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Oakland City Council to consider pedestrian, transit, & cycling improvements on San Pablo Avenue

On Tuesday, June 28th, the Oakland City Council will be meeting to authorize a letter of support for the San Pablo Avenue Corridor Project to move to the detailed design phase. This would help the Alameda County Transportation Commission (CTC) begin detailed design and funding acquisition for the project – a key step in bringing bus lanes, pedestrian safety improvements, and bike lanes to San Pablo Avenue.

On Tuesday, June 28th, the Oakland City Council will be meeting to authorize a letter of support for the San Pablo Avenue Corridor Project to move to the detailed design phase. This would help the Alameda County Transportation Commission (CTC) begin engineering and funding acquisition for the project – key steps in bringing bus lanes, pedestrian safety improvements, and bike lanes to San Pablo Avenue.  Read on, and then write or call in support on Tuesday morning.

Project Development Areas

San Pablo Avenue is a key corridor in the East Bay, heavily trafficked and home to many popular destinations. Over 50% of residents within half a mile of the street do not own a car, with accordingly high utilization of mass transit and active transportation. Despite the popularity of walking and cycling along San Pablo, the corridor has some of the highest rates of injuries and collisions in the county. Additionally, transit riders must contend with buses traveling as much as 30% slower than vehicle traffic and an on-time rate under 60%.

To combat these challenges, the Alameda CTC initiated the first phase of the San Pablo Avenue Corridor Project in 2017, working to identify a long-term vision for the corridor. The segment of the street being studied for changes extends from Oakland to Richmond. In response to stakeholders’ desire to expedite the project, the CTC moved to phase two in 2020, working to identify efficient, short-term improvements.

The changes identified include pedestrian safety improvements, dedicated lanes for transit, and bike lanes. Provided the support of the project stakeholders, the Alameda CTC will move towards implementing these improvements.

The currently proposed design includes protected bike lanes and side-running bus lanes

Aside from the City of Oakland, stakeholders for this project include AC Transit, Caltrans, and the other cities along the corridor. The Emeryville City Council and AC Transit Board have already affirmed their support, and the Alameda CTC now seeks the support of Oakland and Berkeley’s city councils. Securing this approval will give the San Pablo Avenue Corridor Project the best possible chance of competing for funding this summer.

With the project being poised to deliver major benefits for pedestrians, cyclists, and transit riders, the City of Oakland can advance many of its goals by granting the letter of support. Supporting active transportation improves public safety, and also provides economic security by granting citizens mobility without the cost of car ownership. The environmental benefits of encouraging cycling, walking, and transit are also significant.

By authorizing a letter affirming their support of the San Pablo Avenue Corridor Project, the Oakland City Council will be acknowledging the strong community desire for a safer San Pablo Avenue. During public engagement, an overwhelming majority of city residents supported bus lanes and bike lanes, and for those improvements to be implemented as quickly as possible.

The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, June 28th, at 10:30 AM. View the agenda here. Call into the meeting to listen and give comment using this Zoom link, or give written comment here.

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