Protected Berkeley Bike Lanes on Milvia Street
We rode the new Milvia Street protected bike lanes in Berkeley again a few days ago. These lanes are protected from automotive traffic in a few different ways. There are concrete islands with metal rails in some sections (by Berkeley High School, for example) and then simply concrete barriers in other parts. There are a few unprotected paint-buffered areas. In general, the lanes allowed us to feel more comfortable riding around Berkeley with a physical barrier between us and moving automobiles.
We were on our way home from getting lunch. Our route took us south on Milvia Street from near the Cal campus in order to get back to Oakland. It was a short but enjoyable stretch. A few students were milling about and the vibe was nice and calm - perfect for riding a bike with a kid.
There appears to still be a barrier at the northeast corner of Berkeley High. I'm not sure if it was there on purpose, but it was not too hard to get around. The last time we rode on them, there were a few obstacles in our way. Some students were unloading gear into a truck at the high school. This time, it was pretty clear. There are a lot of fallen leaves in portions of the bike lane, but it wasn't disruptive to riding. There was moderate bike traffic; a few students were riding home and there were other people passing through.
My kid really liked riding on the protected bike lanes. “They're just as good as Slow Streets!”