At long last, Oakland transit geeks are finally going to get a chance to talk about BRT! Talk about, that is, it somewhere other than the internet or a bar or AC Transit’s BRT Policy Steering Committee meetings, which are attended by only the absolute geekiest of transit geeks, anyway.
During January, Oaklanders will have seven – that’s right, seven chances to weigh in on their preferred route design and stop locations.
BRT is a big deal, and not just for bus riders. In a must-read post today on Future Oakland, dto510 explains how this project represents a once in a lifetime opportunity to turn two of Oakland’s major thoroughfares into a bona fide complete street:
Next week, the City of Oakland will begin a series of public meetings about a Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) to create a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line crossing the entire city. BRT has been debated for a decade in the East Bay, and its key feature, exclusive bus lanes, has been the source of some consternation among residents in Berkeley and parts of Oakland. But since the City Councils of Berkeley, San Leandro and Oakland voted to move forward with BRT on Telegraph Ave and International Blvd in 2000, BRT has been an abstract concept. No more. Oakland planners have unveiled a proposal to create a fully-fledged complete street stretching 17 miles across the East Bay, substantially redesigned for pedestrian and bicycle use in addition to bus lanes. Crosswalks, sidewalk bulb-outs, streetlights, and bicycle lanes will complement a world-class transit system, with the potential to transform the heart of the East Bay.
The term “Complete Street” is used to refer to a street that is improved for all modes of transit: motorized, bicycle, and pedestrian. In Oakland, the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plans and their associated policies provide compliance with the CA Complete Streets Act of 2008, but there are no concrete plans to add bike lanes or substantial pedestrian improvements to the entirety of Telegraph Avenue and International Blvd. The BRT plan drawn up by Oakland planners and engineers, formally if confusingly known as Oakland’s Locally Preferred Alternative, would make far-reaching and large-scale improvements to those streets, an opportunity unique in the city today.
It only gets better from there. Go read it now!
If you’re not up to speed on the concept of BRT yet – well, you can get caught up by reading through my archives or perusing the City’s BRT page, and AC Transit’s as well. You can get an idea of what it would be like riding the new route from the image below, which illustrates Oakland’s proposed preferred route and stop locations:
Click to enlarge
But the absolute best way to get your questions answered about BRT is to attend one of these meetings. Here’s the schedule:
Monday, January 11th, 6-8 PM
Fruitvale Senior Center
3301 E. 12th Street, Ste. 201
Tuesday, January 12th, 6-8 PM
Eastside Arts Alliance
2277 International Boulevard
Thursday, January 21st, 6-8 PM
East Oakland Youth Development Center
8200 International Boulevard
Tuesday, January 26th, 6-8 PM
Faith Presbyterian Church
420 49th Street
Wednesday, January 27th, 11 AM – 1 PM
Oakland City Hall, Hearing Room 2
1 Frank Ogawa Plaza
Wednesday, January 27th, 5-7 PM
Oakland City Hall, Hearing Room 4
1 Frank Ogawa Plaza
Thursday, January 28th, 6-8 PM
St. Louis Bertrand Church
1410 100th Avenue
With so many options, surely everyone can find space in their calendar for at least one of them! And before you go, make sure you read dto510′s blog about BRT.