UPDATE: There is another Community Workshop coming up about the Square onNovember 20, 2013 atOakland City Hall - Hearing Room 2 from 6:00pm - 8:00pm. Oakland says they "wants your input on a permanent design for Latham Square." Let them know how you feel about the cars!
(And look at how nice it is! People even hang out there during the day! It is nice!)
UPDATE: While this pilot was supposed to be six months, after six weeks, cars are being let back through. See article.
UPDATE: GRAND OPENING! On Saturday, October 12, 2:00 p.m., Latham Square will have a grand opening! Enjoy the new plaza, listen to music and shop at several small-scale mobile vending stations.
UPDATE: give your feedback! The city is requesting resident feedback about the Latham Square Pilot Project. Take the public feedback survey. Additionally, the city's page for the project says: "The City is holding a Community Presentation/Workshop on Saturday, September 14, 2013, 10am-Noon (download flyer). The meeting will be held at Latham Square (intersection of Broadway and Telegraph) and possibly moved inside the first floor of the Cathedral Building (1615 Broadway). Please come to provide your input and have your voice heard."
Construction on the Latham Square Pilot Project began on July 22, 2013. The project turned Telegraph Avenue between 16th Street and Broadway into a pedestrian-only plaza. Southbound traffic on Telegraph is now required to turn right onto 16th Street, and drivers traveling north on Broadway must turn left at 19th Street to get to northbound Telegraph (or 16th Street) rather than turning left directly onto Telegraph.
According to the City Administrator's newsletter, "[t]he City of Oakland worked closely with local stakeholders on the plaza design and traffic circulation through more than 25 individual meetings with local businesses, property owners, residents and other stakeholders; public presentations to the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Oakland Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee; and a four-hour community design workshop in February 2013 that attracted more than 100 participants. The pilot project will build on Latham Square’s significance as a gateway to the vibrant Uptown neighborhood by creating an enhanced pedestrian space through a low-cost trial that enhances the pedestrian environment, increases economic development potential, saves existing trees and improves private automobile and transit operations. The pilot pedestrian plaza will remain in place until at least October 2013 at which time staff will bring a report to City Council on the plaza’s success and a recommendation on whether a permanent pedestrian plaza should be created. Throughout the pilot period, City staff will be taking citizen input, analyzing the plaza and traffic flow and making adjustments as needed to respond to concerns."
On Friday August 16th, there was a "soft opening" of the Pedestrian Plaza at noon. There will be a larger "grand opening" in September.
This detailed article really explains the project!
On April 23, 2013, the Public Works Committee of the City Council considered the Latham Square Pilot Project (LSPP) which aims to turn Latham Square in downtown Oakland into a temporary pedestrian plaza. The text of the agenda reads:
From: Public Works Agency Recommendation: Adopt A Resolution Authorizing The City Administrator Or Designee To 1) Implement The Latham Square Pilot Project (LSPP) To Temporarily Close Telegraph Avenue Between 16th Street And Broadway For The Purposes Of Creating A Pedestrian Plaza For At Least Six (6) Months Following An Opening Date In Summer 2013; And 2) Report Back To City Council In The Fall Of 2013 As To The Success Of The Pilot Plaza.
City Council approved the project on May 7th. To view the staff report, resolution and a video of this meeting, please visit http://bit.ly/139YJ9R.
The full report is available here: http://oakland.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=2410463&GUID=68752D67-6211-4FA7-BCEC-B0554944A93D
News & External Links
- Official site: www.oaklandnet.com/LathamSquare
- 2013-07-25: "Latham Square in Downtown Could Revitalize with a Park for People" LOAKAL
- Cool view from above by developer: JRDV Architects
- 2013-08-02: "Oakland hopes Latham Square Plaza brings Uptown vibe to city center" Oakland Tribune
- 2013-08-08: "Oakland's Latham Square becomes pedestrian plaza." Carolyn Jones, SFGate.com
2013-08-16: "Latham Square marks Oakland’s latest foray into pop-up public space." Sophia Hussain, Oakland Local
2013-08-20: "Oakland experiments with giving walkers, bicyclists free rein." Jaquelyn Davis, Bay Nature
2013-09-05: "Oakland’s Latham Square: Plaza to the People." SF.StreetsBlog
2013-11-01: "Oakland Planning Director Cuts Off Latham Square Pilot, Lets Cars Back In." SF.StreetsBlog