Oakland 19th St. BART Canopy Ribbon Cutting / by Elaine Chan

OAKLAND TRIBUNE

OAKLAND -- A ceremonial ribbon cutting Friday boosted Uptown Oakland and the opening of a very well lighted BART escalator canopy seen as a distinctive marker for the station and the developing entertainment district.

Part of a $2 million pilot project, the canopied escalator will give 19th Street Station riders a landmark with LED lights shining up into the evening sky and bright lights illuminating the escalator rising from below and even light from the sidewalk itself.

Opening onto 20th Street at Broadway across from the Paramount Theatre, the refurbished escalator and its glass canopy were showered with civic pride by BART Director Robert Raburn and City Council President Lynette Gibson-McElhaney, who said the structure adds to the attractions and safety of the Uptown area.

An aerial view of the new 19th Street canopy entrance to BART is photographed on 20th Street in Oakland, Calif., on Friday, March 6, 2015. The canopy, which opened to BART commuters this week, protects the street-to-station escalators from weather and misuse, and allows employees and patrons to enjoy a greater degree of safety according to BART officials.(Laura A. Oda/Bay Area News Group) ( Laura A. Oda )

"It's bright, welcoming, and enhances escalator reliability while adding artistic elements to the neighborhood," Raburn said.

Among the new light features is a glass sidewalk on the corner that will be lighted at night. The canopy gives the escalator weather protection and enhanced security, and a video screen shows real-time train arrival information at its street entrance.

"This canopy is part of our efforts to modernize our aging stations," said Director Raburn. "It's bright, welcoming, and enhances escalator reliability while adding artistic elements to the neighborhood."

The canopy is a pilot project to test the concept in anticipation of installing them at other stations, he said.

- Andrew McGall, Oakland Tribune