Northern California - Route from San Francisco's Pier 41 to Oakland to the Emeryville Amtrak Station
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12-24-09, 09:02 PM
Toward the end of my Trans American trip this coming summer, I'll hopefully be taking the California Zephr from Emeryville back to Galesburg, Illinois. I plan to catch a ferry from San Francisco over to Oakland and riding to Emeryville to the Amtrak station. I've included a route from Mapmyride, I'm hoping someone might know if my planned route is a good one. It appears to be okay from the Google maps street side view...it includes a bike lane all the way to the station. Any suggestions?
Thanks for any help you all might provide!
My Crazyguyonabike Journal site: http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/SirWalter
DG Going Uphill
12-25-09, 12:21 AM
The train doesn't also go from Oakland? If it does, you are only a few blocks away when you get off the ferry.
The route you picked should be OK, but many would consider it too sketchy -- the route you picked goes through some projects and warehouse districts. I've never gone exactly that route because I am usually headed to the east of Emeryville. I usually start off on Market until I get to near San Pablo (on your route, keep San Pablo on your right -- it's a busy street with lots better side streets along it). I don't think any of the roads around there will give you trouble after your big adventure.
A completely alternative route is to take the subway (BART), as long as you don't have a trailer. Get off at Ashby station and essentially head downhill on Ashby to the train station (you'll have to cut over on another street for a few blocks when you get to the end). While BART is more convenient, I think the ferry trip would be a nicer end to your journey.
12-25-09, 12:46 AM
You could book your Amtrak trip from SF. No extra $ typically. SF to Emeryville would be a bus. Bike transpo might be a problem, though.
I'm on my blackberry, so haven't looked at your route; but there are various ferries. Look into them - Alameda, Jack London I think and others.
Good luck on your journey.
12-25-09, 08:43 AM
Just beware of the ghetto areas around there as there are many and some aren't too friendly!
12-25-09, 12:23 PM
I recommend catching the train at Jack London Square instead.
If that is not an option for some reason, then the route you choose is OK from a traffic standpoint, but it goes through a somewhat industrial and unpleasant area. You will pass right by a sewage treatment plant and underneath a maze of freeways. Once you pop into Emeryville things get better quickly, though there's lots of traffic there (and it's people going to Ikea and the mall, usually unforgiving drivers IMO). It will get you there, just not the nicest part of your trip.
12-25-09, 01:09 PM
That seems like a good route. West Oakland BART (by Cypress) is a favorite jumping off point for people catching the Bay Trail north. That area of Oakland has been built up quite a bit since Emeryvilles business has boomed. There is a lot of commercial trucking through there, but if you've made it across the country, it shouldn't be a problem. Good luck, have fun. Oakland would be much closer, in Jack London Square.
12-25-09, 02:03 PM
your map didn't come up for some reason? Just a blank screen. But I lived 2 blocks from the Emeryville Amtrak. If you prefer taking the scenic ferry then Jack London is the way to go. If you need to go to the Emeryville station then Bart to Ashby station would be best.
There is a great non-profit bicycle repair spot down the street if you want to tune up your bike for the return trip or run into any bike problems. Free stand time and tool use. You pay a small fee for used parts or bring your own parts.
12-25-09, 04:16 PM
Thanks all for the very informative options! Doing my part, it looks like I'll best be served if I box the trailer up and send it home once I reach Santa Rosa (my father's location). So BART might work very well for me. My train leaves at 9:50AM, so I have to work out when to arrive, where to stay the night prior etc. The Oakland Station did not give me a viable option, seems it wanted to put me on a bus to Santa Barbara, then off to LA...weird because it is only a couple miles from Emeryville.
Another problem has surfaced...with my bike I'll have to go all the way to Chicago! Galesburg, IL or anywhere near it has no baggage services. Since at Emeryville I have to box the bike, and it boards the train as checked luggage, there would be no way to get it off the train at Galesburg...really a shame. More than likely I will be stopping in on a LBS in SF, and having them box and ship the bike and trailer back home, then I'll take the desired train ride across the US (to Illinois anyway), and get a ride home from Galesburg. This isn't really too much of a disappointment so it would work too. The conquering hero wouldn't be able to ride the last 50 miles to his castle is all! :) Unless the conquering hero's wife delivered Sir Walter to him at the Galesburg Station! Thinking, always thinking!
12-27-09, 10:51 PM
If your bike is being shipped before you get on the train, then look into catching an Amtrak connector bus to Emeryville. I know it stops by the Ferry Building (an easy streetcar ride from Pier 41), and I think it may also stop in other parts of town. But as I said, Pier 41 to the Ferry Bulding is an easy staright shot on the "F" line, which is serviced by a collection of old trolley cars from various cities that SF bought and fixed up to appeal to the tourists who frequent the Fisherman's Wharf area.
This should be the link for the "F" line - http://transit.511.org/schedules/index.aspx?#m1=S&m2=rail&routeid=26604&dir=OB&type=6098&cid=SF
You will be going "outbound" and catching the trolley at the Beach and Stockton Streets stop anbd getting off at the Embarcadero and Ferry Building stop - according to the schedules, it's an 8 minute ride. (The schedule shows the Beach/Stockton stop, but not the Ferry Bidg stop, but the Don Chee/Steuart St stop is the next one past the Ferry Bldg stop, so computing the time is easy.)
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