Thanks to your letters of support, Oakland City Council unanimously approved upgrading the new bike lanes around Lake Merritt on March 6. The newly approved construction change-order will add concrete planted medians to the project being built on Lakeside Drive and Harrison Street. Bike East Bay and Walk Oakland Bike Oakland successfully campaigned to upgrade the project from paint-only bike lanes to protected bike lanes in 2016. The new tree-lined planted medians will not only beautify the street and better protect bicyclists from traffic but also add 35,000 sq ft of recreational space.
Over 40 supporters sent letters to city council and several council members noted the show of support before the vote. Both Children’s Fairyland and the Lake Merritt/Uptown Business Improvement District supported the upgrade. Construction of the protected bike lanes is in progress and Oakland’s Department of Transportation says the upgraded project will be ready to ride this August.
The new protected bike lanes will accommodate even more people walking, jogging, and biking around Lake Merritt. Currently, narrow paths around the lake make it difficult to accommodate everybody. Families with kids and people new to biking stick to the paths to avoid riding on busy streets. The new protected bike lanes will reduce bike and pedestrian conflicts and attract more riders overall.
The protected bike lane on Harrison St. and Lakeside Dr. will be the first completed section of a mini-biking network centered on the intersection of Grand Ave. and Harrison St. By 2020, the city plans to add a protected intersection and extend the protected bike lanes north to 27th St., east to Bay Place near the entrance to Children’s Fairyland, and west on 20th St. all the way to Broadway next to the 19th St. BART station.
Like what you’re seeing? Give @OakDOT your feedback on Oakland’s Bike Plan update.