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Buses and Bikes Play Nice on Hearst Avenue

Author: Bike East Bay

Date: January 5, 2018

Hearst Avenue is Berkeley’s newest protected bikeway—running six blocks from Shattuck Avenue uphill to Euclid Avenue—and the second to open within the past two months near UC Berkeley. It is now safer and easier to walk, bike, and take transit near campus thanks to new green-painted protected bike lanes, bus boarding islands, shorter crosswalks, and traffic-calming lane configurations.

From “Pop-Up” to Reality

It took hundreds of emails, petition signatures, and people showing up at meetings to make Hearst Avenue a reality. In 2015, Bike East Bay successfully pushed the city to add protected bike lanes to the project. Thanks to our pop-up protected bikeway at Berkeley Sunday Streets that year, Bike East Bay convinced the city to extend the protected bike lane all the way to Shattuck Avenue.

The street features two new bus boarding islands, which allow buses to pull up to a stop without crossing into the bike lane. The bus islands also separate you from traffic. By reducing conflicts with bikes, this feature is expected to speed up AC Transit service and increase safety. People biking will also get better accomodations at stop lights and intersections thanks to the two-stage green turn boxes at Oxford Street and new bike traffic signals at Euclid Avenue.

As a pedestrian, you will now only have to cross two—rather than four—lanes of traffic to get to and from university facilities on either side of Hearst Avenue. The street changes increase safety for everyone by lowering speeds to 25 mph and making drivers more aware of people walking, taking transit and bicycling.

The project still has room for improvement—in particular bus and truck loading zones on the block between Walnut Avenue and Oxford Street. Please let us know issues you come across in the Hearst Avenue survey.

Celebrate the Grand Opening

Bike East Bay and the City of Berkeley will celebrate the opening of both Hearst Avenue and Bancroft Way safety improvements with a joint ribbon cutting ceremony. Join Mayor Jesse Arreguin and other Berkeley City Councilmembers on Friday, January 26, 2018 at 10:00am for the festivities, Hearst Ave & Le Conte.

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