Multimodal improvements to serve all users between Bates Street and Schenley Park.
- Boulevard of the Allies is a major barrier between Central and South Oakland. There is a critical need to create a more comfortable, safe, and healthy environment for all users, especially people biking, walking, and taking transit on Boulevard of the Allies, connecting Central and South Oakland.
- Existing issues on Boulevard of the Allies include high speed traffic, long crossings, lack of safe and comfortable bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and a lack of transit stop amenities.
- Transportation and streetscape improvements should align with future redevelopment along Boulevard of the Allies.
- There can be congestion at Dawson and Boulevard of the Allies due to the narrowness of Dawson Street, especially during religious services or events at the adjacent St. George Orthodox Church. A few Church members have proposed changing the traffic flow pattern along Dawson Street if curb extensions are planned.
- The St. George Orthodox Church utilizes nearby street parking as part of its services, events, and community processions and its members have parked on both sides of Boulevard of the Allies in the past. Handicapped parking space(s) on Dawson St are important to Church members. There is also interest in improving pedestrian safety crossing Boulevard of the Allies.
- There is interest in reconstructing and/or repairing the Juno Street steps that connect Boulevard of the Allies at Parkview with Juno Street.
- There has been interest in allowing vehicle left-turns at Boulevard of the Allies and Bates, which would complement potential changes envisioned by the Oakland Town Center scenarios described in the Development Chapter of the Oakland Plan.
- There has been significant community interest related to reimagining the intersections where Boulevard of the Allies meets Bates Street and meets Halket Street, given their effect on transit, bicycle, and pedestrian safety and circulation, and vehicle and freight routes, as well as on the future of Zulema Park.
Boulevard of the Allies is one of the three key bicycle connections identified in the Bike Network Improvements strategy. Recommendations for adjustments to the Boulevard of the Allies span from the Charles Anderson Memorial Bridge to Bates Street. The recommendations focus on improving the safety, comfort, and connectivity for all users through the installation of a protected bicycle facility and pedestrian safety improvements that will connect to other proposed facilities on Bates Street and McKee Place.
Proposed improvements for Boulevard of the Allies include the following elements:
- Removal of one Westbound travel lane
- Two-way protected cycle track on the north side of Boulevard of the Allies from Charles Anderson Memorial Bridge to Bates Street
- New traffic signal at Parkview Avenue and a potential right-turn only lane
- Pedestrian safety improvements at all existing and proposed signalized intersections, such as curb extensions, high visibility crosswalks, leading pedestrian intervals, and pedestrian refuge islands. (See the Dawson Street intersection callout below for more detail on these types of improvements)
- Bicycle connections to proposed bicycle boulevards at Dawson Street and Parkview Avenue
- Landscaped median with green infrastructure
Future Planning Considerations
Based on the current traffic volumes, westbound traffic can accommodate the removal of one travel lane, and the north side of Boulevard of the Allies is the preferred location for the two-way cycle track to facilitate connections to Central Oakland. However, further community engagement and analysis will be required to finalize the cycle track alignment. The Boulevard of the Allies improvements will also need to be aligned with PennDOT’s planned project on Bates Street to facilitate safe multimodal connections at the Bates and Boulevard intersection.
Additionally, plans for a landscaped median with green infrastructure will require additional evaluation and should coincide with future streetscape and redevelopment efforts along the Boulevard of the Allies. Future redevelopment plans should be reviewed to ensure that they align with plans to enhance the streetscape along Boulevard of the Allies. Redevelopment should be encouraged to remove curb cuts, explore opportunities to widen sidewalks, and identify opportunities to utilize permeable pavement for bicycle facilities. Curbside uses should be identified and evaluated in future studies to determine the best uses along the corridor.
The repair and restoration of the Juno Street steps is also recommended, given the key connection the steps provide between Schenley Park/Panther Hollow and the entrance to the Charles Anderson Bridge at Boulevard of the Allies, thereby enabling additional pedestrian and bicycle connectivity between Oakland and nearby neighborhoods such as Greenfield.
Dawson Street Intersection Improvements
Major intersection improvements are recommended at Dawson Street and Boulevard of the Allies; these types of improvements should also be considered at other signalized intersections on the Boulevard. The following changes will create safe crossings for bicycles and pedestrians, provide connections to the proposed neighborway on Dawson Street, and enhance the existing north side of the street bus stop:
- Pedestrian refuge island on the eastern crossing of the Boulevard
- High visibility pedestrian crosswalks
- Green conflict markings for bicycle crossings
- Leading pedestrian intervals at traffic signal
- Bus stop relocation to the far side with the cycle track at sidewalk level and detectable warning surfaces. Relocating the bus stop provides opportunities to enhance amenities at the bus stop, such as adding a shelter, and potentially improve transit operations through the intersection by moving the bus stop to the far-side. Relocating the bus stop also provides space on the east side of the intersection to build future green infrastructure or provide parking loading for the adjacent church.
- New bus shelter
- Potential green infrastructure and/or church parking area at the NE corner
- Landscaped curb extensions, bike boxes, shared lane markings, and no right-turn on red at Dawson Street
- While designing curb extensions at Dawson and Boulevard of the Allies, two-car movement should be accommodated. While conducting a design and engineering study of Boulevard of the Allies, consider opportunities to examine Dawson Street traffic flow and direction.
- During project outreach and technical study, consult with and explore opportunities to mitigate impacts to neighboring property owners and stakeholders, while ensuring core project goals are met.
- Exact details of the proposed bicycle network connection along Bates Street between Boulevard of the Allies and McKee Place would require further analysis and engagement.
- Potential or proposed changes relevant to the immediate area adjacent to the intersections of Boulevard of the Allies, Zulema Street, and Bates Street should consider the Oakland Town Center scenarios described in the Development Chapter of the Oakland Plan.
- Please also see the “Reimagine Bates Street” project for further information relevant to Bates Street at/near Boulevard of the Allies.
When to start: 0-2 years
Duration: 2-3 years
Estimated costs: $$$ (out of $$$$)
Project lead(s): DOMI
Project partner(s): PennDOT, PAAC, OTMA, DCP, UPMC, OBID, businesses and property owners, neighborhood associations
Potential funding source(s): City Capital Budget, grants