Concord creates temporary bike lane to boost safety

Concord creates temporary bike lane to boost safety
Volunteers marked out a “pop-up” bike lane on Pine Hollow Road to illustrate how the city of Concord wants to improve safety. (Photo by Laura Nakamura)

CONCORD, CA (May 15, 2022) — The city joined with Street Smarts Diablo, a bicycle and pedestrian safety program, to showcase a proposed bike lane along Pine Hollow Road during a pop-up event in late April.

The area is important because the roadway is between Pine Hollow Middle School and Highlands Elementary School – a high traffic area in the mornings and afternoons.

“We want to make it user-friendly for all cyclists, pedestrians and school children. There’s a lot of traffic through here,” said Winnie Chung, Concord’s transportation program manager.

Along with adding a bike lane along the street, the city is hoping to improve the safety of roadways by using flashing lights for crosswalks, upgrading pedestrian lighting on sidewalks and building curb ramps.

“Concord is an incredibly dangerous place to walk on the street or ride a bike,” said Erik Owens, a volunteer at Bike Concord, a non-profit organization that is part of Bike East Bay.

Bicycle accident deaths

Bay Area Bicycle Law, an organization dedicated to bicycle safety in Northern California, reported 133 bicycle deaths in California in 2019. An average of 129 people die in California each year due to bicycle accidents. Nationally in 2018, 79% of accidents happened in urban settings, the group reported.

Officials said the focus of the event was to build safe and user-friendly cycle tracks. Volunteers put up orange cones and signs to redirect traffic and make room for the bike lane. They started setting up at 5 a.m., making sure everything was safe for the morning school traffic.

The crew coordinated with the Concord Police Department and the Department of Public Works, as well as with the schools, to raise awareness about the event in the community.

“We had some school children come by and say they’re so glad we’re putting up a bike lane,” Chung reported.

Dave Campbell, advocacy director at Bike East Bay, said his group is proposing a raised intersection. “It’s an important intersection that needs improvement for the safety of the kids,” he noted.

According to Chung, the city is putting together an application to fund the project. “We have to finish up our concept, present it to the community and see if this is something that the community wants as well as the city.”

Cassandra Shoneru
Cassandra Shoneru

Cassandra Shoneru is a recent high school graduate and upcoming journalist. She is born and raised in the Bay Area and has a passion for helping her community. In her free time she enjoys spending time with family and friends, exploring new cities, and reading. She is looking forward to bringing awareness to important topics in her community.