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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the MLK Jr. Way Streetscape Improvements

Questions Answers

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

The project is funded by a combination of federal, state, county, and city funds. The main source of funding is from federal and state grants, including the federal RAISE grant. 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. These dollars will only be spent on paving MLK Jr. Way.

How was the scope for this project determined?

The project scope was developed using recommendations from community engagement for plans and projects that cover the project area including the Downtown Oakland Specific Plan, 2019 Oakland Bike Plan, 2017 Pedestrian Plan, and outreach conducted for the MLK Jr. Way Road Diet Project. The project team applied for grant funding to design and construct improvements as part of the MLK Jr. Way Streetscape Improvements.

Will this project include improvements to the I-880 underpass?

Yes, this project will add pedestrian lighting and placemaking elements in the I-880 underpass to increase visibility, pedestrian safety, and create a more enjoyable walking and rolling experience.

What is the timeline for the project?

The project team will be working on designs and conducting community engagement to seek input on the project between Summer 2023 and Spring 2024, with design completion by Spring 2024. Construction is expected to start in late 2025 or early 2026.

How will this project impact parking on Martin Luther King Jr. Way?

Parking impacts on Martin Luther King Jr. Way between 2nd and 14th Street are yet to be determined, and will depend on the design of the corridor. The project team will evaluate parking, accessible parking, and loading needs for residents and
businesses, to assess the parking impacts of this project. This assessment will include appropriate changes to ensure the new street design balances the needs of a variety of street users, including those with differing abilities.

How is this project related to the MLK Jr. Way Road Diet Project?

The MLK Jr. Way Road Diet Project is focused on quick and effective improvements to install a buffered bike lane and reduce travel lanes from two to one in each direction on Martin Luther King Jr. Way between 7th Street and San Pablo Avenue. This project is funded by a grant from California’s Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) program in conjunction with new affordable housing for seniors at 3268 San Pablo Avenue. The MLK Jr. Way Road Diet will be built first with construction expected to begin by the end of 2024. To learn more about this project, click here. The MLK Jr. Way Streetscape Improvements would implement improvements from 2nd to 14th Streets in addition to what is being built by the project funded by AHSC.

How is maintenance being considered on this project?

OakDOT works within and across City departments to help inform details of the project design. Through this collaborative approach, durable materials that can be most easily and readily maintained by City crews are selected. OakDOT continues to explore strategies, funding, and partnerships, to support the investments in street improvement projects through the near and long term.

Posted: June 13th, 2023 3:45 PM

Last Updated: October 27th, 2023 6:10 PM

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