Many Oakland Streets Impacted by Slow Streets Initiative
We all know what Shelter in Place has basically meant. We are spending way too much time inside. There’s only so much TV or screen time a person or family can take. Getting outside for a breath of fresh air is important for our overall health. And for children, forget about it. You know how much energy they have. They especially need to get out of the house.
And so, in response to that need, Oakland Mayor, Libby Shaff has announced Oakland Slow Streets Initiative. The initiative will ultimately impact 74 miles of streets; essentially closing them to through traffic. Cones and signs will be used, so it’s a voluntary effort and we’ll see if people comply. But it should allow people to walk or ride their bikes without having to worry about being too close to others.
See the map of Oakland’s 74 miles of closed streets
“We are here to bring a little bit of light into what is a troubling time for many Oaklanders… When we close our streets to cars, we open them up for amazing possibilities. Oakland Slow Streets is trying to send a message that we want Oaklanders to recreate in a socially distance manner, in a physically distant manner. By opening up our streets, to bikes, joggers and pedestrians, we’re giving Oaklanders more room to spread out safely. It’s also a message to drive slowly and cautiously.”
“People all over Oakland are walking and biking in streets that they normally would not. Drivers need to know that people are in streets where they normally don’t expect them,” said Ryan Russo, director of Oakland’s Department of Transportation. “And so what we’re doing is publicizing a set of streets that we had already studied and determined these are the residential streets that allow you to move within your neighborhood and we’re saying there shouldn’t be through traffic on these streets.”