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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

East Bay Bike Leader Says Emeryville is Anti-Bike; City Hall Complicit, Possible Misuse of Funds Alleged

From the East Bay Bicycle Coalition Blog:

Emeryville City Attorney, Traffic Engineer Say NO to Safe Bike Access

Imagine if San Pablo Ave & 40th St looked like this:

You shouldn’t have to dodge right-turning cars on your bike commute on 40th St as you cross San Pablo Ave, and from W. MacArthur Blvd you shouldn’t have to get off your bike and walk across San Pablo Ave to get to the new bike lanes on Adeline St. Yet this is exactly what Emeryville expects you to do because their conservative city attorney [Mike Biddle] has legal concerns and their traffic engineer [Maurice Kaufman] is concerned about slowing down cars in order to make your bike commute safe. We need your help to change this.
We are asking for advance bike boxes to be reincorporated into 40th St at San Pablo and that a safe bike crossing of San Pablo at W. MacArthur be included in the project. Please contact these key Emeryville City Council members and let them know you want full bike accommodations in these two intersections.
Transportation Committee Members:
Other Three Council Members:
If you can attend a key meeting of the Public Works Committee on July 18, 9:00am at City Hall Garden Room, please join EBBC and Emeryville BPACmembers in pushing for a better solution that allows you to stay on your bike and avoid having to dodge cars on your bike ride to work.
We appreciate Emeryville’s willingness to stripe green bike lanes at critical points in these intersections to highlight the presence of bicyclists-it helps bike safety, but much more is needed to get you safely across busy arterial streets. Emeryville originally included advance bike boxes with right turn prohibitions at San Pablo Ave & 40th St to get you safely across San Pablo Ave without having to dodge right-turning cars, but then removed them at the insistence of the traffic engineer and city attorney. We want the bike boxes put back into the plans. This intersection has the highest volumes of bike traffic in Emeryville.
These bike boxes were proposed in Emeryville’s Safe Routes to Transit grant application for $820,000. They have been removed from the project.
Equally frustrating are suggestions that bicyclists get off their bikes and walk across San Pablo to get onto Adeline St. and its new bike lanes where W. MacArthur intersects with San Pablo Ave. There should be a direct and safe bike connection between W. MacArthur Blvd and Adeline St, across San Pablo Ave. This intersection has the 2nd highest volumes of bike traffic in Emeryville.
Imagine a traffic engineer telling a driver they need to get out of their car and walk half a block and then get back in their car to continue their commute? This is the level of inconvenience being designed into two new intersections in Emeryville for bicyclists. It’s time for you to be able to make everyday trips in Emeryville on the streets you ride, like 40th St and W. MacArthur. Contact your City Councilmember today!
View the city’s existing plans for the 40th/San Pablo and Adeline/W MacArthur/San Pablo intersections online here.

Dave Campbell is Programs Director at the East Bay Bicycle Coalition and frequently offers his prodigious bike policy expertise at Emeryville's Bicycle Pedestrian Committee.  Founded in 1972, the East Bay Bike Coalition is the premiere bicycling advocacy organization in the East Bay.  Among their accomplishments are Bikes on BART, Bike To Work Day and passage of Measure F ($11 million for local roads and Complete Streets). The non-profit group, open to all, works for "safe, convenient and enjoyable bicycling for all people in the East Bay". 


  1. Kevin ChristopherJuly 10, 2013 at 9:14 AM

    Thanks for the update. I recently found this white paper which offers good statistics as part of Seattle's master bike plan.

  2. Emeryville is pretty bike-friendly, at least compared to Oakland. But removing the bike boxes from the Safe Routes to Transit plan would be back-pedaling--pun intended!

    And asking us to walk our bikes to get from Macarthur to Adeline Street? To accommodate cars??

    Planners have been accommodating cars for decades. For anyone who has been hit on a bike at an intersection by a car making a turn, green bike boxes and safe bike crossings are not too much of an accommodation to cyclists.

    I plan to attend the next meeting of the Public Works Committee on July 18, 9:00am at City Hall Garden Room to push for a reasonable solution. I hope others will join me!

  3. I doubt it would work as most cyclists completely ignore traffic control devices and the rules of the road.

    1. So Mr Anonymous, what's your solution to increase bike safety then? This is about increasing visibility for bikes and giving bikes a safe refuge. What do you propose?

    2. Nothing. Its all pointless until cyclists start following the rules and laws.

    3. Motor vehicle drivers disobey the rules of the road and yet rational people see the value of having rules. I don't think you've made a cogent point. The bikers that want safety can use the bike boxes Mr Campbell proposes and they will be safer. Those that aren't interested in safety will not use the bike boxes. Why should the ones that aren't interested in safety make it so those that ARE can't have it?