OPL to Play Key Piece in Oakland Bike Plan

Associate Director Nina Lindsay

Oakland Public Library Associate Director Nina Lindsay discusses the role of OPL in OakDOT's 2019 Oakland Bike Plan, joined by OakDOT Director Ryan Russo (left).

The City of Oakland Department of Transportation (OakDOT) announced today the adoption of the 2019 Oakland Bike Plan – Let’s Bike Oakland a partnership with the community that used new outreach and engagement strategies to develop a plan reflective of all Oaklanders. The Oakland Public Library (OPL) will play a pivotal role in providing bike repair, maintenance, and education through its various branches to support Let’s Bike Oakland.

The plan was unveiled in a press conference and celebration in front of The Shed - housed in the back of the Oakland Public Library’s Martin Luther King Jr. Branch – which serves as one home of The Original Scraper Bike Team.

“Oaklanders of every background and community deserve safer, healthier, more affordable transportation options, including bicycling,” OakDOT Director Ryan Russo said. “This plan charts the way forward to delivering the paths and roads that make cycling a real option for people. Most importantly, the plan was built with true, robust partnership from the Oakland community, so residents will see and feel that this is a plan built from their own ideas, needs and priorities.”

Scraper Bike Team CEO and Co-Founder Tyrone "Baybe Champ" Stevenson Jr. addresses the media and emphasized the need for the City and community partners to be accountable for the plan which included input and recommendations from community groups across Oakland.

OPL’s 16 neighborhood branches, the Main Library and the Oakland Tool Lending Library will play a critical piece in OakDOT’s Let’s Bike Oakland plan, which emphasizes the need of concrete locations for services distributed throughout Oakland that are free of charge and accessible to the entire public. Some of the proposed initiatives include:

  • Adding staff positions to OPL as bike mechanics
  • Adding fix-it and hydration stations to all OPL branches
  • Adding bike tool lending library to all OPL branches
  • Funding purchase of bike books and DVDs at OPL branches
  • Providing bikes as incentives for the OPL summer reading program

The first steps will be OakDOT and OPL discussing funding, timeline and training necessary to implement the proposed initiatives. OPL already offers bike locks and pumps at most locations, self-serve fix-it stations at 81st Avenue Branch and Temescal Branch, and hosts routine bike-related services and programming throughout the year.

“Our branches have been hubs of bike culture for many years in Oakland and it is great to see that OakDOT has identified libraries as a critical part of this plan,” OPL Associate Director Nina Lindsay said. “We know transportation is a barrier for people of all ages who want to use OPL’s services and programs, so we look forward to continuing our work with OakDOT, the Scraper Bike Team, and additional community partners to make it easier and safer to bike in Oakland.”

Alta Planning’s Brett Honodorp, whose firm served as a consultant for Let’s Bike Oakland, announced at the end of the press conference that Alta Planning will donate three bike repair kits to assist OPL branches in supporting the plan. 

For the full Let’s Bike Oakland plan, click here. For more information on OPL's current bike-related services, visit oaklandlibrary.org/bikes.