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Awesome Bike Lanes Coming to El Cerrito

San Pablo Avenue around El Cerrito Del Norte BART is getting some kick-ass bike infrastructure. Is this the first step towards making the length of San Pablo a street that's safe for all?

May we have some more please? The answer is “yes,” actually. Photos: Streetsblog/Rudick

Head over to the corner of San Pablo Avenue and Moeser Lane in the suburb of El Cerrito and one finds an isolated little chunk of top-notch bike infrastructure, as seen in the lead image.

The good news is there's more to come—a whole lot more. The little, one-block section seen here is part of a water project. City officials made sure when the street was ripped up that it followed the larger El Cerrito designs for San Pablo, so there would be no need to redo it when the larger project is fully funded and underway.

A map of the train station and project area

That larger project broke ground Wednesday morning after a ceremony in the lobby of a new apartment building on San Pablo, adjacent to El Cerrito del Norte BART. Officials and advocates celebrated the start of a major overhaul project of the whole area (see above map). But of course for advocates the highlight is the planned half-mile of protected bike lanes on both sides of San Pablo, with protected intersections.

The multi-lane traffic sewer that exists today

"This will be the first major installation on San Pablo," Bike East Bay's Robert Prinz told Streetsblog at the event. Prinz hopes the El Cerrito project is the first substantial step towards a much larger vision of creating protected bike lanes on San Pablo that will one day stretch thirty miles from Oakland to the Carquinez Bridge.

More from Bike East Bay's project page on the details of the plan:

  • A new half mile of protected bikeway on San Pablo Ave in El Cerrito by Del Norte BART, between Knott Ave and Potrero Ave
  • A protected bikeway connection on Cutting Blvd between I-80 and Key Blvd
  • Protected intersections at San Pablo Ave / Cutting Blvd and at San Pablo Ave / Eastshore / Hill
  • Concrete bus boarding islands with protected bike channels
  • New crosswalk median refuges, curb ramps, sidewalk extensions, and other pedestrian infrastructure features
  • New pavement, lighting, landscaping, and street trees

El Cerrito got help for the $13 million project from, among other sources,

BART Director Rebecca Saltzman at the groundbreaking event

BART's "Safe Routes to BART" program. "If we want people to bike and walk to transit, we can't just improve the station," explained BART Director Rebecca Saltzman, who spoke at the groundbreaking, highlighting BART's $800,000 contribution. "This will let people just get across the street."

Tessa Rudnick, Mayor of El Cerrito, pointed out that housing is also an instrumental component of the overall vision. The press

Robert Prinz at Wednesday morning's ceremony

conference was held in the lobby of the Mayfair apartments. Its 156 units will be joined by 69 units of affordable housing to be constructed on the parking lot next door. "We're committed to a high quality of life," she said. "That's what this project is."

When the project is completed in a year, it will be on cities such as Oakland and Berkeley to catch up. Then the advocacy effort will become about "connecting the dots," explained Prinz. "Kudos to El Cerrito for getting it all started."

Streetsblog will be back to check progress and, sometime in 2025, to attend the ribbon cutting.

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