OAKLAND -- The city is soliciting input from residents at a total of three meetings -- two of which are still to come -- on a new look for Telegraph Avenue, one of the city's main arteries.
The plan will potentially change the face of the avenue from the bustling, car-focused street into a slower, more bike-friendly environment.
"We've been doing everything we can to get the word out," said Jamie Parks, the city's Complete Streets program manager.
At the meetings, city Public Works Department staff will present several suggestions for improvements to the avenue and get feedback on the plans. The upcoming meetings are at 10 a.m. Saturday and at 6 p.m. May 1. There was also to be one meeting Thursday.
"The primary goal is to receive feedback on a wide variety of options," Parks said.
The informational meetings come after the city solicited input in the winter from people across Oakland, both neighborhood and business associations close to the avenue and individuals. An online survey got more than 1,000 responses from December to the start of February.
Although respondents to the survey were split fairly evenly between identifying themselves as primarily drivers, walkers, public transportation riders or bikers on Telegraph Avenue, the city said the responses were pretty much the same across the board: people want continuous and clear bike lanes, better lights and crosswalks, better bus stops and better pavement.
With those suggestions in mind, the city has put together a review of several options that it will present to the public, although staff stressed they won't make any recommendations yet. The suggestions concentrate on the parts of the avenue between 20th Street and the Berkeley border, with a focus on the area south of 57th Street.
A few of the options include taking away traffic lanes in what is known as a "road diet" -- for example, taking away the center turn lane from 57th Street to 52nd Street, or keeping the center turn lane but having only one lane in each direction from 48th Street to 20th Street.
There are also recommendations for rearranging and even eliminating some bus stops, especially since AC Transit plans to merge Line 1 and Line 1R. Also on the table is removing parking from one side of the street in places to accommodate bike lanes, and adding seven more crosswalks. According to city data, only 20 to 38 percent of drivers stopped for pedestrians at crosswalks that were not already at traffic signals.
Some of the improvements, especially to sidewalks, are based on the 2005 Telegraph Avenue Pedestrian Streetscape Improvement Project. One idea is to close Shattuck Avenue at the triangle-shaped point where it meets Telegraph Avenue, turning the area into a public plaza.
All these ideas and more will be presented at the upcoming meetings. City staff, including the parks department, will be on hand with visuals and explainers of the options and comment cards for feedback.
But work on the avenue won't start any time soon. City staff expect to make a recommendation of which version to follow by summer, which will be followed by a report on cost estimates and a timeline.
After that there will be another round of public feedback at two meetings in April 2015.
What: Telegraph Avenue Complete Streets Open House
When: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday, Faith Presbyterian Church, 430 49th St. in Oakland; 6 to 8 p.m. May 1, Humanist Hall, 390 27th St. in Oakland.