Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Broadway Streetscape Improvements

Posted: June 13th, 2023 3:19 PM

Last Updated: June 16th, 2023 4:08 PM

Question Answer

How can I get involved with the project or voice my opinion about the project?

We would love to hear your feedback on the Broadway Streetscape Improvements! Please take a moment to complete this survey. You can email us with questions at You can also sign up for email updates with this form. We will send email updates for all engagement activities.

How was the proposed scope of this project determined?

The proposed scope of this project was informed by previous community engagement activities for plans and projects that cover the project area. The project team reviewed and summarized input from the 2017 Pedestrian Plan, 2019 Downtown Oakland Specific Plan, Howard Terminal Transportation Plan, 2019 Oakland Bike Plan, and survey results from the Broadway Betterment Project (a paving plan project that did not move forward). Based on prior community engagement and recommendations in adopted plans, the project team applied for grant funding to design and construct improvements as part of the Broadway Streetscape Improvements.

What engagement has been done so far?

Please see the Broadway Community Outreach Summary. This document summarizes all the feedback about Broadway that has been received during the development of plans and projects.

Why do the Broadway Streetscape Improvements not include bike lanes?

Broadway has limited roadway space, and bus lanes, vehicle lanes, bicycle lanes, and parking/loading areas cannot all fit together. Broadway has been prioritized for transit since it has the highest number of buses per hour than any other street in the East Bay. With one bus-only lane in each direction there is only space for one vehicle lane in each direction. In most areas near bus stops, buses need enough space to move around each other so they don't slow each other down and cause "bus bunching." Although parking and loading zones remain on Broadway, there is not enough continuous space to fit bike lanes.

While Broadway has been prioritized for transit, bike facilities have been and will be constructed on nearby parallel streets, providing a safe, alternative route between Downtown Oakland and the waterfront. Please see this map for existing and proposed bike facilities in Oakland.

Will the bus-only lanes allow bicycles?

The bus-only lanes will not have markings or signage that allows for bicycles because of the high volume of buses that travel on Broadway. With many buses traveling along Broadway, it would be unsafe to combine bus-bike lanes. There will be no strict law prohibiting bicyclists from using Broadway but biking in the bus-only lanes on Broadway will not be advised.

Why can’t Broadway be closed to private vehicles?

While some survey respondents have requested to make Broadway a car-free street, community members have requested that vehicle lanes remain on Broadway so as not to divert vehicle traffic into nearby residential streets.

Will parking be removed on Broadway?

Parking impacts on Broadway between 2nd and 11th Street have yet to be determined. It depends on whether bus stops are relocated, where bulb-outs are constructed, and the loading needs of businesses. These considerations will be sorted out during the design process. On-street parking on Broadway between 20th Street and Grand Avenue is not expected to change. Some ADA-accessible parking spaces may be added on Broadway and on side streets in order to comply with current city standards.

Why doesn’t Broadway have light rail or streetcars instead of buses?

Constructing light rail or streetcars today is extremely costly and does not allow the flexibility of service that buses have.

Why does Broadway need bus-only lanes?

Although bus ridership has not fully recovered from pre-pandemic levels, AC Transit ridership has been increasing steadily since 2020. Broadway still has the most buses operating on it compared to any other street in the East Bay. In addition, ridership on Broadway buses is closer to pre-pandemic levels than most other AC Transit bus lines. Adding bus-only lanes improves travel time and bus reliability which will help AC Transit reduce operating costs and helps those who depend on transit service.