First post! This site is to discuss transportation problems and solutions. This first post is about an intersection downtown Oakland near Lake Merritt. 

What are you thinking if you are a pedestrian when you first cross this?  I was thinking, I’m not waiting for this bullshit light and I’m going straight through to the island so I can wait to cross the street. This intersection is clearly built for cars, but it’s not even designed well for motorists. It confuses some people and it’s an incident ready to happen where a pedestrian could get hurt. What you don’t see is that there is a major street just behind where this picture was taken. Cars are coming to this intersection at speeds of 35-45 mph making the environment not safe for pedestrians and bicyclists.

What can be done to make this a simpler, safer, and more attractive for pedestrians? Limit the amount of movements a car can make and open the area for pedestrians. Reading the book “Streetfight”by Janette Sadik-Khan has made me think further about the benefits of plazas and positive effects it has on the urban environment. This area has the potential to add a plaza where people can sit, relax, and enjoy the lake. There are lunch places near this area and plenty of workers who could take advantage of the space, rather than let it sit for cars to use. Add a food truck space, allow vendors to sit in this area. Use the area to encourage economic activity, rather than driving. Use special crosswalks to make it clear Peds are crossing and add bike lanes. Allow vehicles to turn onto the roadway and take away the light that doesn’t allow traffic to flow.

What are some other thoughts that could improve this intersection? Solutions, not reasons why something can’t change.