Monday, December 4, 2023

Oakland community members voice concerns about traffic safety on International Boulevard

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OAKLAND —Oakland business owners and community members are making their voices heard on traffic safety concerns on International Boulevard.

Their biggest concerns are people illegally driving in bus lanes, and now they want the city to do something about it.

Dominic Prado is the owner of Tacos El Ultimo Baile and moved his business to Fruitvale a year ago. Since he’s been at this location, he said there have been an excessive amount of pedestrian and traffic-related deaths.

“You have people that are just speeding through the bus lane,” said Prado.

The business owner said the quick build project, which will include roadway installations on International Boulevard to improve the tempo bus line, is not enough.

That’s why he hosted this rally in front of the AC Transit building in Downtown Oakland, on Monday.

“They just speed down when there is traffic on International Boulevard and they just take to the bus lane,” Prado.

Prado told KPIX he reached out to AC Transit about this issue. During the rally, about an hour in, AC Transit elected director did show up to speak with attendees.

And we received this statement from AC Transit.

AC Transit has been a partner with the residents and business owners along the International Boulevard corridor for nearly 65 years. 

To better empower this diverse community with improved access to jobs and resources, we launched the innovative Tempo-Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in 2020. Tempo is a first-of-its-kind transit system for the East Bay and has turned a formerly two-hour, near-gridlock commute between San Leandro and uptown Oakland into a commute that takes a mere 50 minutes. Tempo also experiences AC Transit’s highest ridership.

The success of Tempo-BRT lies in its dedicated transit lane exclusively reserved for transit buses and emergency first responders. However, AC Transit has become aware of a growing issue since Tempo’s launch with motorists increasingly violating the designated bus only lane requirement. We are hard at work addressing the issue of unlawful use. In fact, our transit district is set to install new roadway treatments from 14th Avenue to the Fruitvale District to discourage and ideally eliminate unlawful driving in the bus only lane. 

A joint public meeting with the city of Oakland, outlining the safety improvements to the bus only lane is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 30 at 6:00 p.m. 

We encourage all merchants and residents along the International Boulevard corridor to join the meeting to learn what safety advancements are underway. 

AC also told KPIX that a joint public meeting with the city of Oakland, to discuss safety improvements to the bus only lane is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 30 at 6:00 p.m.  

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