April 27, 2020

Sarah Henry, Public Information Officer

City launches Slow Streets Alameda to offer more space for physical distancing

Alameda is joining cities across the Bay Area and country by implementing Slow Streets Alameda – a temporary “soft” closure of select streets to provide more space for physical distancing and physical activity for the duration of shelter in place order. As it is critical to maintain at least 6 feet of distance when exercising or engaging in essential activities to slow the spread of COVID-19, the City of Alameda finds that it is necessary to take this precautionary measure that both balances the protection of all individuals using the roadways during this public health crisis and ensuring access to City streets in Alameda to through traffic.

Street changes will be implemented through a temporary pilot program starting Thursday, April 30, with temporary closures to select through traffic of the following low volume neighborhood street segments to minimize traffic disruption, totaling 1.2 miles in length:

  • Pacific Avenue from Grand Street to Oak Street
  • Versailles Avenue from Central Avenue to Fernside Boulevard

Please go to www.slowstreetsalameda.org for more information about this project, take a quick survey, or report a location-specific maintenance issue along the street that requires a timely response.

Limited access maintained: Local access to each block will continue for residents, deliveries, paratransit, emergency, and garbage truck access. The City will place appropriate signage, cones and/or barricades at each location declaring “Road Closed to Through Traffic” on designated Slow Streets to encourage motorists to pursue other routes to their final destination and raise their awareness of pedestrians or cyclists who may be using local streets for physical distancing.

Stay alert, slow down: Slow Streets prioritize walking and biking by reducing vehicle traffic on neighborhood streets, which are increasingly becoming shared spaces as communities across our City aim to maintain adequate distancing. The California Vehicle Code states that motor vehicles have the right-of-way in the street. However, we can all—motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists alike—look out for each other by slowing down when we’re driving, walking, cycling, or otherwise making use of the roadways, in addition to staying alert and making safe choices when making use of the City’s roads and streets.

It takes a village: City staff will work with community members and partners, including Bike East Bay and Bike Walk Alameda, to assist with outreach, including identifying Block Captains to help monitor, report issues, and even replace signs and barricades, as needed. If you’d like to help, complete the quick volunteer form at www.slowstreetsalameda.org.

Monitor, adapt and expand: Alameda’s residents are adapting faster than ever and so are their needs. Slow Streets Alameda will track the program’s effectiveness/safety and modify these efforts on an ongoing basis.