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Oakland Celebrates a New Telegraph

Author: Bike East Bay

Date: May 10, 2016

Mayor Libby Schaaf and Council President Lynette McElhaney cut a ribbon May 10 on Telegraph Avenue’s protected bike lanes, and ushered in an era of modern bike lanes in Oakland. Oakland Public Works staff were on hand to celebrate and to remind us that additional new bike lanes are coming this year to upper Broadway, West MacArthur Blvd, Clay St, Oak St, Madison St, and to Grand Avenue this Thursday in time for Bike to Work Day.

Volunteer to help with a City followup survey on the new Telegraph Ave

Be a Good Bike Ambassador

It’s time to try out Telegraph’s bike lanes if you haven’t already and stop by any of the unique businesses in the KONO Community Improvement District. The new lanes place you practically within arms reach of many unique ethnic markets, restaurants, new night spots, art galleries, and of course First Fridays.

We have ‘parking awards’ for you to hand out to any vehicles parked in the bike lane. These are friendly reminders to park in the new parking spaces away from the curb. Stop by our office at 466 Water Street in Jack London Square to pick some up. Remember, people are still getting used to the new street design. So, be patience and friendly about reminding drivers how to correctly park.

What do you think?

Let Oakland know what you think. Either send an email to [email protected] or call 510.587.9435. More info at: Bike East Bay and Walk Oakland Bike Oakland made Telegraph Avenue our highest priority project two years ago, and thanks to much community engagement and the support of the Koreatown Northgate (KONO) Business Improvement District, the project is starting.

What is a Protected Bike Lane?

As shown here, a protected bike lane is a bike lane that is positioned curbside and is protected on its left from moving vehicles by parked cars, as is the case for Telegraph, or by other physical elements such as curbs, planter boxes, a raised bike lane or flex posts. Telegraph is using parked cars for protection for now, but any of these other elements can be added in the future if necessary. Protected bike lanes are important because, unlike regular bike lanes, their added comfort and perceived safety, encourages many residents interested in bicycling to trying bike commuting for the first time. They are a game-changer.

raised-cycle-track-birdseye.jpgHere is a figure more or less showing the concept for Telegraph Ave’s new design. The road has been reduced from 5 travel lanes (2 in each direction and a center turn lane) to 3 travel lanes (1 in each direction and a center turn lane), with the addition of curbside bike lanes. On-street parking remains. We expect traffic will flow smoothly with this new design because the traffic volumes are low on this stretch of Telegraph Ave.

How Protected Bike Lanes Work: Be In the Know

Here is most everything you need to know about how protected bike lanes work and why they are different from regular bike lanes you have experienced. Have a read and be in the know, as well as be a good ambassador out on the street.

In the Know: How Protected Bike Lanes Work

Two Related Projects

In 2018, Oakland is continuing the bike lanes north to 41st St by adding buffered bike lanes with parked cars along the curb–a design similar to the new bike lanes on Broadway up near Oakland Tech High School. We will be asking for your support to accelerate this ‘phase 2’ part of the project, and get it completed by Bike to Work Day 2017. Above 41st St, Bike East Bay and Walk Oakland Bike Oakland are continuing our outreach efforts to gain public support for continuing bike lanes to Berkeley. We need more support for this effort too. Luckily, Oakland (and Berkeley) are receiving a $3 million grant from the Alameda County Transportation Commission to complete designs and public engagement for bike lanes on Telegraph Avenue all the way up to UC Berkeley. Our work continues.

Also, Latham Square to the south is being completed soon and when done, Oakland will continue bike lanes south from 20th St to the new Latham Square. And Oakland just striped a new bike lane on 16th St, to connect you to Frank Ogawa Plaza.

Streetside Outreach

In the first few weeks, Bike East Bay is conducting streetside outreach to ensure that Oakland’s 1st parking-protected bike lane rolls out smoothly. We need street ambassadors to:

  1. Hand out good car parking awards to those who correctly park and to remind drivers who park in the bike lane to move their cars into an available parking space away from the curb

  2. Drop off a city flyer to the businesses on Telegraph, to provide them an official update about the project with contact information at the City

  3. Talk to people on Telegraph and ask what they think. If they like the project:

    • sign our Supporters List

    • contact the City to express your support

    • volunteer with Bike East Bay

We are also looking for stories of people who regularly use Telegraph Ave and like the project. We are looking for local residents who walk across Telegraph and like how much safer it is; shoppers who feel it is easy to find a parking space and drive up and down Telegraph; transit riders who like the project; local business owners/staff who like the project; people who go to a church on Telegraph; etc. When you find these people, ask them to sign our Supporter List and contact the city. Remind them to note their connection to Telegraph Ave (i.e. I live here, I work here, I shop here, I go to church here, I visit friends here, I bike here, I ride the bus here, etc).

Talking Points

  • A major advantage of protected, curbside bike lanes vs regular bike lanes out in the street is that protected lanes are more attractive to less experienced bicyclists, particularly women, kids and senior citizens, and to people who do not currently bicycle for fear of their safety, but who are interested in bicycling more

  • Telegraph is one of the busiest streets in Oakland, with 1000’s of people bicycling it everyday

  • Telegraph has averaged 1 crash per week over the past 5 years, and thus is a top priority street in Oakland to make safer for everyone

  • Adding a bike lane to Telegraph Ave was the top improvement requested from a community survey in 2014, and this includes from people who regularly drive Telegraph

  • A bike lane makes Telegraph work better for driving because there is a dedicated space for bikes and drivers don’t have to worry about hitting people on bikes

  • Some on-street parking was relocated and removed to design the street with bike lanes and safer pedestrian crossings

  • Oakland has receieved a $4.5 million dollar grant to upgrade this project with bike traffic signals at 27th St, MacArthur and 40th St to make these busy interestions safer for bicycling, and to add bus boarding islands to the left of the bike lanes and eliminate bus/bike conflicts

More on our Telegraph Avenue Complete Street Campaign

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