Telegraph Ave bikeway

Telegraph Ave proposalAlexia Underwood nails it when she reports in Oakland North about her initial bicycle commute on Telegraph Ave as follows, “the experience was more harrowing than I had expected (See: Lanesplitting). She concluded, “maybe I should do a little more investigating before taking the city’s bike route maps at face value.”

The horror of riding on Telegraph Ave below Aileen St to Downtown Oakland–where the bike lanes end and the potholes begin–cannot be ignored any longer by the City of Oakland. The crowded bike parking during the Temescal Festival on June 7, 2009 and EBBC’s Bike Away from Work Day Party was testimony to the popularity of bicycling in this area. For bicyclists, direct alternatives to Telegraph Ave between Oakland and Berkeley do not exist.

Continuous bike lanes would exist today if a group of Temescal residents and merchants had not mounted a legal challenge in 1999, based on the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), to the project that was fully funded by the Air District.

The East Bay Bicycle Coalition is pursuing two courses of action to improve bicyclist safety and close this gap in the Telegraph Ave bikeway (see 2009 campaigns). We continue to push Oakland to invest federal stimulus funds to repair the minefield of hazardous potholes, especially between Aileen and 51st Sts. Secondly transportation advocates are campaigning statewide to amend the Transportation Guideline policy in CEQA that legally protects “congestion management” rather than promoting greater utility of our streets for all users.

A groundswell of support to finally complete the Telegraph Ave bikeway can really make a difference. Ask your Oakland City Councilmembers Nadel, Brunner & Kaplan to make Oakland’s transportation funding priorities include bicycle and pedestrian safety improvements on lower Telegraph Avenue.

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