Chapter 2

Goals and Policies

Mission Statement

To create a model bicycle-friendly city where bicycling is a safe, attractive, easy, and convenient form of transportation and recreation for people of all ages and bicycling abilities.



1.  Planning

Integrate the consideration of bicycle travel into City planning activities and capital improvement projects, and coordinate with other agencies to improve bicycle facilities and access within and connecting to Berkeley.



1.1       Coordinate the bikeway network plan with adjacent governmental entities, public service companies, coordinating agencies and transit agencies.

1.2       Establish clear roles and responsibilities for all affected City departments in the implementation of the Bicycle Plan, including the funding, construction, operation, and maintenance of the bikeways.

1.3       Ensure that all traffic impact studies, analyses of proposed street changes, and development projects address impacts on bicycling and bicycling facilities.  Specifically, the following should be considered:

1.4       Encourage the Congestion Management Agency (CMA) to include bicycle facilities in the list of exempt projects whose implementation may cause a project to exceed Congestion Management Program (CMP) and level of service (LOS) standards.

1.5       Integrate bicycle network and facility needs into all City planning documents and capital improvement projects.

1.6       Work with transit providers to increase accessibility on board transit vehicles to bicycle users, especially during peak commute hours, and to provide secure bike parking at stations.

2.  Network and Facilities

Develop a safe, convenient, and continuous network of bikeways that serves the needs of all types of bicyclists, and provide bicycle parking facilities to promote cycling.



2.1       Develop a citywide system of designated bikeways that serves both experienced and casual bicyclists.  The network should serve all bicyclists’ needs, especially for travel to employment centers, schools, commercial districts, transit stations, institutions, and recreational destinations.

2.2       Ensure that all city streets open to bicycles are safe for bicycling, while focusing bikeways primarily on streets with lower volumes of auto traffic.

2.3       Provide bikeway facilities that are appropriate to the street classification, traffic volume, and speed including the development of a new bikeway classification ‑ the bicycle boulevard ‑ such that the entire city is served by the bikeway network.

2.4       Design the street system to provide a safe network for bicyclists, pedestrians, the disabled community, and emergency response.

2.5       Adopt and adhere to citywide design standards for bikeways and bike rack placement.  Ensure that standards for roadway maintenance meet bicyclists’ needs for smooth, deterrent-free roads.

2.6       Maintain all streets, roadways, and designated bike routes to be free of deterrents to bicycling (such as pot holes, debris, and overgrown landscaping) to the greatest extent possible.

2.7       Incorporate bicyclists’ needs into the City’s guidelines and timetables for maintenance activities, including re-paving, and ensure proper funding levels for routine bicycle-related maintenance activities.

2.8       Ensure that roadway and pedestrian corridor designs do not include any actions that would compromise bicycle safety, such as the extreme narrowing of a curb lane.

2.9       Monitor bicycle parking supply within the City right-of-way and installed by private developers under the city ordinance to ensure that adequate bike parking is available.


3.  Education/Safety

Improve the safety of bicyclists through education and enforcement.



3.1       Support and expand safety education programs for adult bicyclists, child bicyclists, and motorists which increase knowledge and encourage individual behavior change.

3.2       Work with U.C. Berkeley and the Berkeley Unified School District (B.U.S.D.) to institute safety education programs for students.

3.3       Enforce motorist and bicyclist violations that are most likely to cause injury such as running red lights, speeding, wrong-way riding and riding on sidewalks where illegal.


4.  Promotion

Increase bicycle mode share by increasing public awareness of the benefits of bicycling and of the available bike facilities and programs.



4.1       Provide current and easily accessible information about the bicycle network, bicycle programs and bicycle parking.

4.2       Encourage major employers including U.C. Berkeley and the B.U.S.D. to develop bicycle promotion programs for their employees.

4.3       Enhance the City’s own bicycle program for City employees so that the City is seen as a model employer.


5.  Implementation

Secure sufficient resources from all available sources to fund ongoing bike improvements and education.



5.1       Establish priorities for the allocation of public funds, balancing the needs of the diverse population of bicyclists.

5.2       Develop a phased and prioritized implementation plan that takes into consideration the available funding opportunities and availability of staff.

5.3       Continue the City’s annual commitment of City funds for bicycle improvements.

5.4       Actively seek funding from grant sources.

5.5       Establish a staff bicycle coordinator position at a level sufficient to implement the Plan, including the necessary public process.

5.6       Create a broadly representative bicycle advisory committee to assist staff in the planning, design, and implementation of projects that directly or indirectly impact bicycle travel and safety.

5.7       Promote public/private partnerships in development, implementation, operation, and maintenance of bike facilities.

5.8       Provide an annual summary to the Transportation Commission and City Council on progress toward a more bicycle-friendly Berkeley.



Berkeley’s General Plan and other city plans

Berkeley’s existing General Plan (the 1977 "Master Plan") includes the following bicycle policies:


Policy 2.70:  Provide the opportunity for safe, convenient and pleasant bicycle travel throughout all areas of Berkeley.


Policy 2.71:  Encourage the use of bicycles for both transportation and recreation.


Policy 2.72:  Coordinate and develop inter-city routes and support additional opportunities to carry bikes on public transportation.


Policy 2.73:  Promote the installation of covered, lockable bicycle storage for new or existing residential, commercial, industrial, civic, recreational and educational facilities, parking lots, parking garages and major transit stops to serve residents, shoppers and commuters.


Policy 2.74:  Evaluate and complete the system of planned bikeways in Berkeley.


Policy 2.75:  Locate bikeways on streets with lower volumes of automobile traffic for safety and reduced levels of harmful exhaust fumes and unpleasant noise.


Policy 2.76:  Consider the inclusion of bikeways and/or bike storage in the design of all new or reconstructed streets, recreational areas or buildings.


The bicycle Goals and Policies in this Plan are consistent with, and expand upon, the above policies from 1977.


The City is currently in the process of updating its General Plan and expects to have a Plan ready for adoption by late 1999.  For an explanation of how the Bicycle Plan will be incorporated into the City’s new General Plan, see the end of Chapter 1.


Many other adopted city plans contain bicycle-related goals.  Some polices are specific to a certain area, such as "Provide convenient, useable East-West pedestrian, bicycle and auto links between West Berkeley and the Waterfront" (Waterfront Plan, 1986).  Other policies are more general, such Policy 4.1 from the Berkeley Downtown Plan (1990): "Actively promote the use of alternative means of transportation to the single occupant vehicle."


All of the City’s adopted area plans were reviewed as part of the development of the Bicycle Plan. The following plans contain bicycle-related policies:


The Goals and Policies laid out in this Bicycle Plan are consistent with the bicycle-related policies in the above plans.