The first section of Oakland’s newest protected bikeway has taken shape, and people are taking notice.
The Oakland Department of Transportation (OakDOT) took down the barriers last week, a soft opening to the two-way protected bikeway along Lake Merritt. Complete with bike turn lanes, bike traffic lights, designated ADA parking, and lush landscaping, the bikeway is a terrific example of what you can and should expect from well-designed bikeways.
Melanie Curry from Streetsblog California writes, “wide, well-marked two-way lanes, a planted median separating bikes from traffic, a new wide sidewalk going in next to the current lakeside path…what is not to like?” Those spacious bike lanes will make travel easier and safer for all levels of riders. It also frees up space for people walking and jogging along the current sidewalk, making a day out on Lake Merritt even more enjoyable.
Just a few years ago, this project seemed fated for a paint-only treatment. Then, in 2016, Bike East Bay and Walk Oakland Bike Oakland successfully campaigned to upgrade the original project to protected bike lanes. OakDOT staff took our request one step further with a cycle track—those shiny two-way protected bike lanes. Thanks to your outstanding emails of support, Oakland City Council unanimously approved those upgrades earlier this year.
Construction is still active around the path, so proceed with caution for now. Even more improvements are on deck in 2019 and 2020, including a protected intersection at Harrison Street at Grand Avenue, sprucing up nearby Snow Park, and bringing the path around to Children’s Fairyland. You won’t have to wait much longer to enjoy these fantastic new features at Lake Merritt.
Bike East Bay works to make fantastic projects like this a reality. Support our work and become a member today!