Oakland Pulls the Plug on Pedestrianization Project

A pilot project launched in August hoped to follow the successes of similar efforts in New York and San Francisco by turning Oakland's Latham Square into a pedestrian plaza. But after only six weeks, the area has been reopened to autos.
November 4, 2013, 12pm PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"The Latham Square pilot was supposed to last for six months, but after just six weeks, the widely-lauded, one-block plaza at the foot of Telegraph Avenue is no longer car-free," reports Laura McCamy. "Oakland Planning and Building Director Rachel Flynn told Streetsblog the car-free pilot had been given enough time, and that 'there’s only so many people that are going to come into Oakland at this time.'”

“'If all you’re doing is blocking off the vehicles but not increasing the bikes and pedestrians, are you achieving your goal?' said Flynn. When asked for data on Latham Square’s use, she said, 'We don’t know how to measure pedestrian and bicycle activity.'”

Tough organizations including the Downtown Oakland Association remain supportive of the project, "Flynn said the decision was prompted by negative feedback. 'What we’ve heard from property owners and businesses is they need that access' for cars, she said, listing several nearby merchants and building owners who she said oppose the project."

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Published on Friday, November 1, 2013 in SF.Streetsblog
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