Close this search box.

Bike East Bay and Walk Oakland Bike Oakland continue to push for protected bikeways along the entire stretch of Telegraph Avenue, but the fight is getting tougher and we need your help. Come to City Council Dec 9 in support.

What you can do:

The Telegraph Ave project timeline has been extended, giving everyone additional time to weigh in on plans to calm traffic, increase safety and add bikeways to Telegraph Ave. The optimistic goal of having a preferred redesign agreed upon before August City Council recess in now unrealistic, and the City of Oakland is shooting for a September release of the preferred design for each section of Telegraph Avenue between 20th St and 57th St.

Bike East Bay and Walk Oakland Bike Oakland continue to push for protected bikeways along the entire stretch of Telegraph Avenue, but the fight is getting tougher and we need your help. Design constraints are making it difficult to configure protected bikeways through the heart of the Temescal, with proposals for buffered bike lanes and sharrows replacing the protected bikeway design that has a growing consensus from 20th St up toward the Temescal District. The stretch of Telegraph Avenue between MacArthur Blvd and 52nd St is most at risk of not getting comfortable, well designed bikeways.

Summary of Business District Input to date:

  • Temescal BID: has not taken a postion yet but is showing consensus on a road diet from 20th St up to at least 46th St with a combination of protected bikeways, buffered bike lanes, sharrows and bike lanes
  • Koreatown Northgate (KONO) BID: voted 10-1 on June 10 to support protected bikeway designs on Telegraph Ave
  • Temescal Merchants Association met June 11, and had a lively discussion but took no action
  • Lake Merritt Uptown BID met June 18 and expressed strong support. They expect to take a vote in July

You can help by reminding one of these 90 Telegraph bikeway supportive businesses to attend their BID meeting and show support.

Volunteers Hit the Streets

Bike East Bay volunteers have been hitting the steet on Telegraph, making businesses aware of plans to transform Telegraph into a more vibrant neighborhood street bustling with visitors, enjoyed by residents and supported by successful retail businesses. Between 20th and 57th streets, plans include a new bikeway, safer pedestrian crossings, calmer traffic and upgraded bus stops. To date 90 businesses agree this is a great plan and want to see it implemented. Full list of these supportive businesses. Please patronize these local establishments who support a safer, more people-friendly Telegraph Avenue. And volunteer with other dedicated Bike East Bay members helping to build a new protected bikeway on Telegraph.

Telegraph Avenue Complete Streets Plan is a City of Oakland project to design Telegraph to be a better street for walking, bicycling, riding transit, and driving between 20th and 57th Streets. As you know, in its current state Telegraph Avenue has major safety issues for all users, including speeding cars that not only are dangerous but are shoppers not shopping here, no space for bicycling?just share the road with SUVs, inadequately sized bus stops, intimidating pedestrian crossings, and public safety concerns due to a lack of more people on the street throughout the evening. Fortunately there is strong public support to change this. Bike East Bay and Walk Oakland Bike Oakland have prioritized building a great bikeway on Telegraph Ave by calming traffic, and bringing the street ?together? by reducing travel lanes, making walking across the street quick and easy, and greening the street with more space for plants. The goal is to improve the experience for the thousands of people walking and bicycling Telegraph everyday.

Strong Support at Public Workshops

Over 250 people attended a Telegraph Avenue Complete Street open house, including Bike East Bay members who spoke about how bicycling is a part of their life and it’s how they get around Telegraph neighborhoods. Showing keen interest in the project were Councilmembers Dan Kalb, Lynette McElhaney and Rebecca Kaplan, whose staff all attended the open houses. Over 300 comment cards have been submitted on the preferred design options. Oakland city planners are hearing loud and clear from so many supporters that protected bikeways are the preferred option to encourage them and many more to bicycle for more trips.

While we have growing support to make Telegraph Avenue more walkable and more bikeable, make no mistake, there are people who oppose this project for a variety of reasons, from concerns about congestion, parking, and turning movements. Our preferred option addresses all of these concerns, but we need your help talking to businesses about how walkable, bikeable streets are good for their business and will bring more customers through their doors. If you can help, contact Dave Campbell, Bike East Bay Advocacy Director.

Our Preferred Option

Here is Our Summary of Telegraph Design Options one-pager of well-designed protected bikeways for Telegraph Ave, and if you want more details, here is Oakland’s Roadway Design Option Report [20MB pdf]. With your help and support, Oakland could become the first city in California to build parking-protected bikeways on a 2-way busy urban arterial. Oakland has not made any design recommendations yet, only presented deisgn concepts, including protected bike lanes?our preferred option. Oakland is also including pedestrian safety improvements and bus stop improvements, as well as concepts for calming traffic. Based on the feedback Oakland hears from you as well as technical feasibility, they will develop preliminary recommendations to share through a subsequent set of public meetings in summer 2014. Read Streetsblog’s most excellent report on the Telegraph Ave campaign.

Protected Bikeway Demo on Bike To Work Day

Mayor Quan on Protected BikewayCheck out a video of our Protected Bikeway one-day demonstration on Bike to Work Day, Telegraph Ave & 27th St. It was a big hit with the public of course, but also with many planners and traffic engineers in Oakland Public Works Department, who all hopped on a bike and rode up Telegraph Avenue from Downtown to check it out.

Get Involved in Your Neighborhood

  • Join your neighborhood group if you live in the area, and look for supporters of bicycling. Here is a full list on the City’s Website:

    Longfellow Neighborhood Association
    North Oakland, Berkeley, Emeryville Association (still forming)
    Greater Mosswood Neighborhood Association
    Northgate Neighborhood Association: contact Hoang Banh 238-6566 [email protected]
    Temescarl Neighbors Group
    Rockridge Community Planning Council

    Survey Says:

    Oakland has released super encouraging results from their public survey of over 1,100 people using the Telegraph corridor. The highlights:

    Local Businesses Who Support Bikeways on Telegraph

    Christina Bondoc of Barkada kicked off a series of volunteer opportunities called Telegraph Talks, and then the Oasis Market, Telegraph Beer Garden and Commonwealth Cafe & Pub welcomed more volunteers interested in finding out how they can create a great bikeway on Telegraph Ave. The goal is to identify more volunteers reaching out to businesses, churches, neighborhood groups, property owners and other key stakeholders along Telegraph.

    What does the Data Say about Telegraph?

    Oakland Official website for Telegraph Avenue Complete Streets Project

    Other Bikeway Design Ideas to consider:

    For more information on these innovative ideas, go to NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide

    Can you see where Telegraph Ave is on this bicycle crash map of Oakland?

    Back to Oakland Bikeways Campaign

    Support Protected Bike Lanes (or a Cycle Track) for Telegraph: The illustrations on this page show one-way cycle tracks on Telegraph, between 20th St and 27th St but this concept can be extended north toward Berkeley if the Temescal District is supportive. The bikeway is against the curb and a physical barrier provides protection between people bicycling and moving cars, either with flexible posts, stanchions, or parked cars. People feel much safer riding in a bikeway physically separated from cars and cycle tracks encourage people to try bicycling who otherwise would be intimidated by bicycling in traffic. Cities that have built cycle tracks have seen the numbers of people bicycling increase substantially. These cities include Washington, DC, Chicago, New York, Montreal and many more. This is a concept for consideration at this point, drawn up by our volunteers but it is what we are pushing Oakland to build as far up Telegraph toward Berkeley as feasible. The cycle track on Telegraph Avenue can also be a two-way cycle track on one side of the street. As you ride along Telegraph Ave, think about what kind of experience protected bike lanes would provide for you and your friends. For more information on one-way and two-way cycle tracks, check out the NACTO Urban Bikeway Guide Cycle Track page.

    • Talk up the project to your friends and on neighborhood list-serves and encourage hundreds of supportive people to show up and tell Oakland ?we are ready for safe, comfortable bikeway on Telegraph.
    • Patronize these local businesses that support bicycling
    • The most requested improvement is continuous bicycle facilities with 60% support, specifically protected lanes and green paint to promote safety and visibility. Even 53% of ?frequent drivers? support bike improvements, and the highest priority improvement from business owners responding is also bike lanes?higher than more parking and less congestion
    • 73% of respondents say that Telegraph is a great destination?its best feature!
    • 93% of resondents say that Telegraph does not work well for all users in its current configuration. Full report here [4.8 MB pdf]
    • Here are the survey results and project update from the City.
    • The City’s survey had over 1,000 responses, while our member survey received over 450 responses. 80% of our members say that the highest priority bikeway improvement is ?continuous? bikeways that do not stop before intersections and start back up again on the far side, leaving you to dodge traffic while maneuvering through turning cars.
    • See the results of our Telegraph Avenue Bikeway Survey with 450 responses to date
    1. Adopt a local business, church, neighborhood group along Telegraph Ave. Contact Dave Campbell for suggestions or to let him know which business you want to adopt. Here are some Telegraph talking points to get you comfortable.

      • Remind local businesses that the City of Oakland will install free bike racks on the sidewalk in front of their business. All they have to do ask. Contact Jennifer Stanley, Bicycle & Pedestrian Facilities Coordinator, at [email protected].
      • If the business already has a bike rack out front, thank them for that and let them know you appreciate it.
      • don’t be shy about bringing your bike helmet inside with you as a good prop!
      • Patronize the business and get to know the manager/owner.
      • Ask them if many of their customers arrive by walking or bicycling or his/her perceptions of what % of her/his customers arrive by driving
      • Ask the manager/owner what they think of striping a bike lane all the way up and down Telegraph Ave, connecting UC Berkeley to Downtown Oakland
      • Keep the conversation at an amicable level, and about traffic, access and safety in general.
      • If the manager/owner is supportive of bicycling and seems interested in helping, please let us know, contact info above. We need this feedback.
    2. Bikes Mean Business

      • People who walk and bicycle to shop spend more money than people who drive. It sounds counter-intuitive we know, but study after study of similar retail corridors shows that after adding bike lanes and calming traffic, retail activity goes up. Studies conducted in New York, Toronto, San Francisco and Portland all verify the reality that pedestrians and bicyclists are your best customers!
      • The reason for this is that people stop to shop or grab a bite to eat more often when bicycling or walking down a street than they do driving down the same street. Many drivers are simply cutting thru the street. The drivers who do stop may spend more in one single trip by driving, but people bicycling and walking make more trips and spend more money overall.

Do you want more customers coming through your front door? Do you want a raise?

Here’s the data:

  • Portland: survey of 89 businesses showed people walking & bicycling spend up to 50% more per month than drivers
  • New York: after installing protected bikeways on 8th & 9th Avenues in Manhattan, retail activity increased 49% compared to 3% increase borough-wide over same period
  • San Francisco: survey of Valencia Street found that 65% of participating merchants believed protected bike lanes had a positive impact on business. Survey of 800 people visiting Columbus Ave showed that people walking and bicycling spent over 50% more overall than drivers
  • Toronto: survey of 61 merchants and 538 patrons found people arriving by foot and bicycle visit the most often and spend the most money per month

    • Over the past 5 years, Telegraph Ave has averaged a crash/week, including 4 fatalities. It is one of Oakland’s worst streets for traffic safety
    • Peak hour traffic volumes are lower now than they were in 2004.
    • Streets with three lanes vs four lanes have 30% fewer crashes, calmer traffic and similar capacity
    • 15% of people living in Temescal District regularly walk and bicycle to work
    • Weekday bike traffic is twice as high on Telegraph as it is on Webster St
    • In the Temescal District, 2 out of every 3 cars fail to yield to pedestrians crossing the street
    • During peak hours, parking in the Temescal District rarely approach 85% of capacity
    • 13% of traffic on Telegraph at 40th St is people on bikes
    1. buffered bike lanes
    2. 4-2 lane reduction with bike lanes
    3. left-turn restrictions; turn pockets
    4. queue boxes for left turning movements
    5. green paint in conflict zones and to highlight start of bike lanes at each block
    6. on-street bike parking corrals
    7. parklets
    8. other awesome ideas? let us know
    • Background In 1998, as a result of our successful advocacy efforts, Oakland striped a bike lane on Telegraph Avenue from Aileen St up to the Berkeley city line. To do this, the center turn lane was removed, keeping 2 car lanes in each direction. Since then, the bike lanes have proven widely popular and no one even noticed there was no longer a center turn lane. Shortly thereafter, Oakland proposed doing the same to Telegraph Ave from Aileen St to downtown Oakland. A lawsuit was filed under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), claiming that the City had not completely studied all of the alternatives and their impacts to traffic. Unfortunately, a judge agreed. Before Oakland could get to work on doing additional traffic analysis, AC Transit developed plans for Bus Rapid Transit along Telegraph Ave (and International Blvd). The good news was that their plans would have included bike lanes the entire stretch of the project. The bad news was that the plans took 10 years to complete, forcing bicyclists to wait years for our bike lanes. Last year, finally, Oakland decided not to pursue Bus Rapid Transit on Telegraph Ave, which is bad for transit, but at least frees up the potential to pursue bike lanes on Telegraph Ave as a stand-along project, which the City is ready to do. Bus Rapid Transit Design for Bike Lanes on Telegraph Ave AC Transit’s Bus Rapid Transit Page

Class notification list