Locals call for changes at dangerous East Bay intersection

The intersection with no wheelchair access to help them safely cross the street is located near San Leandro at Liberty Street and 159th Avenue, not far from Interstate 580.

Local resident Isaac Lyons says there's no other option but to go into traffic.

"I'm like, 'Oh well, there's another obstacle for people in wheelchairs.' So I just have to take the street," explained Lyons.

For the last six years, Lyons has relied on his wheelchair to get around. He lost his mobility to multiple sclerosis, but didn't lose his personality.

Lyons told KTVU getting out and about helps lift his sprits. That's why he goes to the nearby 7-Eleven store several times a week. But the lack of a wheelchair access ramp makes getting there a problem.

"There's no driveway exit or wheelchair exit. There's nothing there, so you take the street," said Lyons.

The intersection has easy access for wheelchairs on two sides of the four way crossing, but once Lyons is in the roadway and attempt to cross the road you're stuck.

The issue has left Lyons and others fearful something bad could happen.

"A speeding car coming through and trying to make that turn and not knowing that there is person there in a wheelchair," said Lyons.

Some of the people just stay in the street to cross, but others in the area have a routine.

"Go down to the dirt there's a little board down there. You've got to be real careful going down and then we're in the dirt. Then we have to go down so far to the driveway and then it puts us out in the street to go across," said Oakland resident Glenn Harrison.

The dangerous crossing is something people in wheelchairs have had to do for years.

Alameda County officials said they installed the wheelchair access on one side several years ago when they built the sidewalks, but the other area hasn't been touched since Caltrans widened I-580. But the hope now is to change that.

"We're looking into see if there's anything structurally tied in with the bridge. We want to make sure when we build the ramps that we don't cut into the bridge by accident," said James Chu of Alameda County Public Works.

Chu said there is a project planned on Liberty Street sometime this year and hope to either build a ramp or realign the crosswalk sometime soon.