New Efforts to Make Intersections Around Garfield Elementary Safer

Date Posted: October 3rd, 2019 @ 11:28 AM
Last Updated: November 15th, 2019 @ 10:49 AM

garfield

*** UPDATE: November 15, 2019 ***

Click here to see ABC7's story & interview with Councilmember Bas on the City's completion of several rapid-response traffic safety improvements at Garfield Elementary School, the site of a recent pedestrian death.

On November 14, our office partnered with the Garfield school and parent community, as well as OakDOT, to canvas the surrounding neighborhoods. We informed neighbors of the traffic safety improvements and encouraged all to slow down and drive with caution.

*** UPDATE: October 28, 2019 ***

To improve the City’s response when those tragedies happen, OakDOT has been developing a “Swift and Effective” rapid response protocol that immediately prioritizes the areas struck by serious injuries and deaths.

Following a community meeting on October 4th with families, students, school staff, my office, the Mayor's office, and OPD, we have worked together to stand with Garfield Elementary and design and implement safety measures as swiftly as possible. Thank you to the many community and school advocates who've been coming together to prioritize pedestrian safety and make a plan to help ensure a tragedy like this never happens again.

*** UPDATE: October 4, 2019 ***

Today we joined families, students, and school staff at 8 am before school and at 3 pm after school to stand with Garfield Elementary. We grieve the loss of Ms. Truong. Our hearts are with her loved ones, the school community, the preschooler who was injured, and the countless residents & families who have been impacted in the past by danger at this intersection as well as streets and speeding cars throughout the neighborhood.

This is not an incident isolated to this week. There has been a history of both students and adults being hit by cars at 22nd and Foothill and nearby.

We met with the community this afternoon, and we are committed to advocating for our school communities and working together with city partners -- OakDOT, OPD, the Mayor's office -- to take concrete action to make our streets and communities safe.

*** UPDATE: October 3, 2019 -- Call to Action & Stand in Solidarity ***

Please join my team and I at Garfield Elementary (1640 22nd Ave) tomorrow, Friday, October 4th at 8 am and also at 3 pm. The school and neighborhood community has organized these protests before and after school to hold space for this tragedy and come together in organized action.

*** UPDATE: October, 2, 2019 ***

Yesterday’s death of a mother in our community is an unacceptable tragedy. My heart is with Ms. Truong’s family and loved ones and the child who was injured. As a mother, I am filled with grief about this senseless tragedy, and I am here to support the school and neighborhood as they grieve.

As the councilmember for this district, I am doing all I can to help make our community safer. I am bringing our Dept. of Transportation, Police Dept. and Mayor’s Office together with the Principal and staff at Garfield Elementary IMMEDIATELY to work together to prioritize pedestrian safety around the school and to help ensure a tragedy like this never happens again.

I want to thank our partners at OPD for swiftly taking up the investigation to determine what happened. We also thank them for providing additional traffic safety today at Garfield Elementary:

• A crossing guard is onsite during kids’ arrival to school and departure.
• There is additional traffic enforcement along the Foothill corridor.
• A speed trailer was placed on Foothill Boulevard and 22nd Ave this morning to assist with calming speeds.

Last April, we grieved a mother and son who were killed as they crossed the street a few blocks away.

A month later in May, the City implemented traffic safety measures around Garfield. We repaved Foothill, created a road diet between 22nd and 23rd Aves that reduced 4 lanes into 3 with one lane per direction and left turn pockets. The high-visibility crosswalks were reinstalled, and a new one was added on Foothill and Munson.

And, we must do *more* and *everything possible* to prevent another tragedy and ensure all pedestrians and cyclists are safe.

October 1, 2019

We are devastated to learn about the fatal hit and run collision today, which took the life of Huong Thi Truong, mother of two. Truong was walking her 4 year old niece to a nearby preschool when they were struck at 22nd Ave. & Foothill Blvd. Our sincere and deepest condolences go out to the family during this difficult time.

Tragedies like this profoundly impact our community -- families, schools, youth, teachers and our whole city. I am committed to improving traffic safety along this corridor and throughout Oakland, including working with OakDOT on the Safe Routes to Schools initiative and other efforts to prevent future tragedies.

The Oakland Police Department and Crime Stoppers of Oakland are offering a reward of up to $15,000 for an arrest in this case. Anyone with information should contact the Oakland Police Department Traffic Investigation Unit at (510) 777-8570.