Not sure anyone has noticed this yet, but there is some good news in South Oakland for once. I took careful note this week and found out that the timing for the traffic lights for the cross-streets of Bates, Ward, and Dawson an the Boulevard of the Allies has been lengthened significantly.
Anyone who has walked, biked, or even drove near the vicinity of the Boulevard in this part of South Oakland knows that the Bates and Dawson intersections become real “charlie foxtrots” around rush hour with all the commuters. I once approximated the green light cycle at Dawson Street at around 20-23 seconds (contrast that to the nearly 2 minutes for the Boulevard and you have a long wait time with a short time to clear the intersection). Well, now that time has nearly been DOUBLED to about 41 seconds. This is the only street I have specifically timed, but I have noticed that Ward and Bates are also longer now.
Why should we care? Anyone who tries to cross these streets around rush hour I’m sure can attest to how stressful it can be. I have seen cars nearly push pedestrians out of the way (myself included) to try to clear these quick lights. These longer cycles will give the side streets a chance to clear without the stress for both drivers and pedestrians.