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Bike East Bay Wants Your Help Saving Telegraph’s Protected Bike Lanes

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Bike East Bay has launched a new push to save Oakland's first on-street parking-protected bike lane, from 20th to 29th along the KONO section of Telegraph.

From the group's Tuesday posting:

The Oakland Department of Transportation (OakDOT) has officially announced plans to remove protected bike lanes on Telegraph Avenue in the Koreatown Northgate (KONO) District in favor of paint-only buffered bike lanes. Overwhelming public preference for protected bike lanes aside, this plan is less safe, will require more punitive enforcement via ticketing, diverts resources away from critical street safety projects, and does nothing to address the root issue: KONO businesses need meaningful support. The issue goes before Oakland Public Works Committee on June 22 and the full City Council on July 6. Sign up for our calls to action in advance of these meetings.

The KONO district currently has parking-protected bike lanes demarcated by mostly paint and bollards. Bike East Bay's Robert Prinz provided a shot of what is currently funded (the top photo)--a grant is already in place to replace the bollards with concrete curbs, resulting in a top-notch street design. Below is what would be done if the merchants, represented by the Community Benefits District, which first pushed for removing the protected bike lanes, gets their way:

This is what the lanes will look like if the protection is removed--except of course with cars double parked in them
This is what the lanes will look like if the protection is removed--except of course with cars double parked in them

What's missing from the rendering above, of course, is that the buffered bike lanes will be continually blocked by motorists, as they are on every other section of Oakland's streets that currently have unprotected bike lanes, as seen here:

Paint-Only Lanes Telegraph_0

Also from Bike East Bay:

OakDOT’s plan is to remove the protected bike lanes and downgrade to paint-only buffered bike lanes on Telegraph Avenue from 20th-29th Streets. The data clearly show that buffered bike lanes in general, and on this specific section of Telegraph Avenue, are less safe for all road users than protected bike lanes. OakDOT showcased the increased safety of protected bike lanes in their own presentation about this section of Telegraph Ave. two years ago. Every single survey from the DOT and the business district show public preference for the protected bikeway design, and data show large increases in the number of people biking and walking on the corridor since the protected bike lanes were installed.

Bike East Bay is stressing that Oakland also needs to offer meaningful support for KONO businesses as they emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic: "Several options could be implemented in short order, including allocating parking and citation revenue to the district, funding more community ambassadors, and increasing flex streets programming."

Again, the group asks that advocates mark their calendars for June 22, July 6, and sign up for updates today.

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