Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Coming Soon to SF: "Road Diets"

Our East Bay correspondent writes:

Albany and eventually Berkeley, due to pressure from the anti-car extremists of the Bicycle Friendly Berkeley Coalition (who control Berkeley's Transportation Com.) approved and installed bicycle lanes on busy east/west oriented Marin Ave. By removing a full travel lane in each direction, both cities shrunk a busy 4-lane street down to a single lane each way and added left turn pockets at some active intersections. The dubious so-called street reconfiguration "study" called "Road Diets" was used to promote and justify the scheme. One or two blocks over, parallel to Marin Ave., there are almost trafficless residential streets that most bicyclists use to travel safely east/west across town. Ray sued Albany & Berkeley in Alameda Superior Ct to get an injunction against both cities for failing to do required CEQA and EIR compliance. I cycled Marin Ave. last fall about 6:45 PM at the tail end of the commute period and found that cars were backed up for blocks on Marin Ave. as they approached busy main arterial, San Pablo Ave.

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