Saturday, December 17, 2011

WOBO and EBBC celebrate new bikeways

Cyclists, city officials, and business leaders gathered on Friday to celebrate bike improvements around Oakland in 2011. Walk Oakland Bike Oakland and East Bay Bike Coalition organized the event, in recognition of 18 miles of new bikeways created this year.

During the press conference, workers were busy painting a new bike lane on Webster Street one direction and sharrows (markers for a shared car and bike lane) in the other. It's not just downtown and uptown that got new bikeways. During 2011, there were bike lanes or sharrows installed on Fruitvale, Foothill, MacArthur, East 12th, 38th Avenue, and more. There were also bike wayfinding signs installed on Fruitvale, Shafter, and East 12th. It brings the total for Oakland to over 100 miles of bike lanes, sharrows, and other bikeways, and much more is planned for the future.

"Oakland is proud to invest in better bicycling," said Mayor Jean Quan. "We are seeing cutting edge companies like Sungevity choose to locate in Oakland because their employees value being able to bike to work. These [new] bikeways help make Oakland a great place to live, work, and shop and are another reason Oakland continues to gain recognition for being a top bike friendly city."

"Oakland’s expanding bike infrastructure is helping us to attract young, hip, and smart people. We see this as an important element in promoting Oakland as a vibrant place to live." said council member Libby Schaaf (District 4).

"The bike lanes installed this year go a long way to fulfilling WOBO’s goal of connecting Oakland’s neighborhoods with safe, reliable and affordable transportation options. Bicycling is fun, it’s healthy, and people want to do it. Despite the budget and other challenges, the City is moving forward quickly to build the network and we applaud them for that," said Gloria Bruce of Walk Oakland Bike Oakland. "Safe biking makes a big difference in people’s lives."

Besides new bikeways, nearly 100 new bike parking spots were installed in 2011. Plans for 2012 include more bikeways and a bike parking station at 19th Street BART.

Special thanks to Bicycle Coffee Co. which was on hand to serve delicious slow-brewed coffee from their bike-powered coffee cart, and nearby Bay Area Bikes for the support.

More pictures:

More coverage:
East Bay Bike Coalition (includes map)
TransForm (video)
Oakland North
SF Streets Blog

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