In response to a major push from WOBO members, Oakland and Piedmont striped a bike lane on Grand Avenue in May 2016, from Oakland Ave to Mandana. The 4-3 lane conversion with added bike lanes has made the street much better for bicycling, but also has calmed traffic and made walking across the street for shoppers much safer.
Today, the Grand Lake community is enjoying a more people-friendly street, and traffic is still moving. The community has made a statement about the type of neighborhood they want to call home and the quality of life they want for their families and the businesses of the district.
What WOBO Did:
- Grand Lake Farmers Market Outreach: You may have seen us at the Saturday Farmers Market at Lake Park and Grand Avenue in 2015.
- Community Meetings: Encouraged our members to attend several community meetings for the public to weigh in on the new design for Grand Avenue.
- Walk Audit with Councilmember Guillen: Saturday July 25th, 10 AM, Councilmember Guillen met with neighbors.
- Download our two-sided flier and share with your neighbors and friends!
- Sign up here to get email alerts about projects on Grand Avenue, as WOBO would love to see improvements on Grand Avenue all the way past 580 freeway on ramp into downtown.
- Pushed for the new bike lanes to extend to El Embarcadero and the existing bike lanes on Grand Avenue further south. We did not succeed on this score. However, Oakland and AC Transit have started a Major Corridor Study for Grand Ave/MacArthur Blvd, to improve transit service and add continuous bike lanes. This related project may be our opportunity to get Grand Ave bike lanes extended.
What you can do:
- Email Oakland Councilmember Abel Guillen and thank him for his support of making Grand Avenue a better street for walking and bicycling.
- Continue to patronize businesses on Grand Avenue and let them know you appreciate the improved street is and how much easier it is to walk and bike to their business
- Join Grand Lake Neighbors and be our eyes and ears on the street of this neighborhood
- Stay tuned for updates on efforts to improve Grand Avenue to the south, including extension of the bike lanes as well as upgrades to the existing bike lanes through Adams Point area, and addition of protected bike lanes on Grand Avenue in West Oakland.
A balanced street for all users
Bicycling has tripled in Oakland over the past 12 years as our City has become a top 10 city nationally for the number of people bicycling. As the rate of bicycling grows, people need a safe space to ride. And an inviting space to ride is going to encourage thousands more people to try bicycling.
Walk Oakland Bike Oakland supports a 4 to 3 redesign of Grand Avenue through the Grand Lake commercial district. With this redesign, there will be one through-lane in each direction, a center turn lane, bike lanes and diagonal parking. The street goes from 4 through lanes to 3 lanes (2 through and 1 center turn lane), much like the road diet on Lakeshore Avenue, shown below.
The city’s presentation to BPAC and findings on the project can be downloaded here.
- Significantly improves pedestrian safety because pedestrians are crossing one lane of traffic at a time, and have a refuge island in the middle, allowing them to cross one lane at a time
- Calms traffic by allowing the more prudent drivers to set the pace of traffic and provides a buffer between oncoming traffic in the outer lanes
- Significantly improves bicycle safety and encourages more bicycling by creating a dedicated space for people bicycling
- Helps drivers by giving bicyclists a dedicated space in the road, thereby reducing concerns of hitting a person on a bike
- Streets with 3 lanes vs 4 lanes have 30% fewer crashes and calmer traffic
- Can improve capacity for through traffic. Grand Avenue carries approximately 16,000 cars/day. Lakeshore Avenue nearby carries 24,000 cars/day and received a 4 to 3 road diet in 2009 as part of Measure DD. A 4 to 3 redesign of Grand Avenue will work better for drivers
- Easier for motorist to enter and exit the street
- Emergency vehicles have better access thanks to the center turn lane
- Safer for drivers because speeds are slower, lane changing is eliminated, and the center turn lane provides a buffer between on-coming traffic
- Retail activity goes up when streets are made more walkable and more bikeable because people shop more often and spend more money overall when they walk and bike to shop. Good for business
- A redesign provides additional opportunities to green the street by adding planter boxes and artwork in center refuge islands
Old plans for sharrows on Grand Ave [3.1 MB pdf]
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