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Chronicle Watch Takes on Fatal Freeway Bike Lane

As Chronicle Watch takes on the issue of Richmondís fatal freeway bicycle lane, Caltrans remains in a state of denial, offering signs and rumble strips instead of real solutions. Meanwhile the bike lane remains open and as deadly as ever.


Chevron, on the other hand, is for the first time in years making a conciliatory move that might actually signal a change in direction. Chevronís Dean OíHair emailed Bruce Beyaert of TRAC yesterday:



TRAC's support for improving the existing public access is critical.  I trust the  representatives of other interested organizations are reasonable people and that they will understand that although they may not get exactly what they want in a Bay Trail, some compromise is needed in order to make it happen. I'll leave it for TRAC to determine when the time is right for a meeting once they have secured support for improving existing access from those responsible for the public right-of-way. Chevron would expect to  participate to ensure that improvements to the existing public access maintain refinery safety and security, while not impacting refinery operations, and to consider other ways in which Chevron can help support improving the existing Bay Trail public access.




The key to a solution is getting Caltrans and Chevron to cooperate in a positive and workable plan.


Working for a better Bay Area

- Suzanne Pullen
Monday, November 20, 2006


Freeway bike lane causing concern in Richmond: A highway fatality involving a bicyclist has one city councilman doing more than offering condolences. In September, a bicyclist using a designated bike route along the shoulder of westbound Interstate 580 just before the Richmond/San Rafael Bridge toll plaza was killed when a car careered out of control. Richmond City Councilman Tom Butt, who had raised questions about the safety of the bike route on a highway, renewed his inquires and contacted ChronicleWatch about the matter. Status: Caltrans spokesman Jeff Weiss tells us that there are only a few spots in the Bay Area where bikes are allowed on freeways -- where there are no reasonable alternatives or there are significant benefits to bicyclists. Weiss says the I-580 path was designed in accord with state regulations, but his agency's staff immediately looked into the councilman's concerns. After several meetings and consulting other local agencies, Weiss says, Caltrans is working on a plan to install warning signs to alert motorists that bicyclists are on the shoulder. Butt says that isn't enough, though. He wants concrete barriers installed. "I can't imagine that Caltrans thinks it is OK for bicycles and freeway motor vehicle traffic to share the same roadway, separated by signs," he says. Weiss says his agency also is considering putting in rumble strips to alert drivers when they are crossing onto the shoulder. While plans have not been finalized or approved, Weiss says Caltrans has made the issue a priority. -- Who's responsible: Bijan Sartipi, Caltrans District 4 director; (510) 286-6444; bijan_sartipi@dot.ca.gov