Big Win: San Leandro Bike Plan Approved

On March 19, the San Leandro City Council voted unanimously to approve the city’s updated Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan. Bike East Bay and Bike Walk San Leandro members turned out to speak in support of the final plan and its strong vision for a family-friendly bikeway network in San Leandro.

In her public comment, Bike Walk San Leandro leader and BPAC member Sarah Bailey emphasized the importance of biking and walking in connecting people across the city. “We have this bike network and particularly this plan that embraces the city,” she explained while pointing out the major cross-town corridors in the plan’s bikeway map. “When people walk and bike they literally see each other eye to eye. …We can bridge the barriers we have between neighborhoods and have a whole city that speaks to each other.”

During the plan process, San Leandro members and local leaders spoke out with a vision for bike-friendly streets. Thanks to your letters and over 200 responses to an online survey, the final plan now recommends protected bikeways or protected bikeway studies on high-traffic streets, including Bancroft Avenue, Williams Street, and Doolittle Drive.

In the fall, San Leandro released a draft of the bike plan that failed to address community concerns about access to schools and safety on busy streets. Even though the city is relatively flat, bicycling can be stressful due to high-speed traffic and gaps in the bike lane network. The first draft of the bike plan offered to close some of those gaps with outdated solutions and unprotected bike lanes.

With the help of local leaders from Bike Walk San Leandro, Bike East Bay successfully advocated for revising the bike plan to include a network of protected bike lanes. Local advocates especially emphasized the importance of safe access to schools. The revised plan now includes a vision for protected bikeways on Bancroft Avenue and Williams Street to reduce congestion and improve safety for students at San Leandro High School, Bancroft Middle School, and John Muir Middle School, plus several elementary schools.

“This revised, much improved master plan draft is an important first step for a bike-friendly San Leandro. A network of protected bike lanes will make it safer and more enjoyable for people in different neighborhoods to ride to school, BART, work, downtown, the Bay Trail and more,” said Donna Chang, founder of Bike Walk San Leandro.

Now, the City of San Leandro is pursuing funding for its protected bikeway studies on Williams Street and Bancroft Avenue. When the time comes, your input will be needed to ensure that those bikeway projects reflect the needs of the community and the vision for San Leandro’s schools.

Sign up for San Leandro action alerts to stay involved as the City moves towards implementing the plan.

Want to get involved with your bike community in San Leandro? Join Bike Walk San Leandro on Facebook to get rolling with group rides, events, and advocacy.