OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) --A new plan is underway to improve road safety in Oakland.
New protected bike lanes have been unveiled in the East Bay where the bicyclist rides in between the sidewalk and parked cars. The parked cars protect the cyclist from moving cars. The concept is now reality on Telegraph Avenue in Oakland after a project that began 3 years ago.
Mayor Libby Schaaf and bike advocates cut the ribbon Tuesday morning to inaugurate the new bike lanes.
The new striping extends from 20th to 29th streets. It's a big adjustment for cyclists and drivers.
"We recognize that drivers will have to retrain themselves and there will be an adjustment period while people learn to park away from the curb," Schaaf said.
"And the experience is completely different. I feel like I can relax on my ride. I feel safe," said Renee Rivera.
There were 66 car and bike collisions along the stretch of telegraph in the past few years. Oakland just got nearly $5 million in state funds to create more of these bike lanes, which also come with better marking for crosswalks and raised medians for pedestrians.
City planners took away a traffic lane in each direction to do this, but they say they looked at Valencia Street in San Francisco, which debuted something similar a few years ago and two-thirds of merchants say business improved after that. Oakland is hoping for the same.