Link: UCOP's e-newsletter

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Lake Merritt: Give the lake a break

The City of Oakland is asking residents to find recreational alternatives to Lake Merritt, as crowded conditions at the lake may accelerate the transmission of COVID-19. The following message from the City of Oakland includes the latest on local traffic management closures.

Lake Merritt is Oakland’s crown jewel, a place of extraordinary beauty where everyone feels at home. It’s a refuge for people and wildlife alike. And lately, it has become very crowded. It’s time to give the lake a break!

We are still in the early months of a global pandemic, and COVID-19 cases are spiking across California and the country; in Alameda County, COVID-related hospitalizations are on the rise.

The City of Oakland is reminding residents that: if you need to get outdoors for fresh air and exercise, which is important for our physical and mental health, check out Oakland Slow Streets for good options in neighborhoods throughout the city. Or visit a nearby park. But please, find another alternative to Lake Merritt.

On weekends, crowded conditions at Lake Merritt have become unsafe in two ways:

  1. Overcrowding could accelerate the spread of COVID-19
  2. Traffic and parking congestion have become hazardous, and have prevented emergency access and response

With the need to provide more opportunity for physical distancing as people flock to Lake Merritt for exercise and recreation, coupled with significant traffic and parking congestion that has developed as a result of the Lake’s summertime popularity, on weekends the city will be implementing additional measures to improve traffic safety and expand opportunities for physical distancing.

Traffic management, parking and closures

The following closures and restrictions will take place on Saturday and Sunday, beginning at 7:30 a.m. and continuing until 11 p.m. They will improve traffic safety, allow greater access for bicyclists and pedestrians around Lake Merritt and allow emergency vehicle access.

Lakeshore Avenue

  • Closed in the southbound direction from MacArthur to Hanover
  • Center lane closed
  • Northbound will remain open
  • No parking will be permitted on the southbound side

Lakeshore Avenue cul-de-sac: Access will be restricted to residents living on the cul-de-sac or people accessing the church.

El Embarcadero: Closed in both directions

Lakeview Library parking lot: Closed

Bellevue Avenue: No parking will be permitted on the lake side, from Perkins to Grand.

Additional parking restrictions: No parking on the lake side of any street abutting Lake Merritt, including Lakeside Drive, Grand Avenue, and 12th Street.

Community engagement

Park Ambassadors, firefighters, and municipal code enforcement officers will be present on both days to engage with the community and remind them of the importance of wearing face coverings and staying six feet apart. Together we can stay healthy and beat COVID-19.

For more information and current news, visit the City of Oakland website.

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