Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Broadway Streetscape Improvements

Question Answer

How is the project funded? Can this money be spent on
other high priorities in Oakland?

These grant funds must be spent on major capital transportation improvements as originally scoped in the grant application, and they do not allow us to spend this money on our maintenance and operations, or any non-transportation related work. These funds can only be spent on the projects that were awarded. The small amount of funding from the city that is going to this project is budgeted for paving work on Broadway.

How was the proposed scope of this project determined?

The proposed scope of this project was informed by previous community engagement for plans and projects that cover the project area, including 2020 Transit Action Strategy, 2017 Pedestrian Plan, 2019 Downtown Oakland Specific Plan, 2019 Oakland Bike Plan, 2014 Measure BB Transportation Expenditure Plan (TEP), 2014 Broadway Transit Circulator Study, and survey results from the
Broadway Betterment Project (a paving plan project that did not move forward). Using the information gathered, 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 Engagement Summary (2015-2022) and the Broadway Streetscape Improvements Engagement Summary (Summer 2023). These documents summarize all 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 for the Town’s main commercial corridor cannot all fit along the street. A bike facility on Washington Street connects bicyclists from the waterfront to Downtown Oakland and additional bike connections will be constructed on nearby parallel streets, providing a safe, parallel route. The Martin Luther King Jr. Way Streetscape Project will be constructed at approximately the same time as the Broadway Streetscape Project and will include a high quality bike facility. 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 is not advised by the City.

Why can’t Broadway be closed to private vehicles?

Broadway serves as a major transportation and commercial corridor for the City of Oakland. The proposed improvements will calm traffic and improve safety for all users, while considering access for businesses, such as loading zones. 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?

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. Parking impacts on Broadway between 2nd and 11th Street will be finalized during the design process, and will depend on whether bus stops are relocated, where bulb-outs are constructed, and the loading needs of businesses.

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 provide.

Why does Broadway need bus-only lanes?

Adding bus-only lanes improves travel time and bus reliability which will help those who depend on transit service. Broadway has the highest number of buses per hour than any other street in the East Bay and ridership on Broadway is closer to pre-pandemic levels than most other AC Transit bus lines. In addition, the bus lanes on Broadway will improve critical regional transit connections between/to BART and the Tempo Bus Rapid Transit stations in Downtown Oakland to the Ferry Terminal and Amtrak Station in Jack London.

How is maintenance being considered on this project?

OakDOT works within and across City departments to help inform details of the project design. The design team will select materials that are as durable as possible, and that can be most easily and readily maintained by City crews. OakDOT continues to explore additional opportunities to meet our growing maintenance needs, including strategies, funding, and partnerships, to support these investments in street improvement projects through the near and long term.

Posted: June 13th, 2023 3:19 PM

Last Updated: October 27th, 2023 6:01 PM

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