Shaping a community-centered pedestrian and bike path through West Oakland

The West Oakland Link is a proposed 1.1-mile-long, elevated pedestrian and bicycle pathway intended to safely connect West Oakland to the Bay Skyway/Bay Bridge Trail and the Port. Through an ongoing series of collaborative meetings, local outreach, and working directly with the agencies involved, WOEIP is ensuring that the West Oakland community plays a meaningful role in shaping this important transportation project in our neighborhood.

Throughout the project’s design and engineering phase now underway, WOEIP is hosting a series of Community Planning Sessions, and providing a feedback loop for West Oakland residents to engage directly with project planners and designers.

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Review the designs

There are five key segments along the 1.1-mile path. Each location has its own set of complexities. You can explore the designs for each segment below.

Segment 1: Mandela Parkway Gateway
  • Map of West Oakland with segment 1 highlighted in pink.
  • Aerial black-and-white photograph of the intersection at Mandela and West Grand.
  • A pink line along Mandela ending at the intersection of Mandela and West Grand shows where the Link picks up.
  • Planned bike paths in blue line both sides of Mandela and West Grand, while the Link path runs along the southwest edge of West Grand.

Graphics produced by Einwiller Kuehl, Landscape Architect.

Segment 2: West Grand Alley
  • Map of West Oakland with segment 2 highlighted in pink.
  • Black-and-white aerial photo of West Grand, showing West Grand Alley running alongside the freeway ramp.
  • Black-and-white aerial photo of West Grand showing the Link path in pink running alongside West Grand on a now-carless street, from Wood St. to Mandela.
  • Black-and-white aerial photo of West Grand showing the Link path in pink descending from freeway elevation and looping back alongside West Grand at ground level, separating the West Grand freeway ramp from a new pedestrian path on now-carless West Grand Alley.
  • Cross-section illustration facing the West Grand freeway ramp, with a 10-foot bike/pedestrian path at freeway level looping down into a 10-foot bike path at ground level to the left. To the left of that is additional pedestrian path access.
  • Cross-section illustration showing Wood St. running under the freeway, with Link path overhead and exiting under the freeway at the Wood St. and West Grand intersection, depositing users onto bike/pedestrian paths at ground level.
Segment 3: Frontage Road Loop

  • Map of West Oakland showing the Frontage Road Loop highlighted in pink.
  • Black-and-white aerial photograph of the elevated highway 880 running top to bottom, with multi-lane Frontage Rd. running alongside at ground level, and West Grand Ave crossing both left to right about midway through the photo.
  • The same black-and-white aerial photograph, showing the Link path in pink running along West Grand at ground level, crossing Frontage Road under Highway 880, then looping up to freeway elevation in a winding arc between freeway spans, to connect to the rest of the Link trail.
  • Another aerial view of the winding Link path in pink along West Grand, connecting to blue bike paths intersecting from Wood Street, then running across Frontage Road and under Freeway 880, to loop up to elevation and connect to the freeway-level path to the rest of the trail. Access stairs are marked in yellow where the path loops between freeway spans.

Graphics produced by Einwiller Kuehl, Landscape Architect.

Segment 4: Maritime Street

  • Map of West Oakland showing segment 4 of the Link path in pink.
  • Black-and-white aerial photo of I-80 running top to bottom and Maritime Street running from the left underneath I-80 into Wake Street to the right.
  • The same photo showing the existing bike trail (in blue) running along Maritime to connect with the Link path (in pink), at the intersection of Maritime and West Grand under the freeway. Pedestrian figures walk along the pink Link path running from ground level at the intersection alongside Grand, slowly ascending, then reaching a switchback moving in the opposite direction alongside the elevated freeway to the rest of the trail.
  • A black-and-white aerial view of the intersection looking from Maritime Street toward I-80. A blue bike path follows Maritime, connecting to the Link access ramp under the freeway at Maritime and West Grand. The Link, in pink, ascends at a grade until it reaches an elevation just below the level of the freeway, where it connects to the rest of the path running right and left along the freeway's length.

Graphics produced by Einwiller Kuehl, Landscape Architect.

Segment 5: Touchdown
  • Map of West Oakland featuring segment 5 of the Link path in pink.
  • Black-and-white aerial photo showing the I-880 freeway ramp connecting to I-80 with the rest of Oakland and Emeryville in the far distance. Burma Road sweeps along the underside of the freeway in a curved loop towards the water.
  • The same black-and-white photo of I-880 connecting to I-80, with an existing bike path in blue running along Burma Road in the foreground, which loops underneath the freeway back toward the Bay Trail, with Emeryville in the distance. The Link ramp, in pink, descends from the freeway level to the ground just over the Burma Road bike trail, then looping around and connecting to it under the freeway.
  • Black-and-white photo of the path under the freeway, viewed from the opposite direction. The existing blue bike path runs underneath the freeway, then splits at Burma Road, where the Link ramp begins in pink. Pedestrian figures cross the blue bike path here and there.
  • An illustrated side view of the Link's touchdown ramp alongside the freeway. The ramp descends at a 4.5% slope, makes a switchback, then descends to the ground at an additional 4.5% slope.

Graphics produced by Einwiller Kuehl, Landscape Architect.

Watch the latest community presentation

View previous meetings on YouTube.

Community feedback ⇩

WOEIP and MTC are hosting a series of design sessions with the community to gather ideas and feedback that will inform the final design of the project. This ongoing process has surfaced some consistent themes that continue to evolve as the community weighs in.

Review early feedback (PDF)

A desire to minimize air pollution exposure from vehicle exhaust coming from the freeways and roads adjacent to the Link’s path.

Concerns about the safety of isolated areas, with calls for good lighting, visibility, and maintenance.

A call for effective signage and environmental design that aids wayfinding and spotlights the location’s unique history and circumstances.

Insistence that the path be accessible to those with mobility limitations.

Reminders that some West Oaklanders depend on auto transit through the area.

A desire to reduce noise pollution from adjacent roadways.

Tell us what you think

You can help shape the West Oakland Link, too!

About the West Oakland Link

Planning for the West Oakland Link began a decade ago, in an effort to create
a safe path for pedestrians and cyclists to travel between West Oakland’s residential
neighborhoods and the Bay Bridge Trail, Treasure Island, and downtown San
Francisco. The project is now in the design phase, with construction expected to be completed in 2025-2026.

Who is responsible for the project?

The West Oakland Link project is managed by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and Bay Area Toll Authority.

What is the project timeline?

Fall-Winter 2023

Community-driven design

Project planners work with the community to inform the design of the West Oakland Link pathway to get the designs to approximately 35% completion.

Spring-Summer 2024

Community review and revised designs

Project planners share iterative designs based on community input, including explanation for what hasn’t been included and further community collaboration to bring the designs to approximately 65% completion.

Fall-Winter 2024

Construction introduction

Community reviews nearly-final designs, including critical features, and the proposed construction timeline.


Pre-construction community planning

Project planners share construction plans and explore construction’s impact on the community with residents.

Early 2026

Construction begins

Construction of the first segments of the Link begins.


Construction completed

Final construction is completed and West Oakland and other Bay Area pedestrians and cyclists now have fully expanded access to the Bay Trail and wider Bay Area.

How much will it cost and who is paying for it?

The projected $100 million project is supported by the Bay Area Toll Authority, Alameda County Transportation Commission, the City of Oakland, and Caltrans. $25 million in Federal, State, and local funds have been allocated for construction, and the project team is pursuing transportation grants from Federal, State, and local sources to cover the remaining $75 million of costs to fund construction fully.

What are the potential environmental impacts of the West Oakland Link?

According to project planners, “impacts would come primarily from construction, with recommended mitigations ranging from dust control to appropriate disposal of hazardous materials encountered during soil excavation.” Read MTC’s full impact analysis.

Can the funding for this project be spent on other things instead?

The money earmarked for the West Oakland Link is specifically allocated for infrastructure and transportation projects, and cannot be reallocated to other investments.

Who will be responsible for maintaining the path once it’s built?

Maintenance for the elevated portions of the Link will be funded by the Bay Area Toll Authority, and carried out by CalTrans. Ground-level portions of the trail require an alternative maintenance strategy, which is currently being developed by Bay Area Toll Authority staff.

Have other locations for the path been explored?

Early in the project’s planning days, several routes were explored. This route was selected by the community at the time, and includes land that is largely owned by CalTrans and the City of Oakland. The Seventh Street path will connect with the West Oakland Link via the Maritime Street path and will provide an alternative route for residents of West Oakland to use the Link.

Want to know more?

For project details or to get involved, email Nicole Merino Tsui.

Community engagement funding for this effort is provided by:

MTC logo