A number of downtown planning efforts are underway (as you’ll see below), but none perhaps as critical to the future of right-sizing downtown’s many bloated streets and defining the next generation of protected bikeways as this effort.
The “CCS,” as it called for short, is a coordinated effort between the City of Oakland, the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC), and City of Alameda to update the assessment of local and regional circulation needs in the study area.
In October, WOBO participated in the initial public stakeholder group meeting as well as several project walking tours, and was able to preview the project’s initial “baseline assessment report.”
Although the report is not yet publicly available as of press time, here’s a preview of some key facts and content:
According to the initial traffic analysis, “more than 80% of the streets in downtown Oakland have excess vehicle capacity, meaning that space on those streets could be reallocated to better serve other road users by reducing vehicle lanes and widths and creating bicycling lanes, wider sidewalks, and/or transit-only lanes.” You probably already knew this intuitively, but now there are City-supported consultants backing this assertion up with real data!
The study area (which includes Uptown, Chinatown, Jack London Square, Lake Merritt, and a wider influence area) experiences about six crashes a day on average, and contains over 50,000 public vehicle parking spaces (half on-street and half off-street)
There are several categories of potential recommendations for converting street space to improve downtown’s “public life,” including: Sidewalk and Parking Enhancements, Pavement to Parks, Links Across Freeways, Plaza and Park Enhancements, and Shared Streets.
The baseline report includes a new “Family-Friendly Bike Network” Map prepared by the City’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator, Jason Patton, which is a draft refinement to the existing Bicycle Master Plan proposed network. Key corridors preliminary targeted for (physically protected?) bicycle upgrades include 14th Avenue, Oak and Madison streets, as well as the Telegraph Avenue protected bikeway that is in construction…although there will be opportunities to further expand and refine this network through the CCS and Downtown Oakland Specific Plan planning processes.
The CCS project is planning to hold a public design charrette (collaborative working session) on Thursday, November 19th, from 9am to 4pm, followed by a community report-out meeting from 7pm-9pm. Mark your calendars, look for upcoming WOBO blog posts to help prepare, and bring your ideas to share!
More information can be found on the City of Oakland’s webpage