You are on page 1of 2


Promoting bicycling as an everyday means of transportation and recreation September 29, 2011 Vitaly B. Troyan Oakland Public Works 250 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Suite 4314 Oakland, CA 94612 Dear Vit, This past Saturday, September 24th, Allen Douglas Lee lost his life on Grizzly Peak Blvd in Oakland. Allen, a resident of Alameda, was on a ride with his cycling club, Alameda Velo, descending Grizzly Peak Blvd southbound towards Fish Ranch Road, when his wheel caught in a longitudinal fissure in the roadway just a little wider than his wheel. With his front wheel caught he was catapulted across the roadway and into the path of an oncoming car. Allen died as a result of his injuries in this crash. I am writing to you to ask you to take immediate action to prevent further injury and loss of life here on our Oakland streets. Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Allen Lee at this time of loss. His death points to the disproportional risk that is borne by cyclists when riding the severely distressed and potholed streets of Oakland. While all users of the road suffer when our streets crack and crater, cyclists don’t just experience damage to their vehicles, they also risk serious injury and death. This tragic death calls for a moment to consider how we can do things differently here in Oakland with our limited resources, to ensure that we make saving lives and avoiding injury a priority in maintaining our roadways. Here at the East Bay Bicycle Coalition we hope to partner with your department to make sure that the roads that represent the greatest risk of injury are repaired first. To that end we ask that you take the following immediate action: 1. Send out a crew today to repair and seal the section of Grizzly Peak Blvd from Lomas Cantadas to Fish Ranch Road. This section of road has multiple deep cracks in the direction of travel on a section where people travel by bicycle in excess of 20 miles per hour, increasing the risk that any crash will be a serious one. It was one of these cracks that caused Allen Lee to crash. This section of roadway has been reported multiple times as a hazard to your department. This is also one of the most popular bike routes in Oakland, used by hundreds of cyclists each week.

P.O. BOX 1736 OAKLAND, CA 94604 2208 S HATTUCK A VENUE , B ERKELEY (510) 845-RIDE

2. Please reinforce within your Department the existing City of Oakland policy that roads designated as bike routes within the Oakland Bicycle Master Plan receive first priority for repaving as funding becomes available. This policy recognizes that smooth pavement is a matter of life and death for the cyclist using these roads, and therefore elevates these roads to a higher priority level. Two concrete ideas about reinforcing and enhancing this policy follow in items 3 and 4. 3. Please designate a staff member in your department with decision-making authority over your repaving and repair schedule to meet with representatives of the East Bay Bicycle Coalition on a monthly basis to review road hazards reported through your Public Works Call Center, and as tracked in our hazards reporting database, The purpose of this meeting would be to compare hazards in the two databases and seek agreement on prioritizing repair of those hazards 4. Please create a work plan and timeline in your department to implement a method of electronic submission of road hazard reports to your Public Works Call Center via either a download from the East Bay Bicycle Coalition online hazards reporting system, or another well know online reporting tool such as SeeClickFix, to facilitate easy reporting of road hazards by cyclists, and easy follow up by the staff and volunteers of the East Bay Bicycle Coalition. I am confident that, with greater partnership between your Public Works Department and the East Bay Bicycle Coalition, we can use our limited resources and funding for roadway repair to the best result in saving lives and avoiding injury to the residents and visitors here in Oakland. I very much appreciate the dedication and cooperation of your bicycle program staff. We have productive monthly meetings on implementation of the Oakland Bicycle Master Plan. Our collaborative relationship with transportation planning staff would be enhanced by this additional meeting we request above in item 3 giving us access to staff with decision-making authority within repaving and repair, as we recognize that this is something that is outside of the authority of the bicycle program staff at Public Works. Thank you for considering our request. I will give you a call to find a time to discuss this request further in person. I look forward to meeting with you soon. Sincerely,

Renee Rivera Executive Director

CC: Mayor Jean Quan Oakland City Council Members