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7/10/2020: Oakland Slow Streets Delivers a Final Expansion Before Focusing on Planning for the Future

Date Posted: July 10th, 2020 @ 11:19 AM
Last Updated: July 10th, 2020 @ 11:24 AM
Example photo of Slow Streets: Essential Places installation

The City of Oakland announced today that it will install a final Slow Streets corridor and Slow Streets: Essential Places safety improvements on Friday, July 10 in East and West Oakland. Following this, the City will focus on engaging the community in the future of Slow Streets, given changing transportation needs during the long-standing pandemic conditions, and the community needs identified since the program’s launch.

Slow Streets: Essential Places installations provide improved access to food distribution sites in West Oakland, including the following:

  • Along 14th Street at the West Oakland Middle School where OUSD is providing Summer Meals for Kids. Improvements include:
    • Reducing lanes from two to one in each direction between Linden and Filbert
  • Installing Slow Streets: Essential Places signage along with COVID-related community resources.
  • Along 18th Street at the West Oakland Senior Center where the City is providing food distribution for older adults, and at the West Oakland Library, one of five Oakland Public Libraries open for curbside services. Improvements include:
    • Reducing lanes from two to one in each direction between Adeline and Poplar
  • Installing Slow Streets: Essential Places signage along with COVID-related community resources.
  • Removing the need for pedestrians to press the push button at the traffic signal at 18th and Adeline

The Slow Street installation, which includes soft closures that restrict vehicle access to local traffic only, will be installed based on engagement with the Palo Verdes Walking Club, a walking club with the United Seniors of Oakland and Alameda County. To support this installation, the City completed pothole repair along the corridor earlier this week. The route includes:

  • 62nd Ave (International Blvd to Fenham St)
  • Fenham St (62nd Ave to 64th Ave)
  • 64th Ave (Fenham St to International Blvd)

The City also announces that it will be shifting focus from new Slow Streets and Slow Streets: Essential Places installations to “Phase 2” Slow Streets planning. Phase 2 refers to the period starting now through the time when pandemic-related conditions sunset (e.g. when a vaccine becomes widely available). The City is making this shift for a few key reasons. The City has gleaned valuable insights from Oaklanders on the Slow Streets program. In some cases, the program doesn’t appear to meet communities’ needs, and in others, there is a desire for a more permanent program. The City intends to work to identify ways to best meet our community’s needs, especially in high priority neighborhoods where underlying conditions such as race and income combined with disproportionately higher rates of COVID-19 have led to multiple threats to community health and wellbeing.

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.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

As noted previously, while the program overall continues to receive overwhelming support among the 950+ survey respondents thus far, those responding to these surveys are more likely to be White, have high incomes and live in North Oakland. Data from Alameda County Public Health Department’s COVID-19 dashboard indicates that East Oaklanders and people of color are more likely to suffer harm from this pandemic. Oakland Slow Streets staff developed the Survey Results Dashboard to provide transparency and accountability, and to support the ongoing work by the City and its community partners to seek participation and input from underrepresented Oaklanders.

Oakland Slow Streets began on April 11 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the Oakland Slow Streets launch in early April, 21.2 miles of “soft closures” have been installed on 21 routes 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. To date, 15 locations across the City have received installations, and the materials are being upgraded from cones to posts to further enhance safety.

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 30 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@oaklandca.gov, going online to 311.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.oaklandca.gov/projects/oakland-slow-streets

Media Contact

Community Feedback:

OAK311

Dial 311 or 510-615-5566

OAK311@oaklandca.gov

311.oaklandca.gov

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Media Contact:

Sean Maher

Public Information Officer

smaher@oaklandca.gov

(510) 238-6358 desk

(510) 473-2610 cell