A Picture Of Juice In Emeryville; Who's Got It,Who Doesn't
Here's the Horton Street Bike Boulevard near Amtrak and its infamous and dangerous yellow curb bike lane. This photo depicts the struggle between two special interest groups in Emeryville; automobile/business interests and bike/resident interests. Can you tell which one has the city council's ear?
Twice over the last few years the City's own Bike Pedestrian Committee unanimously voted to get rid of this yellow zone and twice council members Nora Davis and Ken Bukowski overrode the committee in favor of Wareham Development who wants their business tenants to have convenient truck parking (in this case dumpster) instead of a safe space for bikes to ride.
When vehicles park in the bike lanes, bikers must swerve out into the automobile travel lane to get around them and they point to accident studies that show this move is particularly dangerous. But for Emeryville to paint the curb yellow alongside the bike lane and actively encourage drivers to block the bike lane is beyond the pale and it actually forces the bicyclists to break the law when they swerve out to avoid hitting the trucks. The vehicle code states bikes must stay in bike lanes if they are provided.
Even though the above photo starkly depicts the behind the scenes political favors at City Hall and shows who's got the juice, this photograph is unremarkable in that it merely shows an every day scene on the Horton Street Bike Boulevard with nothing out of the ordinary taking place. The City of Emeryville talks a good talk about bikes and the virtues of "complete streets" and "multi-modal transportation" but in any political contest between cars and bikes, invariably it's the car driver's pain that the city council feels.