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Bicycle Master Plan, MacArthur BART project

on October 14, 2009

Imagine it’s a warm summer evening after another monotonous day’s soul-crushing workplace tedium.  You get back to your North Oakland abode, slip into something more comfortable, and hop onto your fixie bike, fat-tired mountain bike, or tricked-out scraper bike. You cycle down through Emeryville, onto I-80, and over the Bay Bridge to watch the sunset from Treasure Island.  As orange light bleeds out from behind the San Francisco Financial District’s angular skyscrapers, you feel the cool bay breeze on your neck and turn around to admire the glow behind you on the Oakland Hills.  Your human essence slowly resurrects itself after the workaday clampdown’s cruelly methodical abuse.

This scenario may seem like some whimsical Bay Area cyclist fantasy, but it’s slowly moving towards reality as Oakland’s Bicycle Master Plan works to improve accessibly for the city’s two-wheeled travelers.

A Greater Mosswood Neighborhood Association meeting last night centered on one of the Master Plan’s latest mini-plans: improving east-west bicycle access to MacArthur BART Station.  The proposal would readily connect MacArthur BART to the easterly Piedmont Avenue area and westerly Emeryville, with eventual access to the Bay Bridge’s new eastern span, set to open in 2014.

At last night’s Mosswood meeting, Oakland’s Bicycle/Pedestrian Program Manager Jason Patton presented recommendations from the city, AC Transit, and Emery-Go-Round to create east-west bike lanes on West MacArthur Boulevard and 40th and 41st streets.

Some concerns have been raised that the narrowing of a 40th Street median between Market and Webster streets by six feet to make room for bike lanes will have a negative impact on landscaping and greenery there, but overall the idea met with approval.  A final community gathering to go over the recommendations is scheduled for 7 p.m. next Tuesday night, in a special meeting of Longfellow neighborhood residents at the North Oakland Community Charter School, located at Linden and 42nd streets.

The Bicycle Master Plan aims to improve bicycle access to major transit hubs.  According to city statistics, more than 85% of Oakland residents live within 2 miles – about 12 bicycling minutes – from a major transit station.
For more information on the MacArthur BART proposal, Bicycle Master Plan, and other bicycle-related projects in the city, click here.

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Photo by Basil D Soufi
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