neighborhood. The Slow Streets that will be implemented with soft closures include:

  • 10th Street from Jackson to Harrison
  • Alice St from 9th St to 10th St

In addition to traffic safety improvements, the program signs also double as COVID-19 service signs, with messages about testing and health resources, housing and other services to create a hub of information for the public. Copies of the signage are available on the Slow Streets webpage: https://www.staging.oaklandca.gov/projects/oakland-slow-streets.

To provide additional input, community members may still complete the Oakland Slow Streets Program Feedback Form at https://tinyurl.com/oaklandslowstreets

Real-time results from this survey are at: https://tinyurl.com/oaklandslowstreetssurveyresult

Oakland Slow Streets began on April 11 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the Oakland Slow Streets launch in early April, more than 20 miles of “soft closures” were installed to support physical activity, physical distancing, and traffic safety in response to COVID-19.

The Slow Streets: Essential Places effort was launched on May 22 and installs temporary traffic safety improvements to enable safer access for residents to the essential services in their neighborhood – including grocery stores, food distribution sites in public facilities, and COVID-19 test sites – intended to immediately reduce the risk of traffic crashes.

The Alameda County Public Health Department recommends that residents wear face masks while in public. All users over 12 years old should wear or carry face masks and use them when within 6 feet of others, even when walking, jogging and bicycling. The City of Oakland will continue to monitor CDC guidance on outdoor recreation, transportation, and physical distancing, and will adjust this program as needed.

To provide general feedback about how this program can best serve your neighborhood, please contact OAK311 by dialing 311 or 510-615-5566, e-mailing OAK311@staging.oaklandca.gov, going online to 311.staging.oaklandca.gov, or using the free OAK311 mobile app for Apple and Android devices. You can also post on social media using the #OaklandSlowStreets hashtag.

For additional program information and the interactive location map, please visit: https://www.staging.oaklandca.gov/projects/oakland-slow-streets

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