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OMG Update: Fruitvale Ave Has a Gold-Standard Bike Lane!

Okay, it's obviously not finished, but it sure is nice to see a sidewalk-level protected bike lane

Construction work on a raised cycletrack on Fruitvale from last June. Photo: Streetsblog/Rudick

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Streetsblog thought readers could use a reminder that it is still possible to build world-class, sidewalk-level protected bike lanes in the Bay Area.

In fact, they can be built quickly (albeit in this case only if one overlooks the many, many years of politics and prep). The lead image is of a Dutch-style, sidewalk-level protected bike lane on Fruitvale Avenue in Oakland.

As Bike Walk Alameda’s Cyndy Johnsen put it on Facebook:

On social media reports are surfacing that cyclists are already using the new asphalt (although from Streetsblog’s view, this is pretty tricky, considering how hard it is to get around all the construction). But given that there’s still no detour for cyclists or pedestrians and everything is so squirrelly to start with it’s probably the safest (or the least dangerous) for people trying to get to and from the BART station and Jingletown or eastern Alameda.

Still no real detours for pedestrians and cyclists

To give an idea of how fast construction is happening, here’s a reverse angle on the same spot as the lead image from June 2, not quite three weeks ago:

Fruitvale Avenue on June 2

In other words, it’s important to remind people that things don’t happen slowly because construction takes a long time or there’s some remarkable engineering challenges. They happen slowly (the Fruitvale Alive project report was completed in 2005) because of politics and a design process that’s overly complex.

Imagine what could happen if Bay Area cities had forceful leaders and DOTs that were completely dedicated to safety infrastructure and working to rebuild the entire city from standardized templates, instead of one street at a time? And, of course, cities need to break through the politics of stopping and starting plans every time a motorist or a merchant complains.

As reported earlier this month, the Fruitvale Alive project will have raised, protected bike lanes on both sides running from East 12th to Alameda Avenue.

A rendering of what Fruitvale Avenue will soon look like under 880.

Sidewalk-level bike lanes are, of course, very common in Europe and they represent a gold standard of bike infrastructure. When Oakland’s is completed, the city will join Redwood City, Albany, and Fremont in the Bay Area.

San Francisco was to join those ranks with a first-class, raised, protected bike lanes on Market Street, but that project was cut by SFMTA director Jeffrey Tumlin.

If there are others in the Bay Area not noted in that short list, please post in the comments.

The post OMG Update: Fruitvale Ave Has a Gold-Standard Bike Lane! appeared first on Streetsblog San Francisco.

The post OMG Update: Fruitvale Ave Has a Gold-Standard Bike Lane! appeared first on Streetsblog California.

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