Traffic safety is OakDOT’s most important charge. The City works every day, year-round, to improve safety for pedestrians, cyclists, transit riders, and drivers as they travel around Oakland. Our work is guided in part by long-term visions like those found in the 2017 Pedestrian Plan, “Oakland Walks!” and in the 2019 Bike Plan, “Let’s Bike Oakland,” as well as by ongoing partnerships and programs like the Alameda County Safe Routes to Schools program.
Despite these efforts, tragedies still occur far too often. Oakland sees an average of two severe or fatal injuries from traffic crashes every week. 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. Examples of past Swift and Effective projects include pedestrian safety improvements at Harrison & 23rd streets and at Foothill Blvd. and 26th Avenue.
On October 1, 2019, a vehicle crash tragically left a woman dead and a child badly injured as they were walking across the street at Foothill Boulevard and 22nd Avenue, just outside Garfield Elementary School. OakDOT activated the rapid response approach. On Oct. 4, OakDOT staff met with families, students, and school staff to stand with Garfield Elementary and work quickly together toward improvements and is in the process now of working with the school, City leadership, and the surrounding community to design and implement safety measures as swiftly as possible. Below is a map outlining this work in three categories:
- COMPLETED work that is either done now or expected to be done within a matter of days
- NEXT work that is expected to be complete by the end of 2019
- FOLLOWING work with long-term fixes that will take longer to complete, but will be evaluated and confirmed by the end of 2019
COMPLETED work is highlighted below in orange. Those improvements include:
- Foothill Blvd & 22nd Ave: Install hardened centerlines on all intersection approaches. This is an innovative new approach, road-tested in New York City and brought now to Oakland for the first time. These hardened centerlines force cars to slow down and not cut corners when making left turns. This is especially important because Oaklanders are killed or severely injured by left-turning vehicles at over 4 times the rate of right-turning vehicles. Photos highlighting this change are posted below.
- Foothill Blvd & 22nd Ave: Install “Left Turn Yield to Pedestrians” signs on all approaches.
- 22nd Ave – Foothill Blvd to E 17thSt: Install two speed humps and “Speed Hump 15 MPH” warning signs, to slow vehicle traffic.
- Foothill Blvd & Munson Wy: Relocate “School” warning signs for increased visibility.
- Foothill Blvd & Munson Wy: Install “Yield Here to Pedestrians” signs in the gutters and surrounded by wheel stops.
- Foothill Blvd & Munson Wy: Add red curb at the crosswalk to make pedestrians who are entering the crosswalk more visible to approaching vehicles.
- Foothill Blvd & Munson Wy: Extend crosswalk markings from curb-to-curb.
- Foothill Blvd & 21st Ave: Foothill Blvd & 21st Ave: Install “School” warning signs.
- Foothill Blvd & 21st Ave: Foothill Blvd & 21st Ave: Install “Yield Here to Pedestrians” signs.
- Foothill Blvd – 20th Ave to 24thAve: Install additional “School” warning signs.
- Foothill Blvd – 20th Ave to 24thAve: Install additional “School Speed Limit” signs.
- Foothill Blvd – 20th Ave to 24thAve: Install additional “Fines Double” signs.
NEXT work is highlighted below in green. Those improvements include:
- Foothill Blvd & Munson Wy: Install a pedestrian safety island.
FOLLOWING work is highlighted below in blue. Those improvements include:
- Foothill Blvd & 22nd Ave Traffic signal upgrades--
- Install leading pedestrian interval to give pedestrians a head start into the crosswalk, increasing driver yielding to pedestrians.
- Install protected left-turn phasing to specifically direct the timing of left-turning vehicles.
- Install mast arms on 22nd Ave approaches to improve signal visibility for drivers.