Oakland BRT

Oakland, California

City of Oakland

Sub-consultant to Fehr & Peers
and Nelson\Nygaard

2009 - 2010

AC Transit's proposed East Bay Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service will establish a unique 10-mile long transit connection from Uptown Oakland to the Bay Fair BART Station in San Leandro. In the City of Oakland, BRT buses would travel in a combination of dedicated and semi-dedicated lanes, mixed-flow traffic, and as part of a one-way couplet for some segments. While the proposed BRT bus service will significantly reduce passenger travel times and increase service reliability, the constrained rights-of-way requires tradeoffs with the local bus service routes, vehicle traffic, and pedestrians and bicyclists.

Community Design + Architecture (CD+A), along with the project lead Fehr & Peers and Nelson\Nygaard, was retained by the City of Oakland to conduct a thorough evaluation of AC Transit's proposed BRT plans and to identify potentially needed modifications to the transit agency's plans, with the aim to create a locally preferred alternative that best reflects the general plan's goals and policies with regard to non-motorized travel (pedestrians and bicycles), circulation and connectivity, and overarching livability goals at the city and neighborhood scale.

CD+A's work focused on the evaluation of the proposed BRT configuration on the pedestrian environment and land use context along the BRT alignment. Such impacts include the removal of on-street parking for adjacent commercial and residential uses, reduction of pedestrian buffers due to the removal of parking, and the removal of existing landscaped medians. Community Design + Architecture also assessed the physical design of BRT elements at stop locations including passenger amenities and landscaping as well as the pedestrian access and relationships between the transit improvements and adjacent land uses.

The project included a series of seven Community Workshops, held in neighborhoods along the Oakland portion of the proposed BRT corridor. The workshops provided citizens with a comprehensive overview of the BRT plans as modified by the City of Oakland and gave all stakeholders an opportunity to voice their neighborhood specific concerns. Following the workshops, CD+A along with the other members of the consultant team and City staff worked to integrate the feedback of the community into a preferred alternative for the BRT corridor in Oakland. The project was completed in 2010 with the approval of the preferred alternative by the Oakland City Council.