Speed Limit Reductions in Oakland Business Activity Districts

Lowering Speed Limits in Oakland

Motorists driving through the Business Activity Districts (BADs) in Oakland will need to start slowing down thanks to a new California state bill that was passed in December 2022. The passage of Assembly Bill 43 will allow the City of Oakland flexibility to downgrade speed limits in certain business zones. Some significant streets contiguous to the Business Activity Districts will be reduced to 20 or 25 mph.

Why the Reduced Speed Limit is Needed

City officials said a speed limit reduction is essential because traffic safety in Oakland is a critical issue. Statistics show two people are severely injured or killed in traffic accidents on Oakland’s streets every week. Officials said these collisions are highly concentrated, with 60 percent of catastrophic or deadly crashes occurring on just 6 percent of Oakland’s high injury network (HIN).

Senior citizens, low-income communities, those with disabilities, and those who live in the Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities are the most at risk of being injured or killed in traffic accidents in Oakland.

Implementation and Prioritization

Implementing speed limit reductions in the city will be prioritized based on the High Injury Network (HIN) and the Highest Priority Equity (HPE) areas. City officials said over 26 miles of 57 streets in Oakland have been identified as eligible districts. The Oakland Department of Transportation (OakDOT) will implement reduced speed limits for ten Business Activity Districts by the summer of 2023.

Under Assembly Bill 43, city speed limits may be reduced by no more than 5 mph. Some streets on the HIN and HPE list include the following:

  • 11th Street from Broadway to Harrison Street will be reduced from 25 mph to 20 mph
  • 12th Street from Broadway to Alice Street will be reduced from 25 mph to 20 mph
  • 23rd Avenue from Foothill Boulevard to International Boulevard will be reduced from 25 mph to 20 mph
  • Fruitvale Avenue from E 22nd Street and E 19 Street will be reduced from 25 mph to 20 mph
  • MacArthur Boulevard from 89th Avenue to 90th Avenue will be reduced from 30 mph to 25 mph
  • San Pablo Avenue from William Street to End/South 16th Street will be reduced from 25 mph to 20 mph
  • Foothill Boulevard from Rutherford Street to High Street will be reduced from 25 mph to 20 mph
  • Franklin Street from 22nd Street to 7th Street will be reduced from 25 mph to 20 mph
  • Bancroft Street from Avenal Avenue to Seminary Avenue will be reduced from 30 mph to 25 mph
  • Broadway from College Avenue to 27th Street will be reduced from 30 mph to 25 mph

The city will continue implementing signage in all identified eligible districts by the end of 2025.

Can Lowing Speed Limit Save Lives?

About 4,000 Californians die in traffic accidents each year, and more suffer serious injuries. The difference between injury and death is speed. According to recent data, nine out of ten people survive when struck by a car going 20 mph or less. However, only one in ten survives when hit at 40 mph.

Proponents of Assembly Bill 43 said lowering speed limits on our streets effectively doesn’t just save lives but will make our cities better places to live and thrive. Lower speeds will make the Business Activity Districts quieter and safer and hopefully help local businesses catch more customers’ eyes as they slowly pass through the area.

Watch the YouTube video to learn more about the speed limit reduction in San Francisco.

Oakland Personal Injury Attorney

I’m Ed Smith, an Oakland personal injury lawyer. Traffic accidents can happen anytime and anywhere, whether in the city or a rural area. If you have suffered life-changing injuries in an accident in Oakland or elsewhere in northern California, our experienced legal team at AutoAccident.com can help. We are prepared to seek the maximum financial recovery you need for the injuries and damages. Call our law office for free, friendly case advice at (510) 631-0200 (800) 404-5400.

Our injury attorneys have obtained favorable results through verdicts or settlements for our clients since 1982.

Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash

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