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Between International Blvd to Foothill Avenue

“It’s time–people are walking more, biking more. We have to do this to make Fruitvale Avenue safer,” said Councilmember Noel Gallo, District 5 Oakland, at a May 26 community meeting to gather feedback on a city proposal to add bike lanes to Fruitvale Avenue. Councilmember Gallo’s support for a safer Fruitvale Avenue is not surprising, but it is refreshing given noticeable neighborhood opposition at the meeting to removing any on-street parking. 

News Update: Oakland just received a $1.1 million safety grant to add these bike lanes and make pedestrian safety improvements on Fruitvale Ave, from E.10th Street to Ashbrook.

Oakland Public Works is studying repurposing one of the two uphill, eastbound travel lanes on Fruitvale Avenue to add bike lanes and significantly improve safe pedestrian crossings, on the blocks between International Blvd and Foothill Blvd. This is a project long overdue. In 2007, the Fruitvale Community Based Transportation Plan, better known as Fruitvale Alive! heard a chorus of residents asking for bike lanes on Fruitvale Avenue. But Councilmember Gallo’s predecessor said ‘no’ because speeding up traffic and parking cars was more important than your safety walking and bicycling this busy corridor.

While speeding up traffic is less of a concern today, parking is a concern and arises at intersections on Fruitvale Avenue.  The plan is to add left turn pockets where none currently exist in order to maintain traffic flow with one less lane. This graphic shows one potential option at intersections.

And here is the other option

Notice how the options remove some parking spaces on both sides of Fruitvale at the intersection. It’s estimated that 7%-17% of parking spaces could be removed, and this is why there will be concern from local businesses.

Consultants at the May 26 community meeting shared that Fruitvale has a real safety problem. Over the last six years there have been 122 collisions, three times the number of crashes compared to similar streets in the state. Consultants also shared with attendees that the first option shown above is the safest option because it daylights the intersection and makes visibility of pedestrians much greater.

Next Steps

With its new state grant, Oakland will move into final project design next year. Stay tuned for more updates.

What You Can Do

  1. Thank Councilmember Noel Gallo for his support of a safer Fruitvale Avenue with bike lanes
  2. Encourage OakDOT (Oakland Department of Transportation) to implement this project as soon as possible. Contact Wlad Wlassowsky with thanks and support for quick construction.


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