OakDOT Rapid Responses to Fatal Crashes

At the October 20, 2022 BPAC meeting, OakDOT’s Safe Streets Division Manager Megan Wier, Supervising Transportation Engineer Joe Wang, and Transportation Engineers Mandana Ashti and Brian Sukkar provided an overview of OakDOT’s Rapid Response to fatal traffic crashes.

Oakland Police Department’s Lieutenant Fleming and Sergeant Bellusa also shared information regarding OPD’s crash investigations, which inform OakDOT rapid responses.

OakDOT staff also shared two case studies of rapid responses to recent crashes involving people walking and biking.

An excerpt of the presentation is below, followed by the full presentation.

Rapid Response — Purpose

OakDOT seeks to eliminate traffic fatalities and severe injuries while promoting safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all. OakDOT’s efforts to make streets safe include rapid responses to fatal and severe crashes involving the most vulnerable users of Oakland’s roadways.

A Rapid Response is a coordinated effort in the days and weeks following a traffic tragedy that may include investigations, targeted maintenance, near-term improvements, and the identification and prioritization of longer-term capital needs.

Rapid Response Activation

A Rapid Response may be activated for traffic crashes resulting in pedestrian or bicyclist fatalities, or severe injuries to pedestrians or bicyclists who are youth or seniors. A Rapid Response may be activated for additional crashes based on the individual circumstances of a crash.

Investigation: Engineering staff will conduct site visits and review already available data, plans, and policies to make recommendations in one or more of the following four categories:

  1. Maintenance Treatment
  2. Quick-Build Improvement
  3. Current Capital Project to coordinate with
  4. New Capital Improvement

Recommendation categories

  1. Maintenance Treatment: If the crash location has a maintenance issue that may be related to traffic safety (e.g., pavement defect, faded striping, missing sign), the maintenance issue will be rectified by field staff.
  2. Quick-Build Improvement: If there are design treatments that could be implemented quickly at low cost, engineering staff will prepare the design and issue a work order for field staff to construct.
    • For treatments that involve non-standard equipment or materials not off-the-shelf, implementation may take months.
  3. Current Capital Project: If a design treatment is recommended, and a capital project is forthcoming at that location, staff may recommend that the improvement be implemented as part of the current capital project. Key considerations include the timeliness of the capital project and the practicality of modifying the current project’s scope.
  4. New Capital Improvement: In some instances, a design treatment may be beneficial but beyond the scope of a Rapid Response due to the complexity or expense of that design (e.g., new traffic signal, concrete bulb-outs).
    • Staff will document the possible improvement and forward the recommendation to Strategic Planning & Administration for prioritization as part of the City’s CIP.


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