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Oakland Slow Streets FAQ

Date Posted: April 10th, 2020 @ 1:48 PM
Last Updated: April 30th, 2020 @ 2:38 PM

This page will be updated as questions arise.

Question: Are these streets closed to people performing essential services (emergency vehicles, waste collection, street sweeping, essential construction activities, deliveries, etc.)?

Answer: No, people driving to final destinations on corridors that are closed to through traffic may still use these streets to access final destinations. We appreciate all of our essential workers who are supporting Oaklanders from collecting waste and recycling to providing deliveries from restaurants, grocery stores, and pharmacies, and everything in between. We are working with mapping platforms to assist with routing that avoids these streets as much as possible for those who do not need to use these streets.

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Question: How does this impact me if I live on a street in the Oakland Slow Streets program, or need to use that street to access my final destination?

Answer: You will still be able to use this street. Please use extra care when driving on this street (and all streets during the COVID-19 crisis and always). Parking along these streets is not impacted by this program.

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Question: Does this program impact AC Transit routes, service or accessibility?

Answer: No, all AC Transit routes and service will run as scheduled and the City has worked with AC Transit to remove any streets that had overlap from the program. Paratransit may access these corridors to serve clients. Please visit http://www.actransit.org/ for the most up to date information on transit service.

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Question: Is there a higher quality map so I can see the streets in more detail?

Answer: Yes, please see the map in the documents section of the webpage along with the document titled, "Oakland Slow Streets for Community Feedback (4/14/2020)," which includes a written list of all the existing and proposed streets for soft closures."

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Question: What is a "soft closure"?

Answer: Soft closures includes signage that reads "Road Closed to Thru Traffic," warning signs alerting drivers to pedestrians/bicyclists, and barriers that typically block one lane of traffic. These soft closure installations are placed at key intersections where we anticipate the greatest number of turning vehicles. We are implementing these over time and the main page has more information on existing and upcoming streets. See photos in the photo gallery for examples.

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Question: How can I share my feedback on specific issues that arise?

Answer: Please report any issues or concerns at https://www.oaklandca.gov/services/oak311. We will be checking this regularly.

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Question: What happens on streets listed as a Slow Street, but without "soft closures"?

Answer: We're discouraging drivers from using ALL Oakland Slow Streets unless necessary to reach a final destination. We're working with mapping companies to update navigation , and urges all drivers to drive slowly and safely, expect to see people walking and biking along ALL streets, as our hospitals are facing unprecedented challenges and don't need any additional patients.

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Question: How did the City select Oakland Slow Streets?

Answer: We started with existing and proposed Neighborhood Bike Routes. We selected these streets because: 1) they were already identified through a robust and equity-driven engagement process; 2) they are mostly residential streets throughout the city, so would allow residents from across Oakland to have access to places in their neighborhood to make essential trips on foot or bike, helping to further achieve social distancing and create an alternative to large parks that have been experiencing crowding; and 3) they have been vetted from a practical and engineering stand point to conflict minimally with transit, arterials, emergency routes, etc.

After reviewing the existing and proposed Neighborhood Bike Routes, staff heard from partner agencies and the public and removed certain streets, including: streets with transit routes, any streets adjacent to medical or emergency facilities (hospitals, fire stations, etc.), and streets with no alternative routes for through traffic. These streets are what now makes up the Oakland Slow Streets Network, and are presented in the maps on the main page. If you have comments on these streets, you may submit those via 311: https://www.oaklandca.gov/services/oak311 or via this form: https://forms.gle/tF2NiWubc9Hi...

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Question: What was the community engagement process for the Slow Streets program?

Answer: The Slow Streets program was developed very rapidly in response to COVID-19 and had minimal public engagement at the start. The City relied on previous engagement that developed the Neighborhood Bike Routes. We acknowledge that we could have done a much more thorough engagement process. We are working to improve our engagement efforts moving forward using the following strategies:

  • We will release potential streets for soft closures approximately weekly and seek community, City Council and partner agency feedback before finalizing the list for implementation.
  • Released a survey for community members to share their feedback on proposed streets (see main Slow Streets webpage for latest survey link)
  • Released a survey for feedback on the program as whole: https://tinyurl.com/oaklandslowstreets, (those without web access can call 311)
  • Established an OAK311 category for reporting Slow Streets maintenance needs.
  • Convening virtual meetings with community and neighborhood groups in disadvantaged neighborhoods to develop adjustments to the program to meet the needs of Oakland’s most vulnerable residents.
  • Press and social media announcements shared by the City and community partners regularly to keep community informed using the #OaklandSlowStreets hashtag.
  • Maintaining the Oakland Slow Streets webpage with comprehensive program information: https://www.oaklandca.gov/projects/oakland-slow-streets.
  • We are evaluating the corridors to ensure they're meeting the goal of providing safe spaces for physically distant essential travel.

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Question: If I live on a Slow Streets block, what do I do with my trash, compost and recycling carts?

Answer: Please continue to set out your trash, compost and recycling carts at the curb in front of your home as usual.