Martin Luther King Jr Way Complete Streets Paving Project

Delivering safety improvements through repaving on MLK Jr Way

In Process
Start date:
Nov 1, 2021
Completion date:
Dec 31, 2026


Winter 2024

OakDOT staff thanks the residents, business owners, and staff at local institutions who contributed to the MLK Jr Way Complete Streets Paving Project. With your help, we've created a concept design that balances key traffic safety improvements with transit, parking, loading, and other access needs. OakDOT's next step will be to move to Final Design, with 65% plans expected in Summer 2024. We anticipate construction in 2026.

The 35% Draft Plans posted on our page best reflect the project to date, with one key design change outlined below. Due to cost constraints, OakDOT is focusing the available funding for Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons (PHBS) on key locations with high pedestrian volumes, at transit stops, or at sensitive nearby land uses. OakDOT will now install PHBs at three intersections, including a new mid-block crossing at 51st Street and two AC Transit bus stop locations:

  • 51st Street (currently no crossing available, but high demand pathway used by Hospital staff crossing from staff parking lot)
  • Aileen Street (AC Transit bus stop location, 2 blocks from nearest traffic signal)
  • 61st Street (AC Transit bus stop location, Senior Housing crossing location, distant from nearest traffic signal)

The project will otherwise reflect the designs shown in the 35% Draft Plans, including protected bike lanes, accessible loading zones at Sojourner Truth locations, and a new mid-block crossing at 51st Street.

We've also received many questions and comments related to how MLK Jr Way will operate following a reduction from 6 to 4 lanes. When considered a Road Diet on an arterial like MLK Jr Way, OakDOT uses a standard Road Diet Feasibility Study Methodology to determine whether it is feasible to remove lanes of traffic from City streets to improve safety and meet the City’s Strategic Goals. Please see our Road Diet Feasibility Study, also linked below, for more detailed information on the analysis that the City conducted when planning for this project. 

Summer 2023

*Updated Project Plans Available Here*


Martin Luther King Jr Way is North-South arterial street connecting South Berkeley to North Oakland. The street between 47th and the City limit at 61st Street serves residential neighborhoods, a variety of businesses, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, and provides a connection for vehicle to access State Highways 24. The street today has 6 to 7 lanes of vehicle traffic with a wide median with elevated BART tracks, and parallel parking on either side of the street. MLK Jr Way is also home to the last uncontrolled (un-signalized) pedestrian crossings of a 6-lane roadway. MLK Jr Way today is a major pedestrian barrier, prone to speeding traffic outside of peak times, and is a representation of past highway-oriented transportation planning decisions that led to negative outcomes for underserved neighborhoods. There were 78 collisions in the last 5 years, including one fatal collision at 60th Street.

OakDOT's Three-Year Paving Plan includes repaving Martin Luther King Jr. Way from 47th Street to 61st Street. In Winter 2022 OakDOT conducted initial public outreach on ideas to transform MLK Jr Way along with this planned repaving effort. OakDOT mailed informational postcards to 2,500 addresses surrounding the project area with a link to a survey on high-level priorities for MLK Jr Way in February 2022 and received 631 responses. The demographics of survey respondents were representative of those in the immediate neighborhood. The majority of respondents supported slowing down traffic on the roadway, installing pedestrian safety measures to facilitate crossing the street, and installing a protected bike lane on the street as recommended by the 2019 Let’s Bike Oakland Bike Plan. OakDOT also met individually with business owners along the corridor and presented the project to Neighborhood Council 10Y in March 2022. OakDOT has also been in close coordination with AC Transit and the City of Berkeley regarding coordination opportunities on this project. Notably, the City of Berkeley's Adeline Corridor Specific Plan proposes protected bike lanes on Adeline Street and MLK Jr Way in the City of Berkeley. Protected bike lanes on MLK Jr Way would provide a seamless, low-stress connection for people biking between Berkeley and the newly-installed West Street bike lanes that intersect with MLK Jr Way at 52nd Street.

OakDOT is now presenting a DRAFT CORRIDOR PLAN based on feedback we received earlier this year from residents, businesses, the City's Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Commission, and Neighborhood Councils 10X and 10Y. See the link above or click here to take our second survey to provide feedback on our draft plan, and on design priorities for the street, including bicycle, pedestrian, and transit improvements. The survey will be open through the end of the year.



Map of Project: Martin Luther King Jr Way Complete Streets Paving Project