Three East Bay Victories for Safety
14th in Oakland, 40th in Emeryville, and Grand in Alameda all got approvals Tuesday evening for protected bike lanes and other improvements
5:02 PM PDT on July 19, 2023
The city councils of Oakland, Emeryville, and Alameda approved important safety projects Tuesday night.
First: 14th Street, Oakland - City Council approves the contract to start building
Bike East Bay's Robert Prinz was watching all three meetings and live Tweeting about them. Oakland's city council voted first, around 6:30 p.m. "Oakland's 14th Street protected bikeway contract is approved unanimously by city council, and will move forward to construction starting this fall!" wrote Prinz.
More from the 14th Street safety project website:
Today, 14th Street is designed to speed motor vehicle traffic through Downtown as quickly as possible. In the 5 years since the City applied for this safety grant in 2016, 2 people walking in crosswalks were killed by drivers on 14th Street - both seniors. Tragically, on June 16, 2022 - 5 days before this project was set to be approved at City Council, a driver killed someone biking on 14th Street at Jefferson Street in a hit-and-run collision. In the 5 years from 2016-2021, vehicle collisions injured 189 people, 38 of them severely. This stretch of 14th Street represents one of the densest concentrations of traffic injuries and deaths in the City of Oakland. These tragic and preventable collisions, injuries, and deaths are a daily barrier to mobility for all, and a barrier to 14th Street operating as the center of a calm and walkable Downtown.
The project was conceptually approved last year, but of course approving the contract lets it move forward.
Emeryville approves 40th Street safety project
Emeryville is working on a project to have a two-way cycle track and dedicated bus lanes on 40th Street. Tuesday evening the city council voted to clear the basic layout of the lanes, bus stops, etc. so city staff can get it 100 percent designed. Next year they'll be able to bid it out for construction contracts and get to work (assuming the contracts are also approved).
More from the 40th Street multimodal project page:
The Project will reduce travel time for buses by creating bus-only lanes in both directions along 40th Street. A two-way separated bikeway on the north side of 40th will improve access and safety for cyclists. It will also provide bicycle and pedestrian intersection improvements, bus stop passenger boarding areas, and streetscaping including green infrastructure (natural storm water treatment), and public art.
Grand Street, Alameda: City Council gives final approval, again
Lastly, the Alameda City Council approved their Grand Street cycletrack project, with phase 1 moving forward to construction in 2024.
If readers are getting some deja vu, well, yes, this is the second time it was approved. But shenanigans ensued, which put the project in limbo. "A lawsuit happened which slowed it down," explained Prinz, "and then the new city manager brought back a new proposal for an even more robust design with a further extension." So that's good news.
From the web page:
The City has evaluated how to add low stress bikeways, in addition to pedestrian improvements, along the entire Grand Street corridor from Shore Line Drive all the way to Clement Avenue. Three new alternatives were developed, all with pros and cons.
After hearing from the community, staff recommended, and the Transportation Commission endorsed, moving forward with Alternative #1, for a continuous separated and elevated two-way bikeway, along the full corridor, on the east side of the street.
The first phase of construction could begin this year.
Come celebrate these victories on Saturday, July 22 at Bike East Bay's Session Fest fund raiser. It'll go from 1-5 p.m. at Snow Park, Harrison St and 19th St, Lakeside Dr, Oakland.
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