Redwood Heights Neighborhood News
by Denise Davila
Are you aware of the controversial changes the City of Oakland is planning for Redwood Rd. and 35th Ave.? The proposal for slowing traffic in this area is to have just one lane in each direction and a dedicated bike lane. There are also other changes that are included in the proposal. The change to a single lane is the major one. Many neighbors in the Redwood Heights/Laurel/Skyline areas are strongly opposed to major changes in this corridor.
Forty years ago Redwood Rd./35th Ave. was a single lane in each direction. The city of Oakland planned to widen the streets to four lanes by taking some of the front yard area from the existing houses on the west side. There was to be no parking on either side of the street and no median. Those opposed to that plan gathered hundreds of signatures from the residents and presented the petition to the City, and the street was developed as it is today.
At that time traffic was increasing because of Lincoln Square, along with school, commercial and housing development up to Skyline. It was nearly impossible to get out of driveways and side streets during rush hours. If Redwood Rd./35th Ave. is changed back to one lane each direction, it will be even more congested because of the increase in car and bus traffic. It will impede immediate emergency response for fire, police, and ambulances. One lane in each direction will be eliminated for cars and become a bike lane. Those of us who lived here before the redevelopment know from experience that it would be a nightmare to merge into traffic with one lane, especially during rush hour.
The main purpose for this change proposed by the Traffic and Engineering Department is to “calm” drivers and slow them down. But other solutions to the speeding problem need to explored—solutions that won’t inconvenience everyone.
If you share our concerns, please contact the following:
Mayor Jean Quan firstname.lastname@example.org
District 4 Libby Schaaf email@example.com
District 6 Desley Brooks firstname.lastname@example.org
At-Large Rebecca Kaplan email@example.com
City Traffic and Engineering Dept. Joe Wang firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information or to sign our petition, please call me, Barbara Ciu, at 531-1131 or email email@example.com.