A major part of a Milvia Street improvement project in Berkeley, from Blake to Hearst, is now complete. Concrete and protected bike lanes with parking, vehicle lane reductions and intersection treatments are in place from Blake to Allston Way.
Streetsblog took a look at it this morning and couldn’t say it better than Bike East Bay’s Dave Campbell below: “Always be my beating heart”.
– Dave Campbell (@Derailluer) September 30, 2021
Since the protected cycle lanes on both sides removed two lanes for cars, the project reduced sections of Milvia to one direction, which, as Campbell told Streetsblog, is a relatively unusual solution to the complaint ” where are people going to park ”against the creation of space for bicycles. This is encouraging from Streetsblog’s point of view: when awareness raising is carried out, neighbors should be able to choose between losing lanes of traffic or losing a parking lot. Giving up protected cycle lanes and allowing cyclists to continue to be run over (Milvia is a high injury rate corridor) should not be on the table.
Berkeley planners “also took inspiration from the Valencia Street school loading zone in San Francisco,” Campbell explained, for the treatment he used outside Berkeley High School as a way to avoid conflict between cyclists. and children who are dropped off and picked up for school. Note the fence to prevent children from wandering the bike path.
Hopefully more high school kids won’t need to be dropped off in the first place once Berkeley’s bike plans come to fruition. Other sections depend on parked cars or concrete curbs (see below) to ensure that stray motorists do not drift into the bike path.
Note that there is a lot alleys along Milvia, despite the constant response of engineers from other towns that the alleys make it somehow impossible to install protected cycle paths.
Campbell pointed out that the project is only half completed. Crews still need to add vertical bollards to improve motorists’ ability to see the concrete protection.
When completed early next year, the project will provide protected pathways to Hearst, which received protected treatment in 2018.
What there is so far on Milvia is really encouraging and shows what can be accomplished across the Bay Area when cities commit to safety.