DUBLIN -- The gateway street to a BART station here has become friendlier to pedestrians and cyclists with a $1.9 million face-lift -- which includes the first green bike lanes in Alameda County.
Dublin has widened sidewalks to 10 feet, added landscaping and installed brighter streetlights and a raised street median with plants on Golden Gate Drive from the West Dublin/Pleasanton BART station to Dublin Boulevard.
The city also narrowed the driving lanes and added bike lanes with a bright green coating to alert motorists to steer clear of cyclists.
"This is part of our plan to make our downtown more walkable and ridable and connected to transit," said Dublin Mayor Tim Sbranti. "You narrow the (driving) lanes here a little, and it really slows things down. People used to fly through it. Golden Gate was a wide open street."
The city also built a traffic roundabout that is lighted at night to illuminate the plants that adorn the middle of the structure.
Golden Gate Drive is especially important to municipal leaders because it's the city's main gateway to BART's newest station. It is located along Interstate 580, straddling the border between Dublin and Pleasanton.
Just north of the station, developers are building apartments and condominiums along Golden Gate Drive as part of a plan for transit-oriented development in Dublin.
Once those homes are occupied, city officials hope many more residents will use public transit, leaving their cars at home and walking or riding to the nearby BART station at the edge of the city's downtown. A frequent Dublin visitor who was skateboarding to the BART station one morning last week said he was impressed by the improvements.
"It's very attractive," said Ian Stenger-Morgante, an Oakland resident without a car who visits friends in Dublin via BART and skateboard.
He said he usually doesn't see many other people walking, skating or cycling to the BART station. "Most everyone drives around here, but I think Dublin is on the right track to make it easier to travel in other ways."
Kathy Hallock, a San Ramon resident, agreed the streetscape improvements have made the street more inviting. Walking to BART to travel to an Oakland A's day game, Hallock had parked her car in a commercial Dublin area because she didn't expect to find any empty parking spaces at the BART station.
"I think when these apartments and homes are finished and fill up with people, this street will have a lot of local people walking to BART," she said.
The street improvements were finished earlier this summer and accepted as complete by the Dublin City Council in July. The money for the project came from a variety of sources, including Dublin, Alameda County, state and federal funds.
Contact Denis Cuff at 925-943-8267. Follow him at Twitter.com/deniscuff.