Friday, August 22, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Oakland races to meet demand for bike lanes

oakland bikesW

Cyclists try out a bike lane on MacArthur Boulevard. Oakland has added 30 miles of bike lanes in the past three years. Sarah Rice/San Francisco Chronicle photo

By
From page B3 | April 30, 2014 |

By Will Kane
When Claire Antonetti cruised down the new, smooth bike lanes near her Maxwell Park home on Sunday she felt — for the first time in a while — as if her area of Oakland was becoming a neighborhood.

For years, the busy streets were high-speed pass-throughs for motorists whizzing down the Interstate 580 off-ramps. But on Sunday it was something else: parents installing training wheels, boys racing each other to the stop sign and neighbors waving as they pedaled to the store.

“There is no there there in this area,” said Antonetti, 62, referencing Gertrude Stein’s famous quote about Oakland. “We were destroyed by 580. It is a no-man’s-land.”

For years, neither the city nor its residents had the time or resources to worry about bike lanes or calm streets. But things are changing.

People moving into Oakland from San Francisco are bringing their bicycles, and Oakland is racing to paint enough bike lanes to keep them happy.

“With these really big trends taking off, we are really trying to keep up with a lot of the public’s interest,” said Jason Patton, the city’s bike and pedestrian program manager. “In certain portions of Oakland, we can’t keep up with what the public is asking for.”

The rise in demand for bike lanes and bike racks comes, in part, from the city’s changing demographics.

“Oakland has changed a lot in the last couple of years,” said Renee Rivera, executive director of Bike East Bay, a nonprofit that advocates for cyclists. “We’ve really seen the downtown and Uptown really get revitalized — we’ve seen a lot of people moving over from San Francisco.”

But it is too simple to say that the bike lanes are another symptom of Oakland’s gentrification, said Jeff Speck, a Washington, D.C., city planning consultant who has studied bike lanes and wrote “Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America One Step at a Time.”

“There is this misapprehension of bicyclists wearing spandex or hipsters as gentrifiers when in fact we have a hidden population of poor bikers that outpaces any other biking population,” Speck said. “However, there is most likely a correlation between bike lanes and gentrification, because it is often the vocal gentrifiers who demand bike lanes.”

Ten years ago, most riders in Oakland pedaled to the UC Berkeley campus from the edges of North Oakland. But now, a growing number of bicyclists are heading downtown to work or catch BART, Patton said.

“There’s really significant interest (in bike lanes) now in North Oakland, West Oakland, downtown and the neighborhoods around Lake Merritt,” Patton said. In the past three years, the number of people riding bikes in the city has climbed 15 percent, Patton said. Between 2000 and 2010, according to census figures, the number of people riding bikes to work in Oakland has gone up 140 percent.

The city, meanwhile, has installed 30 miles of bike lanes in the past three years. Roughly 140 miles of bike lanes crisscross the city.

“We’re basically installing bike facilities as quickly as we can with the resources we have,” Patton said.

But there are still problems.

Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan, a regular bike rider, said she is concerned by the number of potholes in Oakland’s streets. In March, the city paid $3.2 million to settle a lawsuit filed by a cyclist who went into a medically induced coma for four days after she struck a pothole in the Oakland hills. “Pothole filling is really important for bicycling,” Kaplan said.

In addition to the roughly $1.6 million Oakland spends to repave roads each year, a “fair” portion of the city’s $350,000 bicycle infrastructure improvement budget is spent on filling potholes, Patton said.

This month the city unveiled a plan to install raised bike lanes — a separate tier from the sidewalk — along parts of Telegraph Avenue, one of the busiest biking streets in Oakland.

“There is this really large volume of people that are moving from the North Oakland/Berkeley area to downtown,” Patton said. We want to improve the street “so that Telegraph can live up to its potential. Very few people are happy with Telegraph in its current form.”

It could be more than a decade before the raised bike lanes are installed, Patton said.

— Reach Will Kane at wkane@sfchronicle.com

Comments

comments

San Francisco Chronicle

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Here’s a guide to Fifth Street etiquette

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

     
    Marsh trial still scheduled to begin Monday

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

     
    The show must go on: DMTC celebrates 30 years

    By Bev Sykes | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Puppy love: dating sites match up animal lovers

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Israeli airstrike kills 3 senior Hamas leaders

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Aid workers with Ebola out of hospital

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Actors, crew needed for touring eco-play

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

    Onramp crash injures two

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Yolo Federal to hold photo contest

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Free electronic waste recycling service offered

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    NAMI support group meets Sunday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Katehi will speak at Chamber’s community luncheon

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Village Feast offers a taste of Yolo County with a hint of Europe

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Sign up soon for Sac City’s fall classes

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Animal Services issues warning about rabid bats

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Museum sets brick dedication date

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Peregrine School is open for tours, registration

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Fish-friendly river water intake takes shape

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Qigong class starts in September


    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Meet K9 officer Dexter at Davis Senior Center

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Grandmothers support group meets weekly

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

    Join the fun at the DMTC Gala on Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Poets will read their original work on Thursday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

    .

    Forum

    Great game kids, pass the beer

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

     
    Where are the Water Police?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Frank Bruni: The trouble with tenure

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A6

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    Will you help serve Davis’ senior citizens?

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Many thanks to Brooks Painting

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    I really miss cal.net, too

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Sports

    River Cats clip Redbirds

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Giants cruise past Cubs in Chicago

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Aggie coaches nearer starting lineups for Stanford opener

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    A’s lose to split series with Mets

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Scoring machine propels Republic to another win

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    49ers’ Dawson still learning to kick in new stadium

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    ‘La Cage aux Folles’: a refreshing take on a classic

    By Bev Sykes | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    Wineaux: A sparkling prescription for a new disease

    By Susan Leonardi | From Page: A7

    Free classical concerts set at Covell Gardens

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Dora Mae Clark Anderson

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Thursday, August 21, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6