Eyes on the Street: New Green Paint at Emeryville Public Market

Newly painted green bike lanes are being used in Emeryville. All photos by Melanie Curry/Streetsblog
Newly painted green bike lanes are being used in Emeryville. All photos by Melanie Curry/Streetsblog

The new stores are not yet open, and a large housing complex is incomplete, but the city of Emeryville has opened up the new configuration of Shellmound Street near the Public Market. It now loops past the Market through what had been the parking lot, and incorporates bright green parking-protected bike lanes that rise to sidewalk level and loop behind the new bus stops.

The bike lanes loop behind the new bus stops, which feature a wide waiting area, shelter, and plantings.
The bike lanes loop behind the new bus stops, which feature a wide waiting area, shelter, and plantings.

The bus stops now have shelter and benches and a wide place to wait for the bus, instead of the former configuration which left bus riders standing almost in the street. The new GoBike station next to the Public Market, conveniently located next to the new southbound bike lane on the same side of Shellmound as the Market, is seeing a lot of use.

A bike share hub is conveniently located next to the Public Market.
A bike share hub is conveniently located next to the Public Market.

Other newness: wayfinding for pedestrians and bicyclists, deep bioswales to collect rainwater, and a few clearly marked parking spots inset into the plantings, leaving the rest of the street free of parked cars. The parking lot is now on the other side of Shellmound, with clearly marked pedestrian crossings. Those who choose to drive and park transform into pedestrians as they approach the Market, adding to the overall feel of a much calmer, people-oriented space.

The green paint makes it super clear, finally, that bikes have a place to wait at the light to the left of right-turning cars.
The green paint makes it super clear, finally, that bikes have a place to wait at the light to the left of right-turning cars.

Overall, the changes bring a dramatic difference in feel to Shellmound; what had been a vehicle through-way now has a walkable, pedestrian-oriented scale.

Parts of the lanes are parking- and bioswale-protected.
Parts of the lanes are parking- and bioswale-protected.
Bus stop, green lane, wayfinding, bike share
Bus stop-protected green lane, wayfinding, wide sidewalk, bike share
The parking lot behind the fence is not quite finished, but meanwhile there are a few parking spots inset in the curb across from the Market.
The parking lot behind the fence is not quite finished, but meanwhile there are a few parking spots inset in the curb across from the Market.
The area is not quite finished.
The area is not quite finished.

 

  • Jeffrey Baker

    It’s a funny coincidence that the first bioswale in the east bay (of which I am aware) is in front of Hot Italian, and the first bioswales in Sacramento were also installed in front of Hot Italian in that city. They must have the touch.

  • Prinzrob

    I’ve seen fewer cars blocking the bike lane since the green was installed, which is good, though a protected bikeway would have been preferable. The inset parallel parking bays, while few, still create a door zone danger on a street that used to have none, and the southbound bus bulb still obscures the view of bikes popping out into car traffic exactly where the right turn onto Shellmound Way starts.

    So better, but still bad and unnecessarily so.

  • Jeffrey Baker
  • Prinzrob

    Those 2 spots are connected to the bus boarding island for a very short section. Right after that the bikeway swerves to the right for no good reason and for the remainder of the street the bikeway is unprotected and to the left of the parallel parked cars.

  • Flatlander

    It looks to me like the intent is to continue the protected bike lane but it’s under construction. Is that wrong?

  • Flatlander

    I think there are quite a few other bioswales in the East Bay. Several around the Whole Foods on Gilman, and I think El Cerrito of all places has some on San Pablo.

  • Prinzrob

    No, the non-protected bikeway alignment is set, and it can’t even be converted easily later on because the hardscape parking bays and bioswales are now in the way.

    I’ve been following this project for many years through the whole planning and development process and recommending a fully protected bikeway the whole time, so it’s extremely frustrating that this is what we’ve ended up with.

  • Maureen Futtner

    Thanks, Streetsblog, for providing this update! BTW – the stores around there are open, as is the food hall. It’s only the grocery store that is still unopened.

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