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News Update

Activists build “pop-up crosswalks” in front of Oakland Tech high school

Rather than wait on the City of Oakland to fulfill their request of building crosswalks on the high-traffic, dangerous street outside of Oakland Tech High School — a process that often takes months, if not years — activists striped their own temporary crosswalks on Broadway this week, Oaklandside reported.

The action comes about two months after a student was hit as he crossed Broadway, suffering fractures, according to Oaklandside. Cars constantly speed on Broadway in the afternoon and during Oakland Tech’s lunchtime, when students will cross the street to get to restaurants and food stores. There are no crosswalks directly in front of the school, prompting many students to jaywalk across the four-lane street instead of walking to the end of the block to cross at the traffic light.

To show city officials how easy and beneficial it would be to put a crosswalk across Broadway in front of the school, volunteers from local traffic safety organizations created a temporary, rainbow-colored crosswalk of their own, Oaklandside reported. They also used traffic cones and delineators to reduce the lanes that led into the crosswalk, built plywood ramps for people with disabilities and made large traffic signs.

The organizers received written endorsements from nearly all of the businesses on the other side of the street as well as permission from the city to create the pop-up crosswalks. They also talked to local traffic engineers and adhered to the Oakland Department of Transportation’s guidelines for traffic slowdowns.