Oakland is making some changes to the medians on Macarthur Boulevard that will turn it into a freeway by inserting closed medians along the stretch from Webster to Broadway and Macarthur at Richmond. These medians will make this key route a less bicycle friendly area. Ask those responsible at the city to cease construction until modifications can be made to the design to make them more bike friendly (such as using bollards instead of a closed median).
Send a message to Councilmember Jane Brunner, Gus Amirzheni, Principle Civil Engineer, Department of Public Works and Wlad Wlassowsky in Transportation Services
We need to CALM the traffic along MacArthur, not create more freeway footprints with impassible medians which foster higher speeds. Kaiser cannot be allowed to create another suburban streetscape in Oakland just because that is their normal environment. We must provide for enhanced pedestrian and bicycle travel along the entire stretch of MacArthur to meet VMT goals and decrease pollution.
Bicycle and pedestrian advocates from WOBO and the general Oakland community have been attending the Kaiser meetings for many years now and the proposal to completely close the Shafter and Manila access along MacArthur was never vetted. The proposal promoted by Kaiser seems to deny there is any need to calm motor vehicle traffic, or accommodate pedestrians or bicyclists. There is information about the need to prevent motor vehicles from making left turns from MacArthur onto local city streets, but there are no sections that address the needs of pedestrians and bicyclists to travel in safety, nor the comments that support closing off the median entirely. [see revisions to project in the EIR Pages.
Kaiser has plans to provide similar poor solutions for the Richmnond connection at MacArthur which is unacceptable. It seems that Kaiser planners or even Oakland Transportation planners do not know how to walk or bike and are determined to prevent the rest of us from walking or biking.
It is widely know in North Oakland that the majority of bicycle commuters from North Oakland use Shafter to access MacArthur to Broadway to downtown Oakland. In this proposed plan Kaiser and Oakland’s own transportation engineers ignored the information. A plan was drawn that was not adequately reviewed by our traffic engineers, and none of the issues have been reviewed by the Oakland Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee.
The access to Mosswood Park was inadequate prior to the median installation and is worse now. How are pedestrians supposed to access the parks. The Lion’s Oakland Blind Center is only a block away and they are truly denied access under the present plans. Where is pedestrian planning? How about adding High-visibility crosswalks and refuge islands for pedestrians.
Councilmember Brunner was elected with support from the bicycle and pedestrian community to support calming the streets of North Oakland and provide better access to our parks along with other issues. Neither of these goals are being met under the present proposals and WOBO is urging Councilmember Brunner to take a stand against the perpetuation of these poorly planned transportation infrastructure projects.
Kaiser has wonderful “THRIVE” advertisements on television and other media, often depicting pedestrian and bicycle travel as the mode to aspire to achieve. Kaiser ignores all that information when they design a project and continues to create motor vehicle environments to support the continued demise of our environment. It is time to take Kaiser and all other building projects to task and force them plan to reduce VMT [vehicle miles traveled] and create pedestrian-bicycle friendly environments.
WOBO requests that all transportation projects go through increased scrutiny to ensure that everything is being done to improve and enhance pedestrian and bicycle transportation. Kaiser must develop a real version of the “THRIVE” approach to planning in Oakland and make us a showcase for what can be done with careful thought and commitment to pedestrian and bicycle modes of travel.
Close off left turns by motorists from MacArthur, deter motorists from circling in the neighborhoods, CALM the whole area, provide best solution designs for pedestrians and bicycles.
WOBO also demands that a transportation commission, like the one in Berkeley, be established, since staff is loath to communicate with the Oakland Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee.