East Oakland crosswalks a little safer with newly-installed barriers

Parents say they are starting to feel a little safer crossing the streets with their children near Garfield Elementary School in East Oakland.

"People slowing down a lot more. That's what I've seen," said Christina Sueng.

The reason is because recently-installed yellow rubber and plastic barriers along Foothill Boulevard and 22nd Avenue called hardened center lines.

The city said they are the first of their kind in the Bay Area and are designed to force cars making left turns to swing wider, giving them a better view of pedestrians in the crossing lanes.

"The hardened center line is the next level of treatment that gets people to slow down, see a gap in traffic and that pedestrians are clear of the crosswalk," said Oakland Department of Transportation director Ryan Russo. 

The emergence of the barriers were born out of sadness.

Last month Huong Truong was was walking home from pre-kindergarten with her four-year-old niece when she was struck and killed as they crossed 23rd Avenue. The child survived her injuries.

"I've been at Garfield as principal for four years. And every year a student has been hit by a car. This is the first year there was a fatality," said Garfield principal Alicia Arenas

The city is planning on doing more.

"We are studying additional improvements, such as signal improvements and crossing enhancements," said Russo.