City of Oakland Department of Transportation OakDOT 2019 Bike Plan press release to Zennie62Media, below.
Oakland, CA – The City of Oakland Department of Transportation (OakDOT) announced today the adoption of the 2019 Bike Plan – Let’s Bike Oakland – a partnership with the community that used new outreach and engagement strategies to develop a plan reflective of all Oaklanders.
OakDOT’s planning team established a process that listened to the mobility concerns of bike users, collaborated with community-based organizations, and refined design strategies to create an equitable bike plan accessible to all regardless of identity.
“Oaklanders of every background and community deserve safer, healthier, more affordable transportation options, including bicycling,” OakDOT Director Ryan Russo said. “This plan charts the way forward to delivering the streets and programs that make cycling a real option for people. Most importantly, the plan was built with true, robust partnership from the Oakland community, so residents will see and feel that this is a plan built from their own ideas, needs and priorities.”
The planning began by drafting an equity framework that identified Oakland’s most vulnerable groups to define future actions and measure the plan’s progress on its four goals – access, affordability, health and safety, and collaboration. Oakland’s Department of Race and Equity – the first such City department in the state – provided invaluable guidance in shaping this engagement.
With this information, OakDOT conducted robust community outreach in partnership with five community-based organizations to reach underrepresented Oaklanders. This outreach included hosting community listening sessions and design workshops and using digital engagement tools and in-person mobile workshops to meet people where they are at, across the city. Partner organizations include East Oakland Collective, Outdoor Afro, Bikes 4 Life, Cycles for Change, and the Scraper Bike Team. These people-of-color-led organizations represented communities in East and West Oakland to ensure historically left-out neighborhoods were prioritized and heard in the bike planning process.
“OakDOT promised to listen and strongly stated we would be heard as it related to our concerns for including programmatic content in the 2019 bike plan update. We feel OakDOT staff kept its promise and we were heard. As a result programs for youth and adults were added to the plan. We endorse the plan. We look forward to being partners with OakDOT and in implementing the plan and programs,” – Phoenix Mangrum, collective member of Cycles of Change
“The Scraper Bike Team is proud to be in partnership with the City of Oakland, Department of Transportation. We feel as though we are making progress with our demands. Most of the things that were put into the original bike plan was old and didn’t fit with the current culture of East Oakland. This bike plan is drippin’ in Scraper Sauce, #RespectRealOakland.” – Tyrone “Baybe Champ” Stevenson Jr., President and CEO of The Original Scraper Bike Team
“Establishing working trust between the City departments and community is an ongoing complex process, so the nature of the collaboration on this project was refreshing. What’s most important to us is that we reform the historic bias and racist practices of city planning, by remaining in the driver seat advising how to engage East Oakland residents in the appropriate cultural way. Also, we participated to ensure the conversation of what anti-displacement for the bike plan looks like was centered throughout the process. Community economic development requires community ownership and investment, not just subsidies and being ‘at the table.’” – Marquita Price, Urban & Regional Planning Officer, The East Oakland Collective
These new engagement and outreach strategies involved 3,644 people in person and gained over 2,300 comments online. Overall, this is what Oaklanders expressed the City’s bike network is uncomfortable to ride, fails to include local destinations, and is disconnected by numerous gaps. The Plan guides OakDOT’s services and investments to:
Make It Comfortable – by incorporating the community in the design process to create as much separation from moving vehicles as possible and a network of low stress bikeways that is accessible to Oaklanders in all neighborhoods
Make It Local – by embedding Oakland culture into bikeway designs and connecting bikeways to in-neighborhood grocery stores, schools, parks, libraries, recreation centers, commercial districts, and bus stops.
Make It Connected – by building continuous cross-town corridors that help people bike safe to as many parts of Oakland as possible and creating design changes at intersections to make crossing a street easier for bicyclists.
On its own, building more bike infrastructure is not enough to increase bicycle ridership in Oakland. We heard from the community that culturally competent education programs are needed to make people feel safe and highlight the benefits of biking. OakDOT looks forward to delivering the program recommendations through partnership with local non-profits already doing education and through partnering with the Oakland Public Library branches to provide bike repair, maintenance, and education – a strategy to provide concrete locations for services focused in neighborhoods lacking bicycle shops that are free of charge and accessible to the entire public.
The first step of the prioritization process identified projects that would provide the greatest benefit to Oaklanders and align with current City goals. The graph above shows that every goal will be reframed to prioritize equity and invest in our neighborhoods before being initiated as a first phase project.
Altogether, Oakland’s new bike plan will:
Promote hometown efforts,
Support the local bicycling economy, and
Provide shared resources.
Implementation for these changes will begin in coordination with Oakland’s paving plan. Together, they will work to secure more bikeways and minimize impact on the communities they will serve.
To find out more about Let’s 🚲 Oakland: The full plan is online at https://www.oaklandca.gov/projects/lets-bike-oakland-oaklands-bike-plan. A summary of the plan is available in this @OakDOT Twitter thread: https://twitter.com/OakDOT/status/1140791419096797184
About the Oakland Public Library’s bicycle services: The Martin Luther King, Jr. Branch hosts “The Shed”, a youth-led bike repair shop where you can learn how to repair, tune-up, and decorate your bicycle in original scraper-bike style. All OPL branches are equipped with bike locks and tire pumps for public use; the 81st Ave Branch and the Oakland Tool Lending Library have public bike repair stations. In addition, OPL’s branches host frequent Urban Cycling 101 classes, Bike Month in May, and host the Women Bike Book Club. For more information on all the bicycle resources available through OPL, visit oaklandlibrary.org/bikes.