The City of Oakland is paving and redesigning 8th Street in West Oakland between Pine Street and Market Street, with the goal of reducing traffic collisions and speeding to make the street safer for residents, and more comfortable for users of all modes. This project was submitted by the community advocacy group Safe 8th St as a Capital Improvement Program (CIP) request and was funded as part of the City of Oakland’s Fiscal Year 2021-23 CIP. Specifically, the 8th Street CIP project is funded by $500,000 from Measure KK, Oakland’s Affordable Housing and Infrastructure Bond that was passed by voters in 2018. The project is part of the Department of Transportation’s three-year Paving Plan and will implement recommendations in Oakland's Pedestrian Plan and Bicycle Plan.
Project Design & Policy Elements
This project seeks to traffic calm the street into a quiet residential street. This includes reducing the speed limit. The project will pave the length of the street, upgrade curb ramps to meet accessibility standards, install high-visibility crosswalks and install traffic circles, speed humps, and upgraded hardened centerlines at intersections to reduce speeding. The project also includes include a community art element. Other possible features include a median closure at Mandela Pkwy and a new mid-block crosswalk on 8th Street between Adeline Street and Filbert Street. In summer 2021, OakDOT installed hardened centerlines at the intersections of 8th Street/Peralta Street and 8th Street/Union Street. The hardened centerlines reduce the speeds of turning drivers and brought traffic safety improvements to 8th Street while the larger CIP-funded project is being developed.
1.2 miles in length, 8th Street connects the Acorn, Prescott, and Lower Bottoms neighborhoods.
8th Street has seen significant changes over the years. In the mid 1900s it was a major street – comparable to 7th Street – connecting West Oakland, Downtown, and Eastlake. The Cypress Freeway (now Mandela Parkway) had on off-ramp onto 8th Street. The connection between West Oakland and Downtown was severed by the construction of I-980 in the 1980s. The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, which caused the collapse of the Cypress Freeway, ended 8th Street’s connection to the freeway. The Acorn Redevelopment project narrowed 8th Street between Union Street and Market Street. What had been a 60’ wide street (presumably with four travel lanes) became the 44’ wide street of today (with two travel lanes). In the 2000s, the City of Oakland implemented two major projects on 8th Street that installed bulbouts, concrete crosswalks, pedestrian street lighting, and street trees. The 8th Street Traffic Calming Project seeks to build on this history with additional improvements to make 8th Street a safe and welcoming neighborhood street.