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Eyes on the Street: Protected Bike Lanes Going in on Shellmound

It's short. But it's concrete. And more is coming.

It’s not open yet, but a new chunk of great, if short, infrastructure is coming to Emeryville. Photos: Streetsblog/Rudick

Note: GJEL Accident Attorneys regularly sponsors coverage on Streetsblog San Francisco and Streetsblog California. Unless noted in the story, GJEL Accident Attorneys is not consulted for the content or editorial direction of the sponsored content.

If you're feeling a bit hopeless about cities in the Bay Area that seem run by cars instead of people, head over to Emeryville and check out the latest concrete-infrastructure--a protected bike lane on Shellmound from 65th St to Ashby, not far from the Amtrak station.

"This is a relatively quick-build but short concrete curb-protected bikeway upgrade that the city decided to tack on to a railroad quiet zone project that was paving and re-striping the street anyway," explained Bike East Bay's Robert Prinz. "It is under construction but will probably be complete in a few weeks."

Concrete curbs protect this short section in Emeryville

The project is part of a larger plan from Emeryville mayor John Bauters to connect the Bay trail clear across Emeryville on 40th. The project will include bus-only lanes and protected bike lanes, according to the city's website.

So the humble installation in the pictures is just the beginning.

As show in this map, once fully funded and built, the modest protected bike lanes will be part of a great overall project.

A map of the overall project. A small part of Phase 2 is finishing construction, as seen in the photos. Map from the city of Emeryville.

"A separate paving project on Shellmound coming next year (maybe?) will extend the protected bikeway further south from 65th to 62nd Street in each direction, taking the place of existing curbside car parking," added Prinz.

A look at the project in proximity to the Union Pacific tracks and the quiet zone project

Bauters told NBC that Emeryville currently has half of the $30 million it needs for the 40th Street/Shellmound project. He's in Washington D.C. meeting with U.S. DOT officials, looking for the match to get the whole project done.

The only problem with this project, however, is what happens when one reaches the northern end and the border with Berkeley--into Caltrans territory and the off-ramp of 580. It's still pretty squirrely getting to the next section of the Bay Trail. "The Ashby interchange project is happening and will still include the bike/walk bridge from the western end of 65th Street over to the Bay Trail, but construction is probably still five years off," said Prinz. "The on/off ramps will be improved somewhat (image here) but the crossings still won't be great.

More pictures below.

Nice to see angled curbs to reduce the chances of crashing if a cyclist bumps into it
A section of sidewalk-level bike lane under construction in Emeryville. Photos: Streetsblog/Rudick
Alas, to the north is a stark reminder that this is still in California. Cyclists and peds are dumped into an off ramp from I-580.

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