Telegraph Avenue Complete Streets Project, 20th-29th Street

At the June 17, 2021 BPAC meeting, Ryan Russo, Director of the Oakland Department of Transportation (OakDOT), will present a brief history of bike facilities on Telegraph Avenue in Koreatown Northgate (KONO); provide an overview of what we’ve learned since the installation of an interim project in 2016; and present an overview of the proposed recommendation to install enhanced buffered bike lanes with active curb management, which City Council will consider later this month. Finally, we’ll take comments and questions from BPAC Commissioners and the public, and share how the public can continue participating in the Telegraph Avenue Complete Streets Project.

City Staff Report

At the June 22, 2021 Public Works Committee meeting, OakDOT will submit a staff report recommending Enhanced Buffered Bike Lanes with active curb management. Afterward, the item will go to City Council at their July 6, 2021 meeting. View the full report here [PDF]. The executive summary is copied below.

On June 2, 2021, OakDOT published a blog post on Medium titled “One Size Does Not Fit All: Bike Lanes, Communities, and How City Government Needs the Humility to Evolve“, summarizing the staff report and providing context to the decision to change course to buffered bike lanes with innovative curb management strategies instead of upgrading to concrete protected bike lanes.

conceptual image of protected bikeway versus buffered bikeway

Draft Presentation

What we’ve learned (2013-2019)

  • The good:
    • The number of people walking and biking doubled
    • People driving are three times more likely to yield to people crossing the street
    • People walking and biking report feeling safer with the bike lane than with the five-lane condition
    • Motor vehicle volumes have remained steady, but 85th percentile speeds have decreased closer to the posted speed limit of 25 mph
  • The less good:
    • Reported collisions involving people walking and biking increased by 33%
    • People driving park in the bike lane
    • Bike lane and intersection visibility concerns
    • Pedestrian visibility concerns
    • Anecdotal reports of increased near-miss collisions
    • Maintenance challenges
    • Businesses report negative impacts
    • Aesthetic concerns

Download the presentation here [PDF].

Staff Report – Executive Summary (June 6, 2021)

“The proposed resolution directs staff to pursue Enhanced Buffered Bike Lanes with Curb Management, including on nights and weekends, along Telegraph Avenue between 20th Street and 29th Street. Bike lanes were first installed on Telegraph Avenue between 20th Street and 29th Street in 2016 (Telegraph Complete Streets Project). Since 2016, staff have assessed the corridor and continued to make interim safety improvements, pursuant to City Council direction in December 2018 and April 2019. In July 2020, City Council directed the City Administrator to engage residents and merchants to co-create street design improvements on Telegraph between 20th Street and 29th Street. The City Administrator’s Office convened leaders from the Department of Race and Equity, the Oakland Department of Transportation (OakDOT), Walk Oakland Bike Oakland, Bike East Bay, Koreatown-Northgate (KONO) Business Improvement District, and local Northgate Neighborhood Council to engage stakeholders and to develop and evaluate alternatives to improve Telegraph Avenue.

This group assessed five alternatives to modify Telegraph Avenue against ten metrics, prioritizing both perceived and actual safety. Research shows that protected bike lanes are typically safer than buffered bike lanes, especially at mid-block locations where people biking and people driving are physically separated. On segments of Telegraph Avenue with more standard block lengths (~250-300’ between intersections), staff recommend protected bike lanes. Protected bike lanes separate roadway users, appeal to people of all ages and all abilities, and reduce fatalities and severe injuries. However, the number and frequency of uncontrolled, often off-set, intersections along Telegraph Avenue between 20th Street and 29th Street may compromise the safety benefits of protected bike lanes. Buffered bike lanes with active curb management can address intersection and driveway visibility concerns, which are especially pronounced on this segment of Telegraph Avenue. A person biking in a buffered bike lane is constantly in view of, and can themselves easily view, adjacent moving vehicles. Bicyclists are not obscured from turning motorists’ view by parked vehicles by design. People biking may be more likely to be aware of vehicle movements in advance of driveways and intersections and may be less likely to be struck by those motorists.

In addition to safety considerations, this group assessed how each of the five options performed relative to accessibility, transit operations, corridor utilization, commercial operations, community support, vitality, aesthetics, and special events (First Fridays). Staff determined that the Enhanced Buffered Bike Lanes with Curb Management option best balances these considerations.

Staff recommends that the City Council follow the direction of the KONO community and pursue Enhanced Buffered Bike Lanes with Curb Management. Staff will return to City Council prior to constructing the project and award the construction contract.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s