June 25, 2019
With the highest staff vacancy rate of any department in Oakland, the Oakland Department of Transportation (OakDOT) could use help building better streets. By our count, Oakland has approximately 15 protected bikeway projects in the works, but with time needed for construction, most will take a few years to complete. Meanwhile, new buildings are being constructed, each required to repave the street in front of their projects.Enter Signature Properties and Hanover.
These two developers are nearing completion of new mixed-use housing projects, and they have both constructed new protected bike lanes in front of their developments. On 27th Street at Valdez St., there is a block and a half of new parking-protected bike lanes with the tightest spacing of bollards of any protected bike lane in the East Bay. Because the bollards are so placed so close together, it’s incredibly rare to find cars parked in the bike lane. On the Embarcadero, Signature Properties was originally required to rebuild a four-lane roadway at Brooklyn Basin, but because traffic volumes don’t come close to warranting both lanes, Signature got approval from OakDOT to convert one of the travel lanes in each direction to a protected bike lane and construction completed this month.
With 6,000+ housing units in the pipeline throughout the Town, OakDOT has many more opportunities to require developer-built protected bike lanes, and they should. These development projects include both market rate and affordable housing projects and are located throughout the city. People of all abilities and income levels need safe streets for bicycling, scooting, and walking.
Oakland is not the only city catching on: Richmond has a developer-built protected bike lane planned for Harbor Way, and Berkeley has one in the works too. More than just repaving and keeping business-as-usual, developer-built protected bikeways are another tool in completing a more exceptional biking network.
Want to learn more about the network improvements coming to your neighborhood? Visit our campaigns page to learn more!