**PROJECT UPDATE August 2022**
OakDOT has released the 95% plans for construction of traffic calming improvements and pedestrian safety improvements to accompany the planned repaving of High Street in 2023. OakDOT engaged residents in Spring 2021 regarding their safety priorities for the street, and staff heard consensus from the community that a bicycle lane is not appropriate at this time. Steep grades, lack of space for physical protection of a bike lane, and speeding drivers were the primary factors in not moving forward with the Bike Plan recommendations for High Street. OakDOT has since been working to update the design of High Street to slow the speed of vehicles, remove the ability to speed/perform unsafe passing maneuvers in the center turning lane, provide ADA accessible bus stops, and provide pedestrian safety islands at crosswalks where feasible. The updated plan for High Street is illustrated in the Updated Traffic Calming Plan link at the bottom of this page.
High Street is a major east-west corridor that connects the Laurel District, Maxwell Park, and Allendale to International and Foothill Boulevards. In the last 5 years where were 225 vehicle collisions on High Street between Foothill Boulevard and Tomkins Avenue. 37 of these involved a pedestrian crossing the street and speeding is the primary cause of collisions on High St.
The roadway is also set to be repaved in 2023 between Foothill Blvd and Tompkins St. Repaving offers a rare opportunity to reimagine this roadway to better respond to the needs of people walking, biking, and taking transit while maintaining the same access and space for people driving. In early 2021, OakDOT asked the High Street community about their issues, preferences, and input on potential safety improvements for High Street. OakDOT sent out 6,500 postcards to the High Street neighborhood, reviewed over 750 survey responses, presented at the Neighborhood Council meetings for the Laurel, Allendale, Melrose/Fairfax, and Maxwell Park neighborhoods, and at the Mayor's Council on Persons with Disabilities. In April 2021, OakDOT staff also walked the corridor to engage with business owners on the issues that they see on the street.
A key question that OakDOT asked the community is whether now is the time to build bike lanes on High Street. Bike lanes were called out as a long-term "vision" improvement for High Street by the 2019 Let’s Bike Oakland Bike Plan. Based on extensive feedback from the community on perceived safety issues related to a bike lane on High Street, and following an internal review of the complexities of designing a truly protected bike facility on High Street, OakDOT recommends NOT installing bike lanes on High Street at this time. We did receive an overwhelming vote of community support for measures to slow traffic on High Street, to promote pedestrian visibility and safety while crossing the street, and address localized traffic safety issues.
Proposed Traffic Calming measures include: (to be installed with Paving in 2023)
- Speed cushions between Foothill Boulevard and Brookdale Avenue
- Median pedestrian refuge islands at crosswalk locations
- Mid-block concrete islands in the center turning lane to prohibit use of this lane for passing or speeding
- Upgrading curb ramps where necessary to comply with ADA guidelines
- Refreshing roadway striping and painting new high-visibility crosswalks
- Moving AC Transit stops and installing new sidewalk at wheelchair ramp/loading areas to improve transit operations
- Reviewing design options to reduce High Street to one lane around Brookdale Avenue
Crossing improvements funded by HSIP grant - Construction complete in January 2022
- San Leandro Street & High Street
- Bancroft Avenue & High Street
- Bond Street & High Street
- Carrington Street & High Street (Rapid Flashing Beacon)
- San Carlos Street & High Street (Rapid Flashing Beacon)
- Brookdale Avenue & High Street
- Fleming Avenue & High Street (Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon)
- Penniman Avenue & High Street (Rapid Flashing Beacon)
- Suter Street & High Street (Rapid Flashing Beacon + New Crosswalk)