Advocacy groups and city officials have been busy approving and implementing plans to make the East Bay a more bike-friendly, walk-friendly region. Bike lanes, traffic calming measures, and new, wider sidewalks make Oakland neighborhoods safer for everyone. Here are a few improvements we can look forward to in the near future.
People who bike-commute between western Alameda and Oakland have long wondered why we don’t have a safe way to bike from downtown Oakland to the heart of Alameda. After years of work, Bike Walk Alameda reports an Oakland Estuary Bike and Pedestrian Bridge to Alameda is now a “real project.”
The next step is a “project scoping and right of way” analysis (PS&R), which will take about 20 months. If all goes well, the bike-pedestrian bridge would reduce car traffic by giving people a reasonable way to safely walk, run or bike between the two cities. Currently very few brave the noisy, polluted, dark Posey Tube, which has a walkway that can barely fit one person.
The bridge is part of the Oakland Alameda Access Project, an improvement project that includes car-free improvements to East Oakland near Lake Merritt BART and Chinatown.
The California Transportation Commission is recommending two Oakland projects for funding. One of them, The East Oakland Neighborhood Bike Routes project, includes repaving, new sidewalks, traffic calming and curb ramps in deep East Oakland. Parts of busy Bancroft Avenue and East 14th Street will also see improved bike signals.
Busy 35th Avenue between East 18th Street and Mangels recently got new speed cushions (large speed bumps), refreshed crosswalk paint, and curb “daylighting.” The improvements are long-overdue measures to stop speeding. The family of Deontae Bush, who was hit and killed by a van while riding his bike in on Galindo at 35th in 2018, advocated for the upgrades.
The 7th Street Connection Project allows for safer commuting between West Oakland BART and Downtown Oakland. Improvements include protected bikeways, protected intersections, wider sidewalks, lighting, trees, crosswalk improvements, and bus-only lanes.
The sprawling Brooklyn Basin development has received new bike and pedestrian paths extending from the Bay Trail at Embarcadero to the Oakland Estuary. 9th Avenue also got a facelift. Take a ride over there to see the improvements!
Not long after the pandemic hit, the City of Oakland introduced a handful of “slow streets” closed to thru traffic. These streets gave kids a safe place to bike and everyone a safe place to get outside.
Now, Oakland wants to make some of these streets permanently slow. Depending on feedback from residents, slow streets will either return to normal or receive more “durable” barricades. That appears to mean concrete planters.
What’s happening in your neighborhood? Let us know in the comments below!