With a record-setting paving year in 2020, more smooth streets, bike lanes, and upgrades for pedestrians are cropping up in East Oakland. But there’s more here to celebrate than just fresh pavement. East Oakland has, in the past, often been last in line for paving upgrades. Over the past two years the city has focused strategic repaving investments prioritizing deep East Oakland, coupled with biking and walking infrastructure upgrades in parts of the city which experience a disproportionate number of crashes. Many of these upgrades were the outcome of planning processes which engaged residents about what they want to see happen with the streets they live on and use. We’re here to celebrate—and we’re ready for more.
According to the city’s website: “In the past, the City of Oakland has only been able to prioritize just a handful of streets every year for repaving due to limited funds.” In 2016, Oaklanders changed that by passing Measure KK, which promised a $600M investment in infrastructure and affordable housing, along with a citywide paving plan approved in 2018, prioritizing neighborhoods which have experienced historical disinvestment and racial injustice. Work over the past two years has started to put these promises into action.
This map details street paving work completed between 2019 and 2020 in the area east of High Street and south of 580. This is not the only paving completed or planned in Oakland, but this part of town was prioritized for repairs. Our map features the streets which received official bikeway upgrades, but all of Oakland’s paving projects now include routine changes in the form of high visibility crosswalks, sidewalk and curb ramp repairs, and other enhancements which improve safety and accessibility for everyone. Here are a few highlights:
MacArthur Blvd./Camden St./Havenscourt Blvd.
This combination of new and existing bike lanes finally creates a continuous route between the Laurel District, Mills College, and International Blvd. (including the new rapid bus line which allows bikes on board!). The next opportunity includes physical protection of the buffered bike lanes near Mills College to reduce speeding and better protect bike traffic.
Church St./Flora St./69th Ave.
These traffic-calmed bike boulevard routes provide a smooth connection between the Eastmont Mall and Coliseum BART, and all points in between including the MLK Branch Library and Scraper Bike Shed. Some of the funding for these upgrades was acquired as part of affordable housing grants associated with new transit-oriented developments by the BART station.
Plymouth St./90th Ave.
The already-famous 90th Ave. “Scraper Bikeway” has a bright orange lane running down the middle, decorated with bike wheel art. This facility was conceived of and promoted by Oakland’s Scraper Bike Team in 2017, and was brought to reality by Oakland DOT staff and work crews over the past two years. The 0.8 mile bikeway intersects with the 1.6 mile Plymouth Ave bike boulevard, featuring speed humps and traffic circles to slow down drivers, but minimal stop signs, allowing bike riders to keep rolling. Oakland has recently applied for state funding to add on to these routes with an extended network of traffic-calmed bikeways throughout more of East Oakland.
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