Repaving in Temescal Presents Opportunity

Temescal merchants have successfully pressured OakDOT to repave Telegraph Avenue, with the smoothening happening next year (2019), but the road’s new design is being decided now. Back in 2014, City Council unanimously approved the Telegraph Avenue Complete Streets Plan, which requires Telegraph to have a bike lane in Temescal, but doesn’t specify the type of bike lane. Come to our organizing meeting to learn how you can help ensure it’s a protected bike lane. If you can’t make this organizing meeting, take OakDOT’s online survey about the repaving project: bit.ly/repair-telegraph

Telegraph Bikeway Organizing Meeting
Bike East Bay/Walk Oakland Bike Oakland
July 31, 5:30-7:00pm
Temescal Brewery, Telegraph Ave at 42nd Street

Walk Oakland Bike Oakland and Bike East Bay have started vigorously pushing for protected bike lanes the whole way, as called for in Oakland-approved national bikeway design guides. Telegraph does not need five lanes to move its local traffic. The pinch point is at 51st Street, where we believe if Oakland re-times the traffic light to favor Telegraph Avenue, as opposed to favoring 51st Street as the light currently does, a redesigned Telegraph Avenue will adequately accommodate cut-thru traffic from the freeway and work much better for everyone on Telegraph, and be significantly safer.

Here are our design proposals

Telegraph Avenue south of 48th Street, and north from 52nd Street-57th Street
Below 48th Street and above 52nd Street, Telegraph is redesigned with protected bike lanes, retaining on-street parking (and loading zones/drop off zones, blue zones) and its center turn lane, but has one lane of travel in each direction where today there are two. Bus boarding islands are installed where bus stops are located and additional curb ramps are added for ADA access. The protected bike lanes include flex posts to keep parked cars out of your bike lane, as has been successfully done in Berkeley on Hearst Avenue, Fulton Street and Bancroft Way.

Telegraph Avenue 48th Street to 52nd Street

Between 48th Street and 52nd Street, two travel lanes in each direction are retained to keep traffic moving through the intersection with 51st Street, but the center turn lane is eliminated to make room for protected bike lanes. With this design, every user of the street is given a minimum allowable width. For example, the middle travel lanes are ten feet, not eleven feet; on-street parking is seven feet wide, not eight feet wide, bike lanes five feet not seven, etc. This alternative design specifically accommodates SR-24 freeway cut-thru traffic at 51st Street, where high volumes of traffic cross Telegraph or jog up Telegraph to get to Claremont Avenue. It’s a tight design, but everything fits and works. It also may not be necessary if the traffic analysis shows the first option works.

What you can do:

  1. Come to our July 31 Organizing Meeting

  2. Attend your Temescal Neighbors Meeting July 18, August 7 (National Night Out) and October 17 and talk up a safer Telegraph

  3. Attend your Longfellow Community Association meetings and talk up a more walkable, bikeable Telegraph

  4. Take Oakland’s online Repair Telegraph survey

  5. Support Kasper’s Korner plaza redesign, corner of Shattuck & Telegraph

Telegraph Avenue a High Injury Corridor

You Can’t Spell OakDOT without “DO

Starting in 2015, Bike East Bay worked with Mayor Schaaf’s office, Transport Oakland, Walk Oakland Bike Oakland, SPUR and other groups to re-tool the Oakland Public Works Department and form a new Department of Transportation (OakDOT). The idea was to create a vision for better streets in Oakland and empower a new team of planners and designers to build them. With the passage of Measure BB in 2014, Oakland’s iBond in 2016, and SB-1 gas tax last year statewide, Oakland has the money to do this. OakDOT has hired a new Director, a graduate of UC Berkeley and experienced planner from New York City, with a proven record of building protected bike lanes on busy commercial corridors lined by 60-story buildings. All of the pieces are in place for Oakland to enter a new era of rebuilding its streets and your city, around people. Telegraph Avenue is a good test of whether all this effort was worth it.

Related Telegraph Projects

  • Telegraph in KONO

OakDOT will soon add flex posts in the buffer zone of Telegraph’s protected bike lanes, which should help improve parking compliance. In 2020, raised curbs, corner islands and permanent bus bulbs come.

  • Telegraph 29th to 41st

Buffered bike lanes are planned in this section, but we are pushing for a change to protected bike lanes. We expect this project in 2020 as well.

  • Claremont Ave at Telegraph

Claremont Ave gets a road diet with bike lanes for a few blocks north of Telegraph Ave, and also redesigns it’s intersection with Telegraph Ave to eliminate the dangerous right turn slip lane there.

What would the Danes do?

Enjoy our 2014 blog from Denmark, written after we visited several streets in Copenhagen to evaluate their approach to challenging streets. Say hello to Tietgensgade, which is a major arterial connection to downtown Copenhagen, and is 70ft wide just like Telegraph Avenue. On Tietgensgade, there are 4 thru lanes and no center turn lane, much like Telegraph Ave north of 57th St, but the travel lanes are 10ft wide and the parking lanes are 6.5ft wide. And there are protected bike lanes, as shown. We know what you’re thinking–Danish cars are so much smaller and American parking lanes could never be so narrow. Oh contrare–many Danish cars are just as wide as our cars, and in fact they are getting wider as Denmark as a country becomes more wealthy, with a thriving car culture that wants bigger cars. And by the way, Danish buses are the exact same width as ours and handle narrower lanes just fine.