Martin Luther King Jr Way is North-South arterial street connecting South Berkeley to North Oakland. The street between 47th and the City limit at 61st Street serves residential neighborhoods, a variety of businesses, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, and provides a connection for vehicle to access State Highways 24. The street today has 6 to 7 lanes of vehicle traffic with a wide median with elevated BART tracks, and parallel parking on either side of the street. MLK Jr Way is also home to the last uncontrolled (un-signalized) pedestrian crossings of a 6-lane roadway. MLK Jr Way today is a major pedestrian barrier, prone to speeding traffic outside of peak times, and is a representation of past highway-oriented transportation planning decisions that led to negative outcomes for underserved neighborhoods. There were 78 collisions in the last 5 years, including one fatal collision at 60th Street.
OakDOT's Three-Year Paving Plan includes repaving Martin Luther King Jr. Way from 47th Street to 61st Street. In Winter 2022 OakDOT conducted initial public outreach on ideas to transform MLK Jr Way along with this planned repaving effort. OakDOT mailed informational postcards to 2,500 addresses surrounding the project area with a link to a survey on high-level priorities for MLK Jr Way in February 2022 and received 631 responses. The demographics of survey respondents were representative of those in the immediate neighborhood. The majority of respondents supported slowing down traffic on the roadway, installing pedestrian safety measures to facilitate crossing the street, and installing a protected bike lane on the street as recommended by the 2019 Let’s Bike Oakland Bike Plan. OakDOT also met individually with business owners along the corridor and presented the project to Neighborhood Council 10Y in March 2022. OakDOT has also been in close coordination with AC Transit and the City of Berkeley regarding coordination opportunities on this project. Notably, the City of Berkeley's Adeline Corridor Specific Plan proposes protected bike lanes on Adeline Street and MLK Jr Way in the City of Berkeley. Protected bike lanes on MLK Jr Way would provide a seamless, low-stress connection for people biking between Berkeley and the newly-installed West Street bike lanes that intersect with MLK Jr Way at 52nd Street.
OakDOT is now presenting a DRAFT CORRIDOR PLAN based on feedback we received earlier this year from residents, businesses, the City's Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Commission, and Neighborhood Councils 10X and 10Y. See the link above or click here to take our second survey to provide feedback on our draft plan, and on design priorities for the street, including bicycle, pedestrian, and transit improvements. The survey will be open through the end of the year.