Safer Streets By Any Means Necessary?

I’d never noticed this sign at Market and 55th Street in Oakland until last week:

Additional safety improvements to Market Street have occurred since 1967, including bike lanes in each direction, but a reminder that even stop lights and bike lanes don’t eliminate the danger from reckless and absent-minded drivers is three blocks away at the corner of Market and 52nd, where a cyclist was killed a year ago by a driver crossing Market Street (reportedly the cyclist was in the bike lane and the driver was crossing Market Street):

Ghost Bike

7 Responses to “Safer Streets By Any Means Necessary?”

  1. Peter says:

    That’s my corner! It’s also where the panthers were founded… the apartment by the sign was once the north oakland community center where the 10 point plan was written.

  2. John A. Abel says:

    Wow,I did not know the Black Panthers were around in any city.Good to see the migration towards community service.Rochester, NY my hometown was one of the first cities with race riots in the 60’s era with them taking place during the summer of 64 if memory serves in a neighborhood that had been ethnic German,Polish.Italian etc and was now becoming African American and a few years later going down to the German Sausage shop my dad bought cold cuts and sausages from I was surprised to find the Rochester Black Panther Party storefront like two doors down with the big pics of Huey etc pasted in the window.Driving by it after that was sort of surreal even at my age.I knew a change was coming to the neighborhood.

  3. dc says:

    John: Look again—the street-safety activism commemorated by the sign happened in 1967. The Panthers had a strong community service aspect from the beginning, I think. As far as I know the BP Party membership dwindled dramatically after the main leaders were killed or jailed or split apart, but there are still groups that try to carry on parts of their mission, especially here since Oakland is where they started and presumably had the most impact.

  4. John A. Abel says:

    How did I miss the 1967??????.But what other city would put up signs commemorating the Black Panthers.I know in the East Bay at least they were for a time a more neighborhood oriented group till they were taken another direction by the radical elements.The interaction between the Panthers and SDS I recall from a book named SDS? by Todd Gitlin?.I read it while living in Berkeley in 75 and it took away a lot of the romantic noble view I had before that.

  5. John A. Abel says:

    Well my memory is mixing things as I age.SDS was written by Kirkpatrick Sale.Gitlin stuck in my mind because he was an early SDS leader and is talked about quite often in the book.

  6. nnyhav says:

    continuing the um titular theme:

  7. dc says:

    I am apparently pretty sexy on my bike too—how else to explain the women standing on the corners of International Boulevard who call out to me offering dates as I ride by?

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