One of the main goals of smart urban development is to grow within the existing confines of a city rather than expanding outwards. That’s what Alameda County’s transportation agency aims to do with a proposed 12 mile bicycle path that would span the distance beneath BART tracks between Oakland and Hayward. In addition to beautifying the often stark space beneath BART tracks, the proposed East Bay Greenway would likely reduce bicycle and pedestrian accidents by giving citizens a car-free space to walk and bike.

“By linking together the many smaller parks, schoolyards, bike trails, and community destinations,” writes Urban Ecology, the group that has sponsored the project, “the East Bay Greenway will create new opportunities for recreation, public health, sustainability, and community pride.”

So far, supporters of the East Bay Greenway have collected about $2.5 million (8 percent) of the funds necessary to complete the project through a county sales tax and federal stimulus dollars. But proponents are confident that the bike trail will meet fundraising goals and move forward as early as summer 2012. “We’ll be championing this project,” said James O’Brian, the Alameda County transportation commission’s project manager.

Over the past few years, the Bay Area has become a well-known mecca for bicycle commuters. Last year, for example, San Francisco and Oakland ranked 4th and 5th respectively on the League of American Bicyclists’ annual list of major American cities for bicycle commuters.

For this reason, we have developed an interactive map of popular Bay Area bicycle trails. Whether you’re commuting to work or just looking for a good bike ride, the list includes some great, safe options. And hopefully we’ll be adding the East Bay Greenway to the list before long.

Photo credit: szavo

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Andy Gillin received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California at Berkeley and his law degree from the University of Chicago. He is the managing partner of GJEL Accident Attorneys and has written and lectured in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury law for numerous organizations. Since 1972 he has been helping seriously injured victims throughout northern California fight & win their personal injury cases. Andy is one of the top awarded & recognized wrongful death lawyers in northern California.