Scraper Bikeway mural day

I’ve been anticipating the full implementation of the Scraper Bikeway for some time, and this weekend the painting work finally got started. It was a nice event, attended by Scraper Bike Team members, local residents, and a whole lot of folks from OakDOT, WOBO, and the Oakland BPAC.

Paint the Town, Scraper Bikeway

When I arrived mid-day, the design had already been sketched out, and people were starting to fill in the big color areas with paint rollers. Smaller spots were done with brushes, and then the detail work was done by the pro street artists with spray cans. It was fun to watch the process, especially how the curvy hand-work of the spray paint really makes the design come alive.

Paint the Town, Scraper Bikeway

Paint the Town, Scraper Bikeway

It was a long process, and there were more people there than could really work on painting at any given time, so there was a lot of hanging around talking. Champ grilled up meat and veggie burgers and we chatted about the project. Paint the Town, Scraper Bikeway

Champ did most of the visual design, and said he wanted it to be visible from space. “If aliens come to Earth, I want them to see this and land right here on the Scraper Bikeway.”

The work lasted past the scheduled 4PM end of the event, but no one seemed to mind the street being closed down for another couple hours as things got finished up. I didn’t get a photo of the completed project but the Scrapers did:

There is still work to do; the center-running bike lane itself is supposed to be painted for its entire length, and that will take some time and some funding. OakDOT is taking that on one block at a time over the next few months.

Riding to and from the event I got to try out the center bike lane again, and I really think it’s a design we should use in other places. 90th Avenue’s cross-streets are offset, so crossing traffic can’t come directly across 90th anyway. Putting the bikeway in the center means that you don’t have to deal with any of the curb access issues with parking, double parking, or bus boarding. I bet it would work better on lower Telegraph than the existing design there.

In any case, good work by the Scraper Bike Team in pushing for an innovative design for a public space in Deep East. They should be proud.

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