More good news for Oakland: MTC has announced the awarding of a $4.5 million grant from the State’s Active Transportation Program for a road diet and protected bike lanes between 20th Street and 41st Street. Oakland received another ATP grant from the statewide pool to fund a redesign of 20th Street last month, bringing the total awards to $9 million.
Telegraph Avenue is one of Oakland’s most dangerous streets. As we covered last year, the corridor is overbuilt for cars and doesn’t adequately serve the existing high volumes of pedestrians, bicyclists, and bus riders. The proposed design would add protected bike lanes along most of the corridor, along with bus bulbs and enhanced crosswalks.
Unfortunately, the project will stop short of the Temescal district, one of the City’s most popular destinations. In developing the corridor plans, the City balked at pursuing a road diet in Temescal due to higher traffic volumes and backlash from select residents and merchants in the area – despite the fact that most shoppers in Temescal don’t drive. Any major changes to the segment north of 41st Street will be left for a future phase. It is unclear whether the City will pursue interim improvements to address critical pedestrian safety issues and inadequate transit facilities in the area, but little is expected to change for bicyclists on this segment. Hopefully the City will reconsider this segment soon.
Several other local projects were funded by the regional ATP round, including protected bike lanes on Rumrill Blvd in San Pablo and the Lombard Street Vision Zero project in San Francisco. Again, the $30 million available in regional funding was dwarfed by the $220 million in applications. More funding is needed; yet, as currently planned, the next cycle of ATP grants will not occur for three years.