Oakland Fire Code Discussion

At the December 15, 2022 BPAC meeting, Commissioner Alex Frank facilitated a discussion on a series of policy recommendations that aim to balance safe street designs with fire safety for Oakland residents. The discussion will include a summary of the City’s Fire Code Appendix D (minimum clear lane requirements), its relationship to roadway design, and bicyclist, pedestrian, and motorist safety.

Overview

  • Current Fire Code was adopted in January 2020.
  • This includes our main focus of discussion, Appendix D, which currently the city council has moved to Safety Committee for discussion.
  • Tonight’s discussion will focus on sub sections measure, D105.2, which defines road widths for structures over 30 feet.
    • D105.2 Width. “Aerial fire apparatus access roads shall have a minimum unobstructed width of 26 feet (7925 mm), exclusive of shoulders, in the immediate vicinity of the building or portion thereof.”
  • Standard road measure allow for 10-foot wide lanes.
  • City Public Safety Committee is set to review and make recommendation to City Council.

Points of discussion

  • Street Safety — Wide streets contribute to faster traffic
  • This code is specific for denser areas, with taller buildings
    • Currently TOD focused areas are also set to have few vehicles and more walking and active transportation by design
  • Speed is the number 1 factor in vehicular death and serious injury—particularly for walkers and bikers.
  • Can we find a compromise that does not risk the emergency response but balances overall public and particularly pedestrian and cyclist safety?

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