To enable morning commuters to experience what comfortable, safe bicycling in Oakland could be like
Although the Oakland region already has strong support for protected bicycle facilities, not everyone who bicycles had experienced using a protected bike lane. Bike to Work Day is part of the city's strategy to promote cycling as affordable transportation, to improve public health and to curb carbon emissions.
A one-block, Bike to Work Day demonstration of a parking-protected bike lane was put in place on the block of Telegraph Avenue between 27th Street and Sycamore, on the southbound side of Telegraph Avenue adjacent to the Telegraph Lofts Building.
Bike to Work Day, May 8, 2014, was the city's 20th anniversary of hosting the annual event.
The project used chalk to draw on-street yield markings, plus one gallon of exterior green paint and a homemade bike stencil to mark the protected bike lane entrances. (Use of the paint was approved because the local business district was already planning to pressure-wash the street afterward.)
Media and many elected officials — including Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and City Council members Lynette McElhaney, Rebecca Kaplan and Dan Kalb — showed up on their bicycles to use the temporary protected bike lane, as did hundreds of bicycle-using commuters. Several members of the city's public works staff came by and checked out the demonstration as well.
COSTS and CREW
The demonstration project was staffed by close to 30 volunteers from organizations including Bike East Bay, Walk Oakland Bike Oakland, the City of Berkeley and the Safe Transportation Research and Education Center at the University of California, Berkeley.
OUTCOMES and NEXT STEPS
In response to initial objections to the event from a few businesses, organizers met with the manager or owner of each establishment to educate them about the event and encourage them to participate.
After the demonstration one restaurant owner said he was so inspired he'd be installing a bike rack in front of his business to attract bicycling customers.
The Oakland City Council has since approved Phase I of the Telegraph Avenue Complete Streets Plan, which will extend bike lanes through to 41st Street.
In adjacent Berkeley, California, the city updated its bicycle plan to include connecting protected bike lanes from the Oakland city line through to Derby Street in Berkeley.
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