Traffic Calming on 8th St in West Oakland

At the February 4th, 2021 BPAC Infrastructure Committee meeting, Tim Courtney of Neighbors United For A Safe 8th Street presented the Safe 8th Street project that he submitted as a Capital Improvement Program (CIP) project request. Streetsblog also covered the safety campaign in a Dec. 14, 2020 article.

OakDOT will be paving 8th Street from Market Street to Pine Street in late 2021. The Neighbors would like traffic calming treatments included as part of the paving project, and low-cost quick-build traffic calming treatments in the immediate near-term.

Notes from the discussion are below.

Presentation

Discussion

  • 8th Street looks like a very nice tree-lined residential street with bike lanes, but drivers speed anyway.
    • On the other side of Mandela Parkway, there is a bike lane but it is always blocked by parked cars.
  • If there are diverters at which intersections, where would they go? Chicanes could also make the street less straight and harder to speed.
  • There was an early/mid-2000s project on 8th Street as part of an on-street Bay Trail alignment, as an alternative to 7th Street that included crosswalk and sidewalk bulb out improvements. Since then, there has been increased attention on 7th Street itself for development and street upgrades, but 8th still needs attention.
  • 8th St is designated as a minor arterial, same as 7th—unclear on the history as to why, may be connected to old Cypress freeway usage.
    • Process of changing street designation is controlled by Caltrans—very complicated and probably not worth pursuing.
    • Adjusting expectations for neighborhood bike routes & slow street segments despite technical classification.
  • Some complaints of semi trucks using 8th Street. Traffic calming could help.
  • Recommend looking at Richmond Iron Triangle traffic circle installation with Pogo Park as part of Yellow Brick Road play streets project.

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