Oakland city officials on July 1 unveiled new street improvements aimed at preventing collisions and injuries to pedestrians and bicyclists near the Lake Merritt BART station.
The city’s Department of Transportation redesigned five intersections around the station and nearby Chinatown neighborhood with paint and plastic posts to reduce crossing time for pedestrians, increase the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists, and keep drivers more alert.
“This project is in one of the neighborhoods that need it the most,” Mayor Libby Schaaf said.
Schaaf pointed out that Asian communities disproportionately fall on the city’s pedestrian high-injury network, according to a report by the city’s Department of Race and Equity.
The city also reports that black people are twice as likely to be killed or severely injured in a crash and three times more likely to be killed or severely injured while walking in Oakland compared to all other races.
The Lake Merritt station welcomes more than 7,000 passengers every day, with more than two-thirds walking or biking after getting off the train, BART Director Robert Raburn said.
Raburn announced plans for the renovation of the plaza at the Lake Merritt station over the course of the next year to make it more pedestrian- and bicyclist-friendly.
The project includes additional safety measures such as a new designated ride-hailing service loading zone for easier pickups and drop-offs and block-long bus stops for improved efficiency and accessibility.