Oakland’s overall Walk Score is a respectable 69, just one point shy of the Very Walkable designation. Oakland has so many great, walkable spaces that it’s impossible to list them all.  Here the most inviting places to walk in Oakland, based on our very biased sampling:

  • Chinatown: Chinatown not only has some of the highest pedestrian density in Oakland, it also has the most beautiful pedestrian scramble crosswalks and an almost perfect Walk Score of 97.
  • Fruitvale: The neighborhood near Fruitvale BART offers not only great amenities within walking distance but vibrant culture and arts that add a rich texture to the street life. Walk Score: 90.
  • Rockridge, Temescal, and Piedmont Avenue: These three neighborhoods have commercial strips with everything you need within easy walking distance. You can get coffee while your shoes are being repaired, pick up a few groceries on your way home from a matinee, browse for books or clothes while you are waiting to meet your friends for dinner: the essence of walkbility. Rockridge: 86,  Temescal: 90, Piedmont Avenue: 93.
  • Grand Lake: Like the three neighborhoods above, Grand Lake offers a host of amenities, from the mundane to the extravagant, in a compact area, but with the added bonus of proximity to the natural beauty of Lake Merritt. Walk Score: 91.
  • Adams Point: Although this neighborhood doesn’t have the highest Walk Score (82), it has to be declared the winner among Oakland’s residential neighborhoods because of its proximity to just about everything in the center of the city. Residents can walk to Lake Merritt, Grand Lake, Downtown, Uptown, and Chinatown, without breaking a sweat.
  • Downtown: New residents and businesses have reinvigorated street life in Oakland’s urban core. Plus, it’s an easy walk to many desirable destinations, including Lake Merritt, Jack London Square, and Old Oakland. Great transit makes Downtown Oakland a true hub for the city and the region, with a deservedly outstanding Walk Score of 97.

Where do you like to walk in Oakland? Let us know!

9 Responses

  1. Len Raphael

    Lower Rockridge and Temescal are very walkable but it is not obvious that people who can are walking very much.

    Over the last few days and evenings of great weather I’ve walked many blocks putting up flyers for a community organized Temescal security patrol. Go a block away from College, Telegraph or 40th, or a few spots on Bway, there aren’t any walkers except for BART and bus commuters after 7pm and even during the day.

    Hard to say how much of that is concern about crime, how much is just addiction to cars, and how much is just that there no parks or recreation areas (unless you count Mountain View cemetery) to walk or bike to. There are just places to go to buy food/drink, buy stuff, and get your hair done, That’s fine but only goes so far.

  2. r2d2ii

    Most of Oakland’s most walkable neighborhoods are known only to those who live and walk there. And they no doubt prefer to keep things that way.

  3. amyinoaktown

    I love walking through Trestle Glen neighborhood off Lakeshore. Pretty houses, safe and lots of friendly folks.

  4. Bob Wang

    They aren’t really walkable right after 6 or 7 pm or when it becomes dark. You probably get mugged or robbed by thugs. And that’s considered lucky because worse case you might get stabbed or beat up for no reasons. The beauty of Oakland.

  5. John Smith

    I wonder why the Laurel didn’t make the list. Its the only neighborhood that has a walkable organic grocery store, bbq, pizza, Chinese, Louisiana Chicken, favorable yelp reviewed brunch, and Cambodian restaurants. Also, a really great ACE hardware, a Bank Of America, and a kids dance studio and hair cut place.

  6. Brennan

    I am lucky to live just a couple blocks off Piedmont Ave. It really is an eminently walkable area and I love being able to do my errands on foot. I would deduct some points for sidewalk width though. They are ridiculously narrow for the amount of foot traffic there, and they have many fixed obstacles. Too much street space was carved out for cars.

  7. Len Raphael

    Are you sure that the width of Piedmont Ave was designed to accommodate cars and not the Key Route Line?

    “After the success of their first route to Berkeley, the Key System constructed a second line to Piedmont Avenue. Piedmont Avenue was largely undeveloped so the line provided a great opportunity to make money through real estate development. Service started on June 1, 1904 when fares to San Francisco were 10 cents. The line ran from the Emeryville Shops at 40th & San Pablo via 40th Street to 41st & Piedmont where the station was.”

  8. r2d2ii

    Regarding the Laurel, walkability is all about the number of people actually walking along the street. This is not just a theoretical matter or strictly a matter of how many shops are along the street. It’s actually about people.

    The Laurel, despite the number of shops, is NOT a walkable street. Heavy, fast-moving traffic, most people shopping there arrive in cars and they will drive from one end of the shopping district to the other rather than walk it.

    There was an opportunity to redesign MacArthur in the Laurel to make it more walkable, by widening sidewalks and reducing the automobile capacity. Quan, then the District 4 Council member, nixed it. Quan doesn’t walk. Current Council member Schaaf doesn’t walk either.

  9. Dave Campbell

    My top 5 most walkable neighborhoods:

    1. Jack London District: it has by far the calmest traffic while still providing a mix of restaurants, businesses and residents

    2. Downtown Oakland: the most walkable destinations in the City with a growing residential population

    3. Fruitvale: agree with everything you said here

    4. International Blvd East Oakland: if you can judge the walkability of a neighborhood by the number of people out and about enjoying it on foot, East Oakland in the 80’s and 90’s has it

    5. Rockridge: for sure. All it lacks are jobs



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.