Walk This Way

An interdisciplinary strategy to improve underpasses in Oakland.


Project Start

January 2021

Focus Group Engagement

May 2021

Expected Publication Date

Winter 2021

Project Location


Each of Oakland’s 85 pedestrian-accessible underpasses is a distinct challenge to fostering safer, walkable neighborhoods. As a result, the installation and maintenance of underpass improvement strategies for pedestrian safety are a top priority for the City.

While many factors influence pedestrian safety, this toolkit centers design strategies that can be integrated into the built environment. The toolkit, to be completed in summer 2021, will guide developers and City staff through selecting and including strategies in projects throughout the city.

To inform this citywide priority, the Toolkit contains case studies and a study area of four underpasses that connect Chinatown and Jack London Square – Madison, Oak, Jackson, Webster, and Broadway.

In May 2021, the project team is conducting focus groups comprised of representatives with expertise and investment in public safety and the built environment. These groups will help City staff better understand underpass conditions, barriers to improvements, and strategies for overcoming these barriers.

Our intent is to learn and elicit feedback from community leaders, agency staff and developers ahead of working with Caltrans, with the goal of aligning improvements to safety issues with jurisdictional requirements and permitting processes.

The final Walk this Way Underpass Improvement Toolkit can be downloaded below in the "Project Documents" section and includes:

  • Key issues to look for in addressing pedestrian-accessible underpass safety;
  • Case studies of improvements within Caltrans jurisdiction;
  • I-880 underpass study area with recommended strategies;
  • Guidance on navigating Caltrans permitting;
  • Additional Caltrans-vetted strategies that correlate to addressing specific issues.

For questions or to participate, feel free to reach out to Audrey Harris at aharris2@oaklandca.gov.

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