8th Street Corridor Improvements

Improving safety, accessibility, and connectivity from Lake Merritt BART, through the heart of Chinatown, and to Old Oakland




8th Street in Chinatown and Old Oakland is a street of historical, cultural, and current significance. Chinese people first came to Oakland in the 1850s, living in at least four different areas until they settled at the corner of 8th and Webster Streets by the 1870s where a business center sprang up. This corner remains the center of the Chinatown Commercial District today.

Over the past 150 years, the Chinatown community went through the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, Executive Order 9066, and the destruction of Madison Square among other racial segregation and displacement injustices. Today, 8th Street is adjacent the proposed Lake Merritt BART Transit-Oriented Development which will bring hundreds of housing units (including affordable housing units) and commercial space to Chinatown. 8th Street is also on Oakland’s High Injury Network, meaning it has some of the highest concentrations of traffic collisions in Oakland.

Project Scope

To provide better connectivity in Chinatown, this project proposes the following baseline pedestrian and transit improvements on 8th Street between Fallon Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way

  • Sidewalk tripping hazards will be removed and sidewalk waiting areas will be maximized within 30 feet of intersections.
  • Intersections and driveways will be daylighted with red curb to improve sight lines that make pedestrians, bicyclists, and motor vehicles more visible to each other.
  • The existing temporary intersection crossing improvements will be upgraded to permanent concrete features for pedestrians and bicyclists at the 8th and Madison Street intersection.
  • ADA-compliant passenger loading zones will be expanded, and new bike racks and street trees will be installed in front of the two BART building entrances at the south side of 8th Street, between Oak Street and Madison Street.
  • Wayfinding signage will be installed to enhance the pedestrian and bicycle connections to transit.
  • Pedestrian lighting will be upgraded to improve safety and visibility.
  • Road diet - remove one vehicle lane of traffic to calm vehicle speeds and provide an opportunity to meet other needs around expanding space for pedestrians and meeting parking and loading demands.

Engagement is underway and focusing on gathering community input on the baseline set of proposed improvements and additional improvements, pending funding availability, such as:

  • Widening sidewalk to increase the space for pedestrians in places where feasible.
  • Adding diagonal parking to better meet parking and loading needs.
  • Upgrade existing or adding new bike facilities.

This project is currently in the planning phase.

Past Engagement and Outcomes

  • 2014 Lake Merritt Station Area Plan. This plan proposed bulb outs, upgraded crosswalks, and sidewalk amenities including pedestrian lighting and street trees. The plan also recommended lane reduction from four lanes to three lanes east of Harrison Street and the addition of buffered bike lanes. Long term recommendations included a street conversion from one-way to two-way or keeping the street one-way and widening the sidewalk.
  • 2017 Pedestrian Plan. This plan proposed bulb outs at each corner of the 8th Street and Harrison Street intersection, daylighting of intersections, leading pedestrian intervals (LPI), longer crossing times for pedestrians, and implementing a road diet.
  • 2019 Oakland Bike Plan. This plan proposed buffered bike lanes between Harrison Street and Madison Street and protected bike lanes between Madison and Fallon Street. See interactive Existing and Proposed Bikeways map.
  • 2019 Downtown Oakland Specific Plan (DOSP). This plan proposed a two-way street conversion with an enhanced pedestrian environment and loading areas.
  • Chinatown Complete Streets Plan. While not complete yet, engagement activities to-date included online survey, a public site walk, and meetings with local organizations. Residents and visitors in Chinatown would like to see widened sidewalks, pedestrian only spaces, sidewalk lighting, increased crosswalk safety, and better bike infrastructure.

Related Projects

Page last updated April 2, 2024



Map of Project: 8th Street Corridor Improvements


Engagement to Inform Design
2024 – Ongoing
CEQA Notice of Exemption Filed
March 8, 2024
TIRCP Cycle 5 (Awarded $2.5M)
March 2022