The City of Oakland’s Department of Transportation (OakDOT) undertook the Park Blvd Corridor Study to gather input from neighbors, students, merchants, and other stakeholders for improving safety along the length of Park Blvd. The study began in summer 2016 and concluded in spring 2018. This page includes information on the status of projects that were considered by the study, and provides documentation on the completed study.
Lower Park Blvd from E 18th St to MacArthur Blvd was redesigned, implementing a road diet with pedestrian crossing improvements, geometric improvements at intersections, and buffered bike lanes. The project was completed in 2022 in coordination with a paving project. See project web page for details. The staff contact is Jason Patton, Bicycle & Pedestrian Program Supervisor, email@example.com, 510-238-7049.
Middle Park Blvd is planned for major school safety improvements at the intersections of Park Blvd / Excelsior Ave/ Grosvenor Pl / Alma Pl and at Park Blvd / E 38th St / 13th Ave/ Park Blvd Way / Greenwood Ave. See the Crossing to Safety Project page for details. The work is made possible by a $1.89 million grant from the State's Active Transportation Program that was awarded to OakDOT in September 2017. The staff contact is Joe Wang, Supervising Traffic Engineer, firstname.lastname@example.org, 510-238-6107.
In response to a pedestrian fatality in May of 2021, OakDOT activated our Rapid Response protocol to determine if simple treatments can be implemented quickly to improve safety. A Rapid Response is initiated when a traffic collision results in either a severe injury or fatality and involves either a pedestrian or bicyclist. As a result of the Rapid Response, OakDOT installed temporary lane drops on Park Blvd near E 38th St, where a travel lane is removed in each direction on Park Blvd to slow down traffic and to reduce exposure for pedestrians crossing the street. When the aforementioned Crossing to Safety Project, which includes the reconfiguration and installation of a new traffic signal at Park Blvd & 13th Ave, is completed, the original roadway configuration will be restored. The reconfiguration and the new signal are intended to protect pedestrians be reinforcing right-of-way, shortening crossing distances, and reducing traffic speeds. Because the new traffic signal will inherently reduce the throughput capacity on Park Blvd, maintaining the current lane configuration is necessary to avoid further reduction in capacity.
To expand on the initial Rapid Response above which was installed in July 2021, OakDOT will be installing two additional lane drops that transition Park Blvd from two travel lanes per direction to one between Dolores Ave and Wellington St in the upper segment and between Brighton Ave and Greenwood Ave in the lower segment. The result will be one travel lane per direction on Park Blvd at its intersections with Dolores, Everett, El Centro, and Beaumont Avenues where there is a concentration of pedestrian crossings. The upper segment was installed in Summer of 2022 and the lower segment is planned to be installed at the end of the Crossing to Safety project in December of 2023. See the design of the lane drops here.
For Middle Park Blvd, the Park Blvd Corridor Study identified the following three alternatives. There is not stakeholder agreement on a preferred alternative. Funding has not been identified for additional community outreach to reach agreement, nor is funding available for implementing the improvements. The staff contact is Joe Wang, Supervising Traffic Engineer, email@example.com, 510-238-6107.
- Pedestrian crossings with rectangular rapid flashing beacons (RRFBs) plus sidewalk extensions at select locations to channelize drivers, reduce vehicle speeds, and shorten crossing distances.
- Installation of new traffic signals (approximately five) to regulate drivers’ speeds and create new protected crossings for pedestrians. This alternative would include the possible elimination of uncontrolled crosswalks.
- Conversion of Middle Park Blvd to one travel lane per direction. This alternative would consolidate side street access at traffic signals (including approximately three new signals). The remaining uncontrolled intersections would be limited to right turns only into and out of the side streets. In this alternative, the uncontrolled pedestrian crossings of Park Blvd would be more likely to remain than if the traffic signals were installed without the conversion of travel lanes.
On Upper Park Blvd, for some years the City has had a concept for building a pedestrian/bicyclist path where currently there is a dirt shoulder. Significant work would be needed to stabilize the roadway’s shoulder in order to support a path along the canyon’s edge. While this project is inactive at this time, Upper Park Blvd is included in the City’s Five Year Paving Plan that was adopted in 2021. The paving of Upper Park Blvd is currently planned for 2026. The paving project could be an opportunity to rethink the design of Upper Park Blvd to improve traffic safety and better accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists. The staff contact is Jason Patton, Bicycle & Pedestrian Program Supervisor, firstname.lastname@example.org, 510-238-7049.
Additional Information on the Park Blvd Corridor Study
In fall 2016, OakDOT began the study process by listening to community concerns, gathering input, and promoting dialog. A key component of the community outreach was to address some confusion amongst stakeholders regarding whether the City was proposing a “road diet” on Park Blvd and, if so, on which of the three segments a road diet would be implemented. The process was also initiated to reach a broader cross section of stakeholders, including residents of the Trestle Glen neighborhood who have expressed concerns regarding changes to Park Blvd potentially diverting drivers into their neighborhood.
Outreach included the following community meetings and presentations:
- 11/16/16: Large format community meeting at the Park Boulevard Presbyterian Church
- 11/17/16: Large format community meeting at the F M Smith Recreation Center
- 12/15/16: Public meeting at the City's Bicyclist & Pedestrian Advisory Commission
- Winter/Spring 2017 Meetings with Individual Stakeholder Groups:
- Glenview Neighborhood Association
- Oakland High School (in cooperation with Bike East Bay)
- Lakeshore Homeowners Association
- 1/24/18: Large format community meeting at the Park Boulevard Presbyterian Church
- 1/31/18: Large format community meeting at Cleveland Elementary School
While having one name, Park Blvd is made up of three very different segments that the corridor study communicated as Lower Park Blvd, Middle Park Blvd, and Upper Park Blvd. Located below Interstate 580, Lower Park Blvd is in a dense neighborhood close to Lake Merritt and downtown. Located between Interstate 580 and Leimert Blvd, Middle Park Blvd is part of the Glenview with neighborhood-serving schools and a commercial district. Located above Leimert Blvd, Upper Park Blvd is along Dimond Canyon in an area with no homes or sidewalks.
Along Lower Park Blvd, there were strong concerns regarding speeding and pedestrian safety. There was also strong support for the planned road diet with pedestrian crossing improvements and bike lanes.
Along Middle Park Blvd, there were similarly strong concerns regarding speeding and pedestrian safety. While some stakeholders strongly supported a road diet, other stakeholders were concerned with commute hour traffic accessing I-580, and the potential for traffic diverting into the Trestle Glen neighborhood. OakDOT’s technical analysis showed that a road diet is feasible if a collection of traffic signals were installed as part of the road diet project. A low-cost “striping-only” road diet was deemed infeasible.
Documents from the Park Blvd Corridor Study
Community Meeting Materials:
January 2018 Community Meeting on Middle and Upper Park Blvd
January 2018 Community Meeting on Lower Park Blvd
Letter from OakDOT Director Ryan Russo (March 8, 2018)
Plans & Studies
- Lower Park Blvd/E 18th St/3rd Ave Proposed Improvements (January 2018)
- Middle and Upper Park Blvd Concept Plans for Pedestrian Crossing Improvements (October 2017)
- Middle and Upper Park Blvd Road Diet Operations Analysis (November 2017)
- Pedestrian/Bicyclist Path alternatives (Leimert Blvd to Monterey Blvd) (February 2013)
last updated 6/30/22