After 12 Years, Yellow Turns Red
Small Victory Anywhere Else
In any other town the simple removal of a single unsafe parking spot would hardly be a cause for celebration. It would just be considered normal government functioning, not even newsworthy. This isn't any other town however, this is Emeryville, and the parking spot in question wasn't just any spot, it was a spot prized by Wareham Development, the most favored developer in town.
According to rumors, Wareham Development recently told city officials they no longer objected to removing the parking spot, freeing the Council to finally placate the bicyclists. For their part, the Council didn't explain why they changed their minds about turning the commercial parking zone into a no parking zone.
Over the years the East Bay Bicycle Coalition and the California Bicycle Coalition joined Emeryville's Bike Committee in pleading the City Council to rectify the dangerous condition. The Bike Committee itself voted unanimously three times to get rid of the parking spot but to no avail...until now.
The yellow zone was created in 2001 by the City Council after Wareham Development asked for it as a result of their new building at 5980 Horton Street being constructed without a commercial parking area for delivery trucks. Wareham looked instead to the City of Emeryville to provide a free on street parking spot for their tenants use. Bicyclists in town cried foul after the City painted the curb yellow in the bike lane but for 12 years the Council showed no interest in the bicyclist's concerns. Former City Councilman John Fricke even told his colleagues that the yellow zone in a bike lane might actually be illegal, inviting a lawsuit if a bicyclist were to be hurt as a result of swerving into the travel lane but the Council majority was unmoved and still the yellow zone remained, vexing bicyclists....a tangible metaphor for who runs this town.
As of today, all of that is now past. A yellow zone is removed today in Emeryville...what's next?
|A victory 12 years in the making! |
An unsafe bike condition is removed
on the Horton Street Bike Boulevard.