MLK Jr. Way Streetscape and Road Diet proposals

At the November 3, 2022 BPAC Infrastructure Committee meeting, Colin Piethe (OakDOT) presented the draft 15% (concept) plans [PDF] for the Martin Luther King Jr Way Complete Streets Paving Project.

Notes from the presentation and discussion are below.

Concept plan for the Martin Luther King Jr Way Complete Streets Paving Project, from 47th Street to the B

Presentation notes

  • First round of outreach was in early 2022, with a survey to residents within a quarter-mile of the project area.
  • Concept provided is currently at 15% design.
  • Staff is talking to AC Transit about transit operation improvements including bus-only lanes, possibly as a future add-on.
  • Had a meeting with Berkeley staff about how to handle the transition across City border
  • Protected intersection at MLK/55th, and at MLK/59th, pedestrian crossing beacons (HAWKs) at currently uncontrolled crosswalks
  • Several bus stop changes/relocations
  • The plan for now is to continue protected bikeway past Berkeley border with flex post/rubber curbs. The Oakland side will be concrete islands.

Discussion

  • Left-turn concerns from 55th to MLK in each direction—can signal phasing be changed to help account for this? Maybe a split phase so all eastbound and all westbound traffic goes at different times?
    • Lane demarcation can help—Looking into signal phasing options
  • Need more substantial refuge islands in the middle-
    • Trying to move the push-button poles to new locations that are more ADA-compliant, will also look into adding to existing median refuges.
  • Staff did a site walk-through with Santa Fe Neighborhood Coalition members.
  • Vehicle speeds off freeway onto MLK are very high, any project elements to reduce this?
    • Road diet will address speeds by about 3-4 miles per hour, will be evaluating pre-/post-project to see if more is needed.
  • Northernmost block of West Street changes to one-way northbound instead of southbound.
  • Any feedback from Children’s Hospital staff?
    • Yes, in coordination with them on Helen Macgregor Plaza update, and on phase 2 hospital expansion plans along 52nd St
    • New crosswalk with pedestrian beacon (HAWK) at 51st/MLK to help serve hospital parking lot
  • 35% design is estimated to be completed in spring of 2023.

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