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Peladeau Park Brings Emeryville Closer to Having a Contiguous Bike Network

Some of the new benches at Peladeau Park. Photo: Streetsblog/Rudick

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Central to its "Bike to Work Day" festivities tomorrow, the City of Emeryville is officially opening Peladeau Park, another small segment of its developing safe-cycling network. Amber Evans, project manager for design for the City of Emeryville, told Streetsblog the park is important to stitching together a complete greenway route stretching from Berkeley to Oakland. "That is probably one of the most exciting aspects for me," she said.

The opening ceremony is at 10 a.m. tomorrow, Thursday, May 10. But as seen in the photos above and below, Streetsblog paid the park an early visit.

As with other sections of the greenway, the park is built on an old railroad ROW that was once part of the East Bay's historic Key Car rapid transit system. This new segment cuts between buildings at an angle from the intersections of Peladeau and Stanford to Hollis and Powell (see map below).

A blue print of the connector. City of Emeryville
A blueprint of the connector. Image: City of Emeryville
A blue print of the connector. City of Emeryville

The park features murals painted by local artist Joey Rose, native plants, benches, and a concrete ping-pong table. The art celebrates the local ecology, according to a City of Emeryville statement.

Working on the mural. Streetsblog/Curry

Everything looks lovely, but, unfortunately, it's hard to see how this will be of much use to cyclists trying to traverse Emeryville on their way to work or school, at least for the time being. That's because the northern end of the park hits the intersection of Powell and Hollis, where there's simply no way across on a bike (at least not legally or safely). To continue north on the greenway, a cyclist must dismount, push a beg button, cross one street, wait for the light to cycle through a bunch of automobile turning arrows, and then repeat. For cyclists at least, it's faster to bypass the park altogether via adjoining streets.

Unfortunately, at the northern end of the park, one is dumped into this intersection, with no good way to get to the rest of the greenway--which begins again at those distant trees in the center of the frame. Photo: Streetsblog/Rudick

"The connectivity issues at Powell and Hollis are a known problem, and something that has been discussed for a while, but unfortunately were not within the scope of this specific Peladeau Park project," explained Robert Prinz, Education Director for Bike East Bay. "The Emeryville bike/pedestrian advisory committee voted several months ago to make the Powell/Hollis intersection a priority project for the city to work on, with a focus on closing that slip lane and creating a scramble and/or diagonal bike/ped crossing, creating a safe and convenient crossing from one side of the greenway to the other," he added.

Emeryville's Evans told Streetsblog that a study is currently underway to look at the "feasibility of a pedestrian scramble at the  Powell/Hollis intersection this summer, with results expected by year end. This study is the first step in any alternatives that would open a diagonal crossing for pedestrians and potentially bikes at the intersection."

But it's unclear if and when that crossing would be installed. One can only hope that the opening of the park will increase calls to fix the intersection, so it can truly become part of the greenway.

More information on the park opening, followed by more pictures of the park below.

Have a good Bike to Work Day tomorrow.

The postcard from the City of Emeryville
The postcard from the City of Emeryville improperly sells the park as a good bike commuter route, but it's unclear how a bike commuter would use it, given the intersection at the northern end. Image: City of Emeryville
More of Joey Roses' mural, celebrating local ecology. Photo: Streetsblog/Rudick
More detail of the mural. Photo: Streetsblog/Rudick
Workers putting in a sign with details about the park. Photo: Streetsblog/Rudick
More benches. Photo: City of Emeryville
More new benches. Photo: City of Emeryville
More benches. Photo: City of Emeryville

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