North Oakland Now: The wages of improvement
on September 18, 2009
A dispatch from last night’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee meeting, at Oakland City Hall: First, where the sidewalk ends, to quote the late Shel Silverstein, might be closer to home than you think. At the intersection of 29th Avenue and Ford Street in the Fruitvale district of Oakland, along the Nimitz freeway, a half-mile from the Fruitvale Bart Station, and a mere four blocks from Lazear Elementary School, the sidewalk, literally, ends. A pedestrian walkway comes to a stop, that is, at an uncontrolled intersection where there are no stop lights, no crosswalks, and no road signage warning drivers, pedestrians, or cyclists, that a collision, given the right circumstances, is very plausible. There are talks underway to remedy the death-trap intersection, but design plans aren’t due for another two years, and the fix will be apart of a larger construction project slated to take three years.
In other news…in that same area, a new project is underway to revamp, or should we say re-ramp, a freeway entrance on 29th Street and E. 9th Street. The relatively quiet entrance, which takes commuters onto the 880, is across the street from Lazear Elementary. The new design would make school-goers coming from the north walk several extra blocks and cross three more crosswalks than they do currently to get to school. Plus there’s the construction noise the Lazear little ones will have to endure for three years. If they have hearing impairments before graduating to junior high school, at least when they learn to drive they’ll also have a nice onramp.
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