As advocates, we probably don’t complement staff often enough on the work they do to improve streets for bicycling. Yes, like a copy machine, sometimes the Oakland Public Works bikeway construction machine (now Department of Transportation) is never fast enough for our satisfaction. But Oakland has included many new bikeways as part of projects beyond the 2007 Oakland Bicycle Master Plan. When this happens, a bonus complete street gets built, and we do appreciate it.
Jason Patton, Oakland’s Bicycle & Pedestrian Program Manager (shown here) and his team in Oakland’s Department of Transportation, are responsible for many of Oakland’s bonus lanes. [photo credit: East Bay Express]
While adding a bike lane to a street does not de facto make a street fully ‘complete’ in a way that works for all users, it is a step in that direction. Oakland has many examples of these ‘bonus’ bike lanes–streets with added or upgraded bike lanes, or streets soon to get them, that were not included in the planned bike network. Oakland staff often gives us a heads up they are coming, and sometimes agrees with our requests for these additional facilities. Either way, a growing bike network benefits more residents.
Oakland’s new Department of Transportation will build upon this complete street approach, incorporating best design practices into every bike project, making sure no repaving project forgets to include a new bike lane and better coordinating bus and bike improvements at the same time. And if hard-working staff don’t give us a heads up on every new bonus bike improvement, that is ok with us.
|Photo to come
|MLK Jr Way
|a safer street for residents to walk often results in a better street for bicycling. Part of the West Oakland Specific Plan, MLK Jr Way north of Grand Ave received a lot of attention, due to speeding traffic and lack of retail. The result is approval of a road diet with bike lanes and improved pedestrian crossings. Oakland recently received a state grant to build the project, which we expect to happen in the next two years
|bikes and buses are a good combination, and we don’t care what anyone says. Streets improved for both modes give commuters more options, and that is good for everyone. Bus Rapid Transit vehicles start running in 2017, along International Blvd primarily, but in downtown Oakland along 11th St as well. Since the street is four lanes wide and only need a portion of that width for cars, staff decided to add a bike lane. Again, why not?
|back when the State Transportation Improvement Program has money, Caltrans built things and one of the last approved projects to get funding was a new 29th Avenue bridge. While the bike lanes will not be wonderful, modern bike lanes, there will be new bike lanes, which will improve the connection between Jingletown and Fruitvale
|the bike plan calls for sharrows, but staff found room for continuous bike lanes, except one block at the Rockridge Library. This is coming soon
|another sharrow upgrade project. Staff found a way to add bike lanes to Broadway Terrace’s upcoming repaving project
|above Foothill Blvd, the bike plan says sharrows but staff are adding an uphill bike lane, similar to College Avenue’s upgrade
|from MacArthur Blvd to Santa Clara Ave, staff narrowed travel lanes to 10’ in order to fit in the bike lanes. Coming soon
|Repaving happening now. In Jack London District, staff first tried sharrows and now they are going to try bike lanes, from Washington St to Oak St, with narrow 10ft travel lanes. Should be installed later this summer
|Instead of sharrows, staff is doing an uphill bike lane. Coming soon – hopefully later this year
|getting repaved this August with one less travel lane and a bike lane. It’s a Measure DD project
New bike lanes are always a highly-anticipated addition to Oakland streets, but bonus bike lanes are needed too and often just as well used by residents. Thank you Oakland staff for squeezing out additional dedicated space for residents bicycling around town. Now, get back to work :).