Four years after completing the Hayward Loop, the city has second chance to fix a car-centric street design that many say are choking off businesses in downtown Hayward. The Hayward Loop converted three streets into one-way arterials to speed up traffic for drivers taking a shortcut between Interstates 580 and 880. After essentially building a freeway around downtown, local drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians now have to cross five lanes of speeding traffic to visit downtown businesses.
As a result, the entire neighborhood is almost impassable on foot, bike, and local traffic. Now, the City of Hayward is putting together a new Downtown Specific Plan that has the opportunity to re-envision how people get around downtown.
At the first public meetings for the plan, residents made it clear they want to revamp the Loop. The new downtown plan is an opportunity to dramatically improve safety and navigation for bicyclists. Consultants for the city recently presented a vision for the future that would restore a two-way grid system with protected bikeways along all major streets. For the near term, the designs include a two-way protected cycle track around the entire Loop.
Bike East Bay needs you to help make sure these excellent designs stay in the plan and get built in the next five years. See the latest designs and give your input at the next Downtown Specific Plan Task Force meeting on May 15, 6:00pm at Hayward City Hall.