Category: Oakland

Bay Bridge bike path bolts fail

Thermal expansion shears dozens of bolts used to anchor the pedestrian / bicycle path to to the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge

The eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge has been under construction since 2002 with opening of the roadway scheduled for Labor Day weekend 2013. The Chronicle reports hundreds of these one inch bolts may need to be replaced.

Crews that built the railing committed what experts called a basic mistake – they welded the bolts in place firmly in their slots rather than leaving a small amount of room to accommodate a natural expansion of the bicycle path that happens in hot weather.

As a result, scores of the 1-inch-diameter bolts have been sheared off along the 1.2-mile bike path on the southern side of the span’s skyway section. All of them, along with hundreds of others that were solidly welded, will have to be inspected and possibly replaced

Although the bike path bolts are considered a minor part of the bridge’s structure, some engineers believe this new failure of what should be a “straightforward, simple thing” raises serious questions about the state’s management of this $6.3 billion project. Last March, load bearing test on three-inch diameter rods used to secure the road deck to concrete columns resulted in the failure of a third of tested fasteners. This failure is attributed to faulty parts and will cost an estimated $10 million to fix.

The bike path was a late addition to the bridge design. The 15 1/2 foot wide path begins at the IKEA parking lot in Emeryville and swoops underneath the MacArthur Maze before connecting to the bridge as a floating structure at the edge of the bridge deck. The path only runs as far as Yerba Buena Island, and will not open for use until 2015 after the current eastern span with its infamous S-curve is demolished.

H/T Chris.

Oakland Scraper Bike Portrait Gallery

Scraper Bike Portraits

California photographer Leo Docuyanan took portraits of the men and boys of Oakland’s Scraper Bike team.

I’m a big shot
Scrapin on my bike
I don’t need a car
Gas price too high
Blue and yellow
Orange with bling
Scraper bikes is on the scene
Yep yep
We on the scene



View the full gallery of Scraper Bike photos at Leo Docuyanan’s website.Via ARTCRANK.

You can hear Scraper Bike’s latest track “On the Scene” at the Original Scraper Bikes blog. They say there’s a free MP3 download too, but that doesn’t work.

My bike goes hard, don’t need no car!

Next Saturday the Scraper Bike crew will be leading a “healin from killin, bike ride for peace” called Bike 4 Life in Oakland. If I hadn’t already paid to be in a conflicting event, I would be there for sure. Tyrone Stevenson and his cohorts are promoting riding and bicycle decorating as positive activities for the teens in his neighborhood. I had a chance to speak to Tyrone at Maker Faire this year and found him to be friendly and cheerful. He is a leader for cycling-enabled change in his tough community. MacArthur Fellowship nomination committee, consider Tyrone!

Check out the Trunk Boiz scraper bike video. Real gangstas gone ride!

immigrants boost cycling in Oakland

In the Chron today, an article by Christopher Heredia:

despite the car-oriented landscape, residents of the city’s Latino community, for the most part, liked to get around on foot and bicycle and, as a result, were bending the neighborhood to their collective will. . . . The bicycle was a key mode of transportation even though there weren’t dedicated bike lanes . . . . they like the cacophony of cars and bicycles because it reminds them of big-city life in China.

I’m biased since I am the descendent of relatively recent immigrants, but I think immigration is the key factor keeping America strong. The U.S. has a lot to learn from other nations, and immigration is the easiest way!