California city turns 74 miles of streets car-free to allow residents more space to social distance

Originally published at:


Not a new idea:


Jane Jacobs would be smiling. I’d really like these slow streets to be one of those formerly “impossible, unthinkable, unworkable” changes to life (like corporations finally allowing work that we all know can be done remotely to actually be done from home) that will stick around after the pandemic.


It happened in Times Square and had dramatic and positive effects. You’re right, it’s really just a mental block for the most part.


Universal healthcare, walkable streets…Dammit, this Coronavirus is gunna turn us all into commies. :crossed_fingers::upside_down_face::crossed_fingers:


Not quite as big a deal, but here in San Diego they closed the Cabrillo (Laurel Street) bridge to vehicular traffic for several months as they did seismic retrofitting. People made due and I think the consensus among the public was to leave it that way, but they re-opened it to cars… It’s the worst way to drive into or try and park at Balboa Park anyway. You’re better off coming in on the other side from Park Blvd or if you are able bodied, just park further away on the street or in the Zoo lot.
But, nope. They had to start letting cars come in…
Map rotated left 90 degrees.


I live in Oakland and have lived here for over twenty years and I’m native to the East Bay. People don’t walk here. Let me repeat… THEY DO NOT WALK.

What this video from VOA shows is staged. One thing to notice is the skin of those interviewed and filmed… These folks are almost uniformly white and the neighborhoods are around Lake Merit and south Berkeley.

San Francisco is following Oakland’s lead and will be closing down some streets in the same manner.


I’ve lived in several neighborhoods in Oakland and have noticed that some are much more prone to foot and bike traffic than others. Saying that people in Oakland generally don’t walk ignores the reality of life in Fruitvale, Lake Merritt, Temescal, Uptown, and Jack London Square. Granted that the folks who live in Piedmont, Montclair, and Dimond District are less prone to hoof it.


People don’t walk in a place where the infrastructure has been rebuilt over the last century to prioritize cars? Shocker.

Black folks, who’ve been driven out of the few walkable neighborhoods that remain by redlining and rising cost of living, don’t walk? You don’t say.

Clearly the solution is to keep designing streets to prioritize car travel, since nobody walks anymore.



I also live in Oakland, and have for several years.

I’m Black, and… wait for it… I walk.


i live in none that you listed. People do drive to Lake Merrit. No surprise, it’s a park surrounded by an upscale shopping district and upscale housing. All of the other named areas have been built up in the past twenty years as shopping districts as well. You forgot Rockridge in your list up upscale shopping/walking districts. I DID live in Montclair long ago without a car… Believe me climbing those mountains is NO FREAKING FUN! Bus service is infrequent and basically doesn’t go up very high in the hills.

Bottom line those aren’t residential areas. Have a look around Grand and Adeline and the rest of residential West Oakland or East Oakland. Some walking, yes. Nothing like ANYTHING in San Francisco, New York, Tokyo. Without some VERY serious money (unlikely… how much was that recently announced budget shortfall in Oakland?), that’s not going to change.

You said, and then repeated emphatically, that “NO ONE walks in Oakland.”

You also made some references to the lack of diversity in the vid; I counted at least three People of Color.

I guess I shouldn’t mention it about the folks who walk around the park in my residential yet not very affluent area, or how many of them are of Asian and Latino heritage.


Oh gee, I guess I wasn’t residing in those neighborhoods after all and neither were my neighbors…


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