We are proposing adding bike lanes to Park Blvd by removing a lane of traffic in each direction. There is sufficient roadway capacity with two lanes for cars and it’s time to make Park Blvd safe for people to walk across and safe for bicycling. We need your help. Use these top talking points as a resource when formulating your discussions about EBBC’s campaigns!
- Oakland has quickly become the 6th most popular large city for bicycling in the country, as more and more people choose bicycling as a convenient, healthy and affordable choice of travel. The City needs to keep up with this surging demand by striping safe bikeways on popular bike routes;
- More and more parents are encouraging their kids to walk and bicycle to school in Oakland-this is a great thing and needs to be encouraged by making our streets safe for kids to walk across. If you don’t have kids, you probably know a parent who takes their kids to school. No parent should ever have to yell at a car to slow down in order to safely walk their kid to school. These bikeway projects will make crossing the street on foot much safer
- Oakland Bikeways Campaign is for you. If you are not biking, you probably know people who are: parents, senior citizens, kids, hipsters, teenagers, the late night crowd, people commuting work, etc.;
- Oakland Bikeways Campaign improves your ride to work and to school, and to local businesses in your neighborhood
- Local businesses benefit from increased bicycling, as people who shop by bike do so more often and spend more money overall than people spend when they drive;
- Oakland Bikeways Campaign makes our streets safer. A big deterrent for people who would consider bicycling are the gaps in the bicycling network. New bikeways on Telegraph Ave, 14th St and Park Blvd will close gaps along important bike routes in the city;
- More people bicycling creates calmer streets and more livable neighborhoods. Great neighborhoods have people out on the streets walking and bicycling;
- Streets that are calmer actually improve traffic flow. The recent conversion of Lakeshore Ave from 4 lanes to 3 lanes with bike lanes was predicted to be a traffic nightmare and has actually improved traffic flow and safety around Lake Merritt. Similarly, the reduction of the upper most stretch of Park Blvd from 4 lanes to 2 lanes during reconstruction of the bridges did not result in traffic backups and in fact traffic flowed smoothly into the Glenview neighborhood. Upper Telegraph Ave is another good example. In 1999 the City converted the center turn lane into bike lanes and no one noticed the difference, except bicyclists who have enjoyed a much safer and more pleasant ride since the conversion. They are now ready to that ride safely into downtown Oakland;
- Public safety: The Temescal District suffers from robberies all the time. We need more people on the street and we can have that by redesigning Telegraph for people-for people walking, bicycling and using public transit;
- Healthy lifestyles: Telegraph Ave connects to so many great destinations and a safe bikeway on Telegraph will encourage more Oakland residents to bicycle to Mosswood Park, Bay Trail, Oakland Hills, Lake Temescal and more.
- Climate Action Plan: Oakland’s Energy and Climate Action Plan calls for a 36% reduction of GHG emissions by 2020 and specifically states that “transit, walking and bicycling must increasingly become the preferred mode of moving about the City” in order for Oakland to achieve these GHG reductions.
- Oakland has committed to ‘fully integrating’ bicycling into daily life of our residents-Oakland Bicycle Master Plan 2012
- Oakland has also committed to making all streets reasonably safe for all users of the roadway, including people who bicycle-Complete Streets Policy of the City of Oakland 2012
- In the past 5 years, Oakland has increased its bikeway network by 50% and we have seen a 3-fold increase in bicycling on Bike to Work Day. As Oakland builds more segments of its bikeway network, more and more people are riding in every neighborhood of the city. Oakland is rolling in the right direction but the city needs to keep up with this rapidly growing demand for safer, better bikeways.
Park Blvd Specific Talking Points
Park Blvd is a dangerous street because of high-speed traffic and its proximity to 580. Cars crash into the median, parked cars and residents’ front yards. Traffic calming Park Blvd allows for the speed of traffic to be set by more prudent motorists rather than the motorists who are in a hurry to speed thru the neighborhood. Traffic calming on Park Blvd equals safety and that makes it a more friendly place for everyone;
It is not safe for kids to cross Park Blvd to get to Edna Brewer Middle School and Glenview Elementary School. These two schools have changed their reputations for the better and are now attracting students from different neighborhoods. Many of these new students need to get safely across Park Blvd in order to get to school. A traffic calmed Park Blvd will allow this to happen;
The Lake Merritt Business Association is missing a lot of customers who are bicycling down upper Park Blvd and turning on to Trestle Glen and MacArthur Blvd to get to downtown Oakland, rather than continuing on down lower Park Blvd, past the businesses where they could conveniently shop every day
- Park Blvd has lots of people walking on it, because there are many parks, schools and churches here. Park Blvd should be a safe and inviting place to walk.