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Tell Hayward Council: Prioritize Community Feedback

Author: Bike East Bay

Date: May 21, 2021

In October 2020, Hayward city council approved a much needed project to redesign Patrick Avenue as a safe route for people walking, biking, and taking transit. Listening to concerns from parents who frequently walk and take the bus with their children along the street, Spanish-language community workshops yielded overwhelming support from participants for lane reductions and safety upgrades. However with council meetings only offered in English and a half-finished project on the ground, a few loud voices are drowning out previous meaningful community feedback. Tell city council: fully implement the safety upgrades and listen to the voices of the community.

Patrick Avenue is a key north-south access route, connecting to schools, parks, the library, and many houses of worship. Back in 2018, Bike East Bay supported a Spanish-language community safety workshop to get feedback on safety issues along the Tennyson corridor and on Patrick Avenue. Attendees of the workshop voiced strong support for fewer travel lanes on Patrick Avenue, shortened pedestrian crossings, more traffic signals, and safe bicycle lanes. Attendees also asked for a demonstration of these street changes first for the neighborhood to better understand what the improvements would look like before any permanent changes were made, and asked for the City to continue to offer translation services as the project progressed. 

In October 2020, Council approved a project to redesign a safer Patrick Avenue, with low-cost green paint, posts and signage changes for the community to experience. However, implementation got messy last December when city leadership held up the most important parts of the safety upgrades: leaving Patrick Avenue half-finished with striping-only changes and no physical protection. Without physical barriers, drivers parked in the bike lanes, blocked crosswalk visibility, and backed up from time to time getting into and out of local religious institutions. In the ensuing months, many drivers took issue with the street as-is, letting their opinion be known at a February 22, 2021 community meeting via Zoom. No spanish translation was provided at this community meeting. Key voices are not being heard.

City leadership has let it be known that the safety upgrades are on hold and the bike lanes might get changed, even though the project is fully funded. Bike East Bay followed up with city leadership and argued for the Spanish language voices to be heard, that their request for a demonstration be fulfilled and the street made safer with the approved design. Leadership is ready to convert the bike lane to a double-parking lane, concerned about the few loud voices who are comfortable contacting Council when dissatisfied. Council continues to prioritize convenience of some over the safety of others.

Contact Hayward City Council and let them know you:

  • Support the safety upgrades for Patrick Avenue
  • You want protected bike lanes on Patrick Avenue
  • Kids should be able to safety get to school walking and bicycling

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