The city of Oakland plans to close several roads around Lake Merritt and Grizzly Peak Boulevard in the hills to vehicle traffic for upcoming holidays, in an effort to reduce traffic jams and safety hazards during the celebrations.
The road closures go into effect this weekend, for Sunday’s Juneteenth festivities, and over Fourth of July weekend. See the full list of closures.
This Sunday, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Lakeshore Avenue will be closed to traffic and parking between MacArthur Boulevard and E. 18th Street. The I-580W Lakeshore freeway exit will be closed, but the Grand Avenue exit will stay open.
El Embarcadero will be closed as well, while Grand Avenue will remain open aside from one eastbound lane closure. Bellevue Avenue will be closed to non-residents from Perkins to Grand.
Explaining the Lakeshore closure, the city said in a news release that cars double-parking along the road can “create significant traffic jams and, of greatest concern, impede access for emergency vehicles like fire trucks and ambulances.”
Afrocentric will host a two-day Juneteenth festival at the Lake Merritt Amphitheater this weekend, including a Pan-African Wellness Fest on Saturday and a family celebration on Sunday “promoting community, culture, and love.”
Those looking to avoid the lake area altogether can check out numerous other Juneteenth events throughout Oakland and the East Bay, including food festivals, parades, and dance parties.
Fourth of July
The same closures of Lakeshore and El Embarcadero will be in effect July 3, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., and July 4, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. In addition, for that holiday weekend, Grand Avenue will close to traffic and parking between MacArthur and Bellevue.
Grizzly Peak Boulevard will also be closed to through car traffic between Skyline Boulevard and Centennial Drive over the Fourth of July weekend, in an attempt to reduce fire risk where crowds tend to gather at popular lookout spots, and to allow emergency vehicles to pass through. The Grizzly Peak closure will be in effect from 5 a.m. on July 3 to 5 a.m. on July 5.