The Lower Park Blvd Project redesigned portions of Park Boulevard, East 18th Street, and 3rd Avenue in the vicinity east of Lake Merritt, in the Merritt, Cleveland Heights, and Ivy Hill neighborhoods. Along with paving, the City modified the roadway configuration to improve traffic safety, access, and mobility for people walking, biking, riding the bus, and driving. The project was part of the Department of Transportation’s 2019 3-Year Paving Plan and implemented recommendations 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 Boulevard, from East 18th Street to Mountain Boulevard. Information on the outreach/community process for the Park Boulevard Corridor Study can be found on this page.
The project included:
- 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;
- Left turn pockets;
- 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 reduced the number of travel lanes on Park Blvd (below MacArthur Blvd) and E 18th St (between Park Blvd and Lakeshore Ave), making space for the bike lanes and pedestrian safety islands listed above. 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.