New lanes for bicycles and buses are slated to come this week on Bancroft Way, the southern border of the UC Berkeley campus, cycling advocates have announced.
“The new Bancroft Way ‘Complete Street’ will set several firsts for the East Bay: the first red-painted bus lane, the first connected protected bike lanes, and the first street redesign that simultaneously improves walking, biking, and transit in a single project,” Bike East Bay has reported in a prepared statement.
City crews are expected to install the lanes this week on Bancroft between Dana and Fulton streets, according to Bike East Bay. As of Tuesday night, however, there was little indication as to the changes that have been planned.
The red-painted bus lane on the north side of Bancroft, which replaces what has previously been vehicle parking, has been designed to make bus travel more efficient and reliable. (More parking is set to be installed on Durant Avenue later this month to make up for the loss on Bancroft.) On the south side of the street, two-way bike lanes are slated to be installed to allow cyclists to travel eastbound and westbound on Bancroft for the first time.
The “protected” bike lanes will be set aside from vehicle traffic by a row of parked cars, and Bancroft is set to be reduced from three to two lanes of car traffic, Bike East Bay reports.
That will also make it easier for pedestrians to cross the road, advocates said.
“The shorter crossing distance will make it safer and easier for campus-goers and neighbors to access health services at the Tang Center, hit the gym at the Recreational Sports Facility, or grab a bite in the Telegraph Business District,” said Bike East Bay.
A larger pilot project in the neighborhood has been planned by the city “to create a network of protected bike lanes and transit improvements on the south side of U.C. Berkeley’s campus.”
Next year, Bike East Bay says the new bike and bus lanes on Bancroft Way will be “extended east of Telegraph Avenue uphill to Piedmont Avenue, in addition to a new protected bike lane on Dana Street connecting to a bikeway on the U.C. Berkeley campus.”
The goal of all the changes is to make it safer and easier for people to use alternative means of transportation and also help the city reach its ambitious Climate Action Plan goals.
Read more about Berkeley bikeways from Bike East Bay.