Oakland First City To Copy S.F. 'Sunday Streets' -- NOT Berkeley
|Let's go Oakland!|
"Berkeley has always been seen as the greenest of the greens. But actually, Oakland is up there, too. And we're doing a lot of stuff where it can also be seen that people can live a green lifestyle," said Karen Hester, an event planner hired by the advocacy group Walk-Oakland Bike-Oakland to put on Oaklavia, a Sunday Streets type event where 12 blocks of Broadway and three blocks of Telegraph will be auto-free for four hours.
Berkeley, of course, is the city with a network of bicycle boulevards -- yes, the city is criss-crossed with entire streets devoted to bicycle travel -- bike lanes and bike racks everywhere else, and BART's first attended bicycle parking facility downtown. This vastly outpaces meager bicycle amenities in cities such as Oakland or San Francisco, despite the fact bicycle transportation lobbyists within Berkeley have a budget one-tenth that of San Francisco.
Worse yet for Berkeley, Hester said, cities such as Redding and Stockton now have activists inquiring about how they might put on Sunday Streets events of their own -- perhaps before Berkeley.
|Now Oakland is in the vanguard...|
"We did one-stream recycling, where they put the single bins on the streets," Hester said.
We can tell you that, if Broadway through downtown Oakland June 27 is anything like San Francisco's Embarcadero was yesterday, the city will experience a sort of magical quiet that occurs when a downtown boulevard usually filled with automobiles is filled only with motorless devices and people.
Hester says she's raised $15,000 so far, and needs another $10,000 -- mostly to pay police patrolling this summer's Oakland event.
The event is "important because residents need to have an opportunity to be on the streets where roadways are becoming a public space for more than just cars. This is a community building experience that's really a lot of family fun," she said . "Our goal is to really start this up. We hope to do four to six events in the following year. It's an international movement, and we're excited that in the East Bay
By press time the Bicycle-Friendly Berkeley Coaltion's Rebecca Stievater hadn't been able to return a call to explain how this could have happened.