Bicycling from Berkeley to BAD ...

Michael Paoli
Thu, 27 Jan 2005 21:55:06 -0800

Your mileage may/will vary, ... along with prudence, paranoia, and
what you do/don't think/believe/feel is "safe" (or relatively so).

If I were bicycling between Berkeley and the 2005-02-09 BAD meeting
(I've bicycled Berkeley/Oakland, and a fair amount around much of
the Bay Area, but not so much in the last few years[1] or so), I'd be
inclined, South of 40th St. in Oakland, to avoid streets West of
Market.  I *might* feel okay with Market south of 40th St., but probably
not, particularly at those hours.  I'd be more inclined to use
Martin Luther King Jr. Way or "better yet" (perhaps because I'm
much more familiar with it) Shattuck/Telegraph.  I've generally felt
(relatively) fine with Market/Sacramento North of 40th St., and also
(relatively) fine with San Pablo North of 40th St.  I find
Shattuck, Telegraph, College, Broadway all (relatively to quite)
"fine", and additionally San Pablo, Market/Sacramento, Martin Luther
King Jr. Way I all find sufficiently "fine" North of 40th St.

In my more utilitarian bicycle rides (where I'm mostly interested in
getting from point A to point B) I tend to favor the more time
efficient routes ... that often involves more traffic - but usually
far fewer stop signs (though there may be lots of signals ... but
hopefully one hits a sizeable percentage of them green).

If I'm not mistaken, the East Bay Bicycle Coalition (EBBC) still
puts out some excellent bicycle maps covering most of the East Bay
(last I remember, they have "west of the hills" and "east of the hills"
editions of the maps).  The City of Berkeley also puts out a pretty good
bicycle map.  These maps tent to favor the "nicer" (as opposed to more
utilitarian) routes, but they tend to generally cover more favorable
routes (bike paths/lanes/routes, less traffic, wider streets, reasonably
through and fairly well interconnected).  Some of them also have
relatively good information on routes to avoid (prohibited, highly
dangerous (can you say "slick as ice steel grate drawbridge in rain"?),
etc.  Ah, ... looks like EBBC not only has the maps generally available
for sale in bike shops, but looks like much of it's available on-line too.
Looks like version(s) of the City of Berkeley bicycle map is on-line
too ... not sure if it's the same as the printed version of the map I've
picked up.

Anyway, welcome to Berkeley!  And if you bike it, have a good ride!

1. My bicycle is suffering from some deferred maintenence, and my present
work commute is significantly more convenient to BART than bicycle.

Quoting Tony Godshall <>:

> According to Erich Schubert,
> > Hi,
> > Coming from Berkeley (where I'm since 01/13/05, coming from Munich. Yum,
> > fresh keys to sign, folks!), what is the best way to get there?
> > Bart seems to be okay, except for me taking 10m to the next bart
> > station. Judging from the distance it would probably be as fast to go
> > directly...
> > Is that a safe area for biking (also at night, when going back), going
> > along Market, San Pablo, Broadway? Is there a better route (from
> > Sacramento Street)? or should I better use Bart?
> I bicycle from Berkeley through downtown Oakland to Alameda
> several times a week, so I can address this from experience.
> But bicycle safety is in the eye of the beholder and the
> experience of the rider.
> I learned to bike in Mexico City, so I bicycle /everywhere/.
> But folks who grew up in rural or suburban neighborhoods in 
> this country tend to be afraid to bike on city streets period.
> Of course your own personal paranoia level is also a factor.
> I assume people don't actually want to kill me, so I wear
> 360-degree-visible blinking lights.  But I know (insane) 
> people who don't even have reflectors.
> Traffic is heavyish on Broadway downtown daytime but it
> lightens up by evening and it has a bike lane all the way 
> through Grand Av, so it's a pretty good route.  I typically
> take the little streets near College and then go past
> Rockridge BART since I like slight hills and tree-lines
> streets, something like...
>   password: debian
> If you don't mind more concrete and people standing around
> on street corners, coming down West would probably less
> traffic and certainly fewer buses.  But like I say, I don't
> mind traffic and go right down Shattuck to Telegraph when
> I'm in a hurry. 
> Bikes are allowed at all BART stops during this timeframe.
> They are banned from 12 St BART during rush hour.
> Anyhow I expect to bike from Dwight near Shattuck, so if 
> you like we can bike down there together.