Tag Archives: Berkeley cycling

2 Berkeley officials call for Fulton Street bike lane

Bike East Bay says a protected bike lane like this on Fulton Street would make cyclists safer. Image: Bike East Bay
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Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates and mayoral hopeful Councilman Jesse Arreguín have teamed up to ask the city manager to move quickly to extend a bike lane two blocks south on Fulton Street by the site of a near-fatal crash involving a cyclist and vehicle in February.

In a Berkeley City Council consent calendar item scheduled for Tuesday, March 15, they ask the “City Manager and Transportation staff to prioritize and expedite the installation of a bicycle lane on Fulton Street between Bancroft Way and Channing Way.”

The council item notes that the city needs to conduct a traffic study and public hearing before a new bike lane could be installed.

“This item urges staff to prioritize completion of all steps necessary to install the bike lane by May 12, 2016, Bike to Work Day or as expeditiously as possible thereafter,” according to the brief report. There is a bike lane on Fulton Street north of Bancroft Way but it ends at that intersection.

Advocacy group Bike East Bay has been actively pushing for that extension since last year when the street was repaved, and say city bike planning documents already lay the groundwork for making it happen. They renewed calls for the lane after Megan Schwarzman, a mother, medical doctor and UC Berkeley scientist, was struck by a driver Feb. 2 at Fulton and Bancroft Way and critically injured.  … Continue reading »

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Op-ed: An urgent call for better bikeways in Berkeley

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We are long time (20+ years) residents and business owners in Berkeley and are currently raising and educating our children here. Almost every day, my wife or I lead our two kids on bikes from our house near the Marin Circle to their elementary school, Berkeley Arts Magnet at Virginia and Milvia. We ride on streets and sidewalks (because it’s not safe enough for the kids to ride on most streets), we cross dangerous intersections, we encounter pedestrians annoyed with … Continue reading »

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Advocates: Berkeley must extend bike lane on Fulton

The existing bike lane on Fulton Street ends at Bancroft Way. Image: Google Maps
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Cycling advocates are pleading with the city to extend a southbound bike lane on Fulton Street, near the Cal campus, following the crash last week that nearly killed a Berkeley mother and doctor.

Bike East Bay has asked the city to paint new bike lanes on two blocks of Fulton, south of Bancroft Way, by May 12, which is Bike to Work Day. Advocates say planning documents approved by officials, as well as recent changes in state law, allow for the extension of the bike lane without much further ado, as long as the political will exists to make the change.

They’ve been trying to get the new lanes painted since last year, when the street was repaved, and say Berkeley’s own bike policies support the concept of painting, or “striping,” bike lanes at the time of repaving.

City spokesman Matthai Chakko said the city is looking into what might be possible on Fulton, but said changing rules at the state level have made the requirements for traffic studies and public review somewhat unclear. He said the city takes the concerns of the advocates seriously, and is working on various efforts to improve cycling safety and infrastructure in Berkeley. … Continue reading »

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Hope, gratitude after near-deadly collision in Berkeley

Meg Schwarzman
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The Berkeley scientist and mother who was struck by a motorist and trapped beneath his car while cycling near campus earlier this week is expected to pull through, family members said Thursday.

“She’s critical but stable,” said Mike Wilson of his wife, Megan Schwarzman. “Every indication is that she will be coming home. But it’s going to be a long, difficult recovery.”

Schwarzman, 42, is a research scientist at the Berkeley School of Public Health, as well as a physician and an associate director at the Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry on the Cal campus. The group is one of the leading academic organizations in the nation focused on chemicals policy, Wilson said.

“She somehow is able to be both a brilliant thinker and the most compassionate, spirited person I know,” he said. Added Schwarzman’s sister, Caitlin, who lives in Alameda: “She loves being a part of the community. Her friends and family are always the center for her.”

She wrote on her sister’s Facebook page earlier this week that “the surgeons are optimistic about her long term prognosis.… We expect a stay of many weeks in the hospital. We are hurting for our Meg, feeling proud of her strength, and looking forward hopefully.” … Continue reading »

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Update: Driver arrested, cyclist critical after crash

Emergency personnel work the scene of a collision involving a motorist and a bicyclist on Fulton Street and Bancroft Way. Photo: David Yee
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Update, Feb. 5, 9 a.m. Read Berkeleyside’s update on Meg Schwarzman, the cyclist who was struck. The Berkeley physician and mother is expected to survive, though the road to recovery looks to be long.

Update, Feb. 3, 11 a.m. BPD says there have been no updates to report as far as the cyclist’s condition.

Update, 10:15 p.m. Berkeley police have arrested the driver involved in the crash, 47-year-old Berwick Haynes of Sunnyvale, on suspicion of driving under the influence. In a statement released just after 10 p.m. Tuesday, BPD said it was continuing to investigate the injury collision. The bicyclist, a 42-year-old Berkeley woman, is in critical condition at a local hospital. At 10 p.m. police were still at the scene of the accident taking measurements, and the intersection remained closed.

Update, 6:28 p.m. Police have asked motorists to avoid Fulton and Bancroft due to the earlier crash. Southbound Fulton between Bancroft and Kittredge Street is closed. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Women charged after Berkeley hit-and-run, cyclist crash

The scene at Ashby Avenue and Stanton Street. Photo: Kester Allen
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Two Oakland women in a stolen car who police say struck a cyclist while fleeing from officers in Berkeley have been charged with four felonies and are set to appear in court next week.

Both women entered not guilty pleas Monday.

According to court papers, 27-year-old Josefina Barajas was driving a stolen Acura when police were dispatched to a suspicious circumstance involving Barajas and another driver in South Berkeley on Nov. 23 at about 8:35 p.m. She was five months pregnant, according to court papers.

Also in the car was 26-year-old Starkeisha Moss.

Police initially responded to Fairview and Adeline streets for the suspicious circumstance call, and Barajas sped off before police could stop her, according to court papers. While attempting to make her getaway, she struck a bicyclist at Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Prince Street, causing pelvic and abdominal injuries to him that were described as “moderate/serious.” He was taken to Highland Hospital for treatment. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Driver in stolen vehicle strikes cyclist while fleeing police

The scene at Ashby Avenue and Stanton Street. Photo: Kester Allen
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Berkeley Police officers took two women into custody Monday night after they struck a cyclist with their stolen vehicle while fleeing from police after an earlier traffic collision.

Police first got the call at 8:36 p.m., said Officer Byron White, a Berkeley Police spokesman.

Initially the call came in about a suspicious circumstance involving a traffic collision between two vehicles that were driving erratically near Adeline and Fairview streets in South Berkeley.

When an officer was arriving to contact those drivers, they fled. One of the vehicles, which at one point drove the wrong way while fleeing police, struck a cyclist at Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Prince Street. The crash occurred northbound in the southbound lanes.  … Continue reading »

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Fallen tree cuts power in Tilden, sends cyclist to hospital

Golf Course Road. Photo: Art Poskanzer
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A live oak tree that fell onto a power line on Golf Course Road in Tilden Sunday prompted a power outage across the park and caused a crash that sent a cyclist to the hospital.

The tree toppled from 50 feet up a cliff onto Golf Course Road, around 200 yards south of the entrance to the golf course, at around 11 a.m., according to Carolyn Jones, spokeswoman for the East Bay Regional Park District.

The tree fell onto a power line which in turn knocked down a power pole. A cyclist on the road collided with the power line. Jones said she understood the cyclist was unable to stop in time. He was taken away by ambulance but, according to park staff, seemed to be OK, Jones said.

The incident caused power to go out at the Tilden Golf Course, the park’s corporation yard and at the facilities serving the Tilden Steam Train. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley man gets back stolen bike; second still missing

Caio Braga got his bike back about 24 hours after it was stolen. An identical bike is still missing. Photo: Berkeley Police
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A Berkeley man has been reunited with his stolen bike thanks to an alert resident who recognized it in the neighborhood — after seeing a post on social network Nextdoor — but the owner is still hoping to find a second identical bicycle that was also stolen from his home over the weekend.

The theft of both Trek bikes took place sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning in West Berkeley near Strawberry Creek Park. Owner Caio Braga reported the theft online to the Berkeley Police Department, and also posted information and photographs online, on Nextdoor and the Bike Index, a national registry for bike owners.

Monday morning, a man spotted someone cycling through Strawberry Creek Park on the bike, and recognized it from Braga’s Nextdoor post. The man called police to report it, and officers quickly responded. They were able to confirm that the bike belonged to Braga, and returned it to him.

Braga, a 28-year-old designer who moved to Berkeley with his wife four months ago, said he discovered the theft Sunday morning. The bikes had been left on the couple’s Addison Street patio Saturday. They were unlocked.

Braga said, when he first moved to town, he was vigilant about keeping the bikes locked. Over time, however, he said he got lazy about it, because the patio is not visible from the street.

“Always lock your bike,” he said Tuesday. “That’s the biggest lesson learned from that.” … Continue reading »

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UC Berkeley police lay ‘bait’ for bike thieves on campus

bike reflection by pete rosos
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For over seven months, the UC Berkeley police have been surreptitiously planting bicycles equipped with tracking technology throughout campus in hopes of catching bike thieves.

The Bait Bike Program was kept confidential during the spring semester, but UCPD announced earlier this month that 31 arrests have been made since the initiative quietly went live in January. Reported bike thefts are down 45%, the department said in a press release.

“The word was starting to get out a little bit so we figured we would go ahead and let the community know we are trying to do something to impact the theft of bicycles,” said UCPD Lieutenant Marc DeCoulode. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley police hope bike registry will deter thieves

Wet bicycles at a rack in Berkeley. Photo: Marc Zuo
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Many cyclists in Berkeley know the all-too-common pain of losing a bike to thieves. Far fewer have experienced the opposite: the rare joy of a reunion. The Berkeley Police Department wants to change that, with the help of an independent bike registry called Bike Index.

The police department’s struggle with unregistered bikes manifests itself in the large number of bikes sitting in its property room. Without a police report on file that includes a serial number, it’s next to impossible to connect a stolen bike to its owner.

Many owners don’t bother to record the serial number before a theft, so finding a bicycle again is unlikely, especially if the stolen bike has crossed city lines. As a result, recovered bikes pile up in BART and police storerooms to be eventually auctioned off, donated or repurposed.

Other times, the bikes aren’t recovered at all. According to Sgt. Spencer Fomby, the supervisor of the Berkeley Police Community Services Bureau, there are instances when police stop a suspect and can’t determine whether a bike is stolen because its serial number hasn’t been recorded in the system the department uses for reports of stolen goods.

If the department can’t find a record, officers have begun turning to Bike Index, an independent bicycle registry that anyone can search by serial number.

“Bike Index can fill the gaps,” Fomby said. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley’s Bike to Work day set for Thursday, May 14

Bike to Work Day will take place this Thursday, May 14th - get out there! Photo: Bike East Bay
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The wheels are set in motion for Berkeley’s annual Bike to Work Day on Thursday, May 14, which is being organized in conjunction with the local Walk and Roll to School Day.

The event, hosted by Bike East Bay, will feature a number of two-wheel-friendly events, including the “Mayor-Palooza Bike to Work Day Ride,” featuring two visiting mayors from Europe, and a pop-up bikeway on Milvia Street.

Bike East Bay and Berkeley High School will also host a morning energizer station at Berkeley City Hall from 7:30-9:30 a.m. serving tasty pick-me-ups from La Note Restaurant and snazzy cyclist swag bags.

“We’re expecting a record-breaking turnout,” said Dave Campbell, Advocacy Director at Bike East Bay. … Continue reading »

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Transportation

Berkeley Bicycle Plan workshop draws a crowd

Attendees at Monday's bike plan workshop gave feedback about what they like, and don't like, about cycling in Berkeley. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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More than 100 people turned out Monday night to offer feedback to the city of Berkeley, which is updating its Bicycle Plan for the first time in over a decade.

The city held a public workshop on the bike plan at the Central Library, complete with interactive exhibits, snacks and activities for children.

The plan itself, which was adopted in 2000, is an overview of the city’s existing bike networks, facilities and programs. It discusses local bike use, problems in the infrastructure and how cycling fits into the city’s overall sustainability goals. The update will help the city figure out how to improve its facilities going forward, and get a better sense of existing conditions.

Participants perused informative displays — many of which sought comments in various ways — that were set up around the library’s community room. They included data about who is cycling in Berkeley, the economic benefits of cycling, attitudes of local residents about cycling, funding for bike projects, collision information and much more.

Eric Anderson, a transportation planner for the city, called the turnout “incredible.”  … Continue reading »

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