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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Council Says NO To Bike/Pedestrian Paths

Council Seeks To Overturn General Plan 
On Bike/Ped Connectivity

The city council moved Tuesday night to kill two bike/pedestrian paths in east Emeryville after neighbors abutting the paths complained.  Both paths are identified by the General Plan as crucial for much needed bike/pedestrian connectivity, adding fire to growing charges that the new Plan lacks teeth and without enforceability, it is simply being ignored.

One path, informally called the EBI Path (or Escuela Bilingue Internacional), named for the private school on the east side of San Pablo Avenue, is proposed to be located behind that school and connects 47th and 45th streets.
Center of Community Life looking west.
The pedestrian/bike path is located at the top of
the photo on the property line connecting
47th Street on the left and 53rd Street on the right. 
The other path called the ECCL Path (or Emeryville Center of Community Life) is on the west side of San Pablo Avenue, and is to be located behind the school/community center.  It connects 53rd and 47th streets.  The ECCL Path is in an identified "Pedestrian Priority Zone", a special region where extra provisions and deference should be considered for pedestrians according to the General Plan.

The two paths are part of the General Plan's goal to deliver better connectivity for residents that was vetted by citizens and city planning professionals over a five year period ending in a city council approval in 2010. The Plan received an award in 2010 for its highly democratic vetting and identifies one of the biggest problems with Emeryville is the lack of connectivity for bicyclists and pedestrians.

The council said they changed their minds about the two paths after they received complaints from residents near the proposed paths.  The ECCL Path received complaints from residents at Emery Bay Village, a housing complex abutting it to the west and the EBI Path received complaints from Triangle residents adjacent to that path.

The General Plan will have to be amended to officially kill the two paths, a process that will involve the Pedestrian/Bike Committee and the Transportation Committee.  It is expected to take some months.  The Plan, already amended numerous times mostly to accommodate business interests, is expected to guide Emeryville for 25 years.  It cost some $2 million outright and another $2 million in city staff time according to city officials.


  1. I never thought I would thank Brian Donahue for anything, but thank you, Brian! Our community needs to know about these ill-conceived general plan amendments. Our community needs more connectivity and it is not just to delete it from the plan due to the complains of vocal minorities. We need to mobilize opposition to keep these paths in the plan. I live in the Triangle and this path would add a much needed connection to the neighborhood. Most of my neighbors support the EBI path. We can't let a few vocal neighbors ruin this opportunity for everyone. Keep up the pressure on the Council!

  2. Bicycling down San Pablo is a nightmare. We need alternatives

  3. The problem with bike paths is that they become a haven for junkies, homeless, and ne'er-do-wells after dark, I can understand the residents concerns.