Bike Lanes Pitted Against Fire Safety in Oakland

The Oak­land Fire Depart­ment is oppos­ing pro­posed changes to the city’s fire , argu­ing that nar­row­ing streets and adding pro­tect­ed bike lanes hin­der for emer­gency vehi­cles. Jose Fer­moso cov­ers the sto­ry for The Oak­land­side.

As Fer­moso notes, “Cur­rent­ly, the city’s fire code requires streets to be a min­i­mum of 26 feet wide where heights are 30 feet or taller.” Accord­ing to the Oak­land Fire Depart­ment, the city’s old­er build­ings neces­si­tate wider streets in the event of a cat­a­stroph­ic col­lapse. But oth­er cities, such as Port­land and San , have their fire codes to reduce required widths.

Kevin Dal­ley, of the Traf­fic Vio­lence Rapid Response Team, says “it’s to remem­ber that remov­ing the 26-foot rule from the code does not mean it would force the city to nar­row every road. This sim­ply ‘would allow us to exam­ine streets and build­ings on a case-by-case basis,’ he said.” At a pub­lic meet­ing, Dal­ley said, “I’m ask­ing the Oak­land Fire Depart­ment to add to their mis­sion and con­sid­er the safe­ty of pedes­tri­an cyclists and motorists when they review street design.”

The state stan­dard for street width, and that of the Fire Pro­tec­tion Asso­ci­a­tion, is 20 feet. The city is amend­ing oth­er parts of the fire code to improve pedes­tri­an safe­ty, such as rais­ing curb heights.

Read More

Leave a Comment