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Eyes on the Street: Scraper Bike Team Murals Unveiled

One of two new murals, unveiled today, near Coliseum BART

This Thursday morning the Scraper Bike Team unveiled two murals under the BART tracks near the Coliseum BART station. "We wanted to bring greenery to the scenery," said the Team's Reginald "RB" Burnette. The murals were funded by a grant from the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy,

The murals, painted on the pillars holding up the BART tracks just the north of the station, also mark the beginning of a ten-block portion of the East Bay Greenway, which will eventually extend all the way to Lake Merritt.

The murals also mark the start of a substantial section of the ever-growing East Bay bike network

From the Scraper Bike Team's Facebook post:

“With a generous grant from Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Bike East Bay hooked up The Scraper Bike Team and Community Rejuvenation Project to spruce up the East Bay Greenway under the BART tracks with local artist Desi Mundo’s scraper-themed creations. ‘Rollin’ in Tradition’ they are called, two facing murals at 75th Avenue under the BART tracks near Coliseum BART. Appropriately, the wheels of the scraper bikes in the murals are Golden State Warriors blue and yellow and Oakland Athletics green and gold.

"I love that it says 'Welcome to the East Bay Greenway,'" said Ginger Jui, who was appointed interim Executive Director of Bike East Bay upon the departure of René Rivera. Jui was just unanimously appointed permanent ED by the organization's board.

Ginger Jui and the Scraper Bike's Tyrone "Baybe Champ" Stevenson

"I hope this will open the doors to more murals on BART properties," said Mundo, the artist, seen in the pictures below wearing a black cap. There are many blank pieces of concrete on BART property that can act as 'canvasses' to "help represent the community" he said.

In fact, these murals, aside from welcoming people to the Greenway, are a celebration of Oakland heritage. They depict scraper bikes, indigenous peoples, and even birds and fish that are native to Oakland and the East Bay. "This mural means a lot to us," said Scraper Bike's Tyrone 'Baybe Champ' Stevenson. "It's a piece of our history."

BART Board President Robert Raburn said there will be more art coming to BART properties through its 'Art in Transit' program. Oakland Department of Transportation head Ryan Russo was also there. He said a DOT should view its mission as larger than just fixing streets. "Our job is to connect communities," he said. He also talked about Oakland's own "paint the town" program, which encourages local communities to paint 'murals' on the street.

Because, as Jui put it, "If you paint it, they will come."

More pics of the new murals and the ceremony below.

The ribbon cutting, with (from right to left) OakDOT head Ryan Russo, Stevenson, Raburn, Mundo, and Jui
Detail commemorating the East Bay's native peoples
Muralist Desi Mundo with his nephew at the ceremony
Welcome to the East Bay--and the bike network

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