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Monday, July 1, 2013

School Board's Latest Bike/Ped Path Rationale isn't Cogent

Bike/Pedestrian Path Can be Built
Running Track Issue is a Ruse

As the Tattler previously reported, Emery School District now claims that the reason the Center of Community Life's design cannot accommodate the required bicycle pedestrian path on the Western edge of the property called for by the City's General Plan is because it would require them to remove two of the four lanes on the running track, rendering it useless.  The Tattler has learned to be skeptical of rationales given by the School District as they seem to frequently change and fail to pan out, as we learned when their concerns about the impact the bike path would have on the width of the existing pool deck were shown to be unfounded.

Closer analysis of this latest rationale from the District raises similar concerns. The proposed running track consists of only four lanes and is not a standard oval shape. This makes the track that District Staff are proposing only suitable for practice, as it could not be used for normal competitive meets.  Shortening the track on it's Western side to accommodate the bicycle path is not to blame for our students not having an official competitive track: the District's own decision to cram too many buildings and too many grades onto too small of a property are responsible for that.

All that could be changed now is the relative usefulness of the track for practice purposes--all it was ever going to be good for. But since the District is planning on using "staggered starts" for runners owing to the sub standard size anyway, there is no effective compromise by building the bike/ped path.  The section of straight line track along 53rd Street stretch remains at more than 360 feet long, unaffected by the bike/ped path and that portion of the track could still be used to practice the 100m and the 110m hurdles. Long distance runners can better accommodate an irregular shaped or length track and so will not be as adversely affected as the short distance runners who must run in a straight line.

While it may cost the District money to have the architects move things around in the design slightly to accommodate such a track, this expense is the District's own fault. The bicycle pedestrian path has been part of the General Plan for years, long before these designs were finalized. The District simply believed they would be given another exception to the rules and so they ignored this requirement to their own detriment, to the detriment of the people of Emeryville, and most unfortunately, to the detriment of Emery students.
The Running Track at the Center of Community Life
The School District Plan

53rd Street is on the top to the north and the bike/pedestrian path would
be on the far left side to the west between the row of trees and the track.
To accommodate the path, a space only about half the width of the
four lane track would be needed. 


  1. These guys are like lying little kids. Someone needs a spankin.

  2. As a senior cyclist who would use this path a LOT, I want to voice my strong support for getting this solved so the bike path can be realized soon.

  3. This rational is ridiculous. The current track is an embarrassment when they decided not to move the buildings and instead have a dog leg and the proposed track is just a practice track so again Emery students have second class fields. KEEP ANNA YATES OPEN!