Beginning in February, 2020, the City began construction on the Lower Park Blvd Project, including resurfacing on portions of Park Blvd, E 18th St, and 3rd Ave in the vicinity east of Lake Merritt, in the Merritt, Cleveland Heights, and Ivy Hill neighborhoods. Along with paving, the City is changing the roadway striping to improve traffic safety, access, and mobility for people walking, biking, riding the bus, and driving. The project is part of the City of Oakland, Department of Transportation’s (OakDOT’s) 2019 3-Year Paving Plan and will implement recommendations included in Oakland's Pedestrian Plan (2017) and Bicycle Plan (2019).
The Lower Park Blvd Project was developed as one part of the Park Boulevard Corridor Study (2016-2018), which evaluated potential traffic safety improvements along the entire length Park Blvd, from E 18th St to Mountain Blvd. (Information on the outreach/community process for this project can be found on that page.)
The project includes:
- Paving on Park Blvd (E 18th St-MacArthur Blvd), 3rd Ave (Park Blvd-E 18th St), and slurry seal on E 18th St (Lakeshore Ave-Park Blvd);
- New and/or improved curb ramps;
- Buffered bike lanes;
- High-visibility crosswalks;
- Raised pedestrian safety islands;
- Corner extensions and islands at select locations;
- Modifications at Park Blvd/5th Ave/Ivy Dr to reduce conflicts; and
- Bicyclist wayfinding signs.
The project will reduce the number of travel lanes on Park Blvd (below MacArthur Blvd) and E 18th St (between Park Blvd and Lakeshore Ave) to make space for the bike lanes and pedestrian safety islands. These changes are intended to reduce speeding, make it more comfortable to walk and bike along the corridor, and improve traffic safety for all roadway users.
Lower Park Blvd, E 18th St, and 3rd Ave together form a major transportation corridor for walkers, bicyclists, transit riders, and drivers, connecting Lake Merritt to the Cleveland Heights, Merritt, and Ivy Hill neighborhoods, and providing access to the F.M. Smith Recreation Center and Oakland High School. AC Transit’s Line 33 provides bus service on the corridor to downtown Oakland and Montclair.