Skip to Content
Streetsblog California home
Streetsblog California home
Log In
Bicycling

Eyes on the Street: Telegraph in Temescal Gets its Makeover

After years of outreach and political fights between safe-streets advocates and merchants opposed to lane reductions and loss of parking, Oakland's Telegraph Avenue in Temescal, between 51st and MacArthur, now has protected bike lanes and improved intersections. This is in addition to the recently upgraded protected bike lanes on lower Telegraph, in the KONO section.

This was a long time coming. From Bike East Bay:

Over the years as OakDOT has developed designs for repaving Telegraph, bike lanes were always in the mix. City Council approved bike lanes on Telegraph as part of the 1999 and 2007 Bicycle Master Plans, and is proposing bike lanes on Telegraph in the Bicycle Plan update. The Council unanimously approved bike lanes on the entire stretch of Telegraph as part of the 2014 Telegraph Avenue Complete Street Plan.

OakDOT piloted and proved low-cost protected intersections in a separate project around the Lake Merritt BART Station. This time they integrated this design with parking-protected bike lanes, rather than having right-turning motorists attempt to zipper with cyclists going straight in a merge zone.

At MacArthur, cyclists don't have to jog for position with right-turning motorists. Photo: Streetsblog/Rudick
At MacArthur, cyclists don't have to jog for position with right-turning motorists in a merge zone. Photo: Streetsblog/Rudick
false

Advocates seem happy with the new designs after years of hard political work to inch this project forward. Here's a tweet from Bike East Bay's Robert Prinz, delighted at seeing families biking through Temescal:

OakDOT also added these pavement treatments pictured below, bumps along an outer radius turn, to give inattentive motorists audible and tactile feedback if they're taking a turn too sharply and getting close to the bollards, giving them a chance to adjust their turns:

the bumps keep motorists from turning too tightly.
The bumps remind motorists not to turn too tightly.
false

The redesign also eliminated a vehicle lane in each direction and added more visible crosswalks.

Yellow bollards denote a crosswalk
Yellow bollards denote a crosswalk
false

There's more to come. "The Temescal project construction is far from complete, so it’s still hasty to say yet what is/isn’t working. Elements on the way this year include concrete bus boarding islands, the closure of Shattuck from 45th-46th, added parking meters on side streets, mid-block curb ramps to improve parking accessibility, replacement of the on-street bike corrals, more striping including a red bus queue jump lane at 51st, and signal timing fixes," wrote Prinz in an email to Streetsblog. "Additional projects coming in 2021 will also upgrade the plaza at the south end of Shattuck even further, add flashing beacons on crosswalks along Telegraph and Shattuck, add connecting bike lanes and crosswalk upgrades on Claremont from Telegraph to Hudson, and complete the Telegraph bikeway gap between W MacArthur and 29th Street via buffered bike lanes."

Of course, the pushback also continues, albeit a bit more sporadically, from merchants. Recently, there was a fresh call to remove the lanes from the KONO section. However, as more and more protected lane goes in and the data continues to come in confirming that this is a safer configuration, with demonstrably positive effects on merchants, it's becoming less politically tenable to talk about removal.

And, as Prinz pointed out, the city has to fill in the long gap of Telegraph between Temescal and the Kono, from 29th to MacArthur, where the street is still two lanes in each direction of dangerous, fast moving traffic. Below is the view just south of MacArthur, where cyclists are dumped back into fast-moving traffic:

IMG_20200827_133359
false

Have you ridden through Temescal recently? Tell us what you think. A few more photos below:

MVIMG_20200827_132151
false
IMG_20200827_132520
false
IMG_20200827_132018
New lanes for bikes and scooters
false

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog California

Monday’s Headlines

Caltrain's electric trains to start limited weekend service soon; San Diego gets "tap-to-pay"; SF drivers demand "respect"; More

July 22, 2024

Advocates Share What It Takes to Fight Highway Expansions in Court 

What does it take to sue your state DOT? Time, money, the right partners, and a little creativity, a recent survey of activists found.

July 19, 2024

Friday Video: Paris Does it Again

Come for the bike-friendly streets, but stay for adopt-a-tree program and all the car-free school roadways.

July 19, 2024

Neighbors Want a BART Stop in San Antonio

It's one of the most densely populated parts of the Bay Area. BART goes right through it. So why not stop there?

July 19, 2024

Friday’s Headlines

Rep. Waters hates the people mover; SacRT's new transportation hub; Lessons learned from a long bike ride; More

July 19, 2024
See all posts