Blogging Bayport Alameda

February 18, 2015

On cycle track

Filed under: Alameda, Development, Transportation — Lauren Do @ 6:08 am

The Shoreline Cycletrack sort of had its “soft opening” over this long weekend.  It’s not “officially” open yet meaning there has not yet been the pomp and circumstance of ribbon cuttings etc yet, but its been (fairly) well received given the flood of naysaying that occurred during the actual construction process.

According to Facebook reports there were lots of people out there using the Cycletrack — meaning actual bicyclists — and lots more pedestrians using the regular path.  Granted it was a very long and very nice weekend so the number of people might have been slightly inflated due to those two things, but that’s sort of the point of the cycletrack right?  To provide increased access and capacity for bicyclists and pedestrians on really nice days like the weekend that we just had.   Here’s a nice little blog post about it from Streetsblog.

And this oh so awesome video:

Now that the cycle track is being used — although it would have been helpful had there been counts of usage before the cycle track went in to compare with the usage after opening — folks should turn their attention to the Clement Street Complete Street project since this will be the next thing that will go through a public process and then once it has been completed and construction starts some folks will be taken by surprise and complain about how this was shoved down their throats with no notice.

So here’s the location:

clementcorridormap

This, by the way, is a great stretch of road for drivers and not much for anyone else because it’s a straight shot from Grand to Park with only one stop sign at Oak Street. The lanes are super duper wide and there’s hardly ever any other cars until you hit Park Street. This street totally could support a protected bike lane and retain all the parking there currently exists on the road. In fact, this street could probably use some wider sidewalks as well.

Here are the two options:

TraditionalBikewayClement

TwoWayBikewayClement2

And you can provide your input here. I personally like the second rendering better, I feel like the cycletrack version feels safer for less confident bicyclist out there, of which I am one.

The actual “grand opening” of the cycle track is scheduled for March 8 Saturday, March 7 at 11:00 am.  Shoreline and Westline.

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66 Comments

  1. What a nice article about the Shoreline Cycle track on Streetsblog. I wonder when Google will include it on their “Bay Area Bicycle Boulevard” map?

    Although I do wish the City would paint the cycle track green. I see that the intersections are painted green, but I was in Oakland a few weeks ago and I noticed that several of their bike paths are painted green. Not only does it make it easier to distinguish the bike path for safety purposes, it is esthetically pleasing to the eye.

    I’m glad to see that we’re moving forward with another bike path project – Clement Street is perfect for it!

    Comment by Karen Bey — February 18, 2015 @ 7:33 am

  2. Clement should not really face much opposition. Unlike Shoreline, there is no dense residential along here and no real parking crunch along there. Also, there is no loss of traffic lanes. I wish the city had shot for the moon, and removed parking from one side of the street and then they would have room to split the cycle track and make sure the sidewalks are wide enough.

    Comment by BMac — February 18, 2015 @ 7:45 am

  3. (Cont.) but apparently there is a parking crunch 6 nights a year when there is a football game. Meh.

    Comment by BMac — February 18, 2015 @ 7:46 am

  4. Karen, I believe only the areas that might be potentially in conflict are painted green. I think in Oakland the green lanes are done the same way? With green indicating possible conflict zones. https://vimeo.com/110391985

    Comment by Lauren Do — February 18, 2015 @ 7:51 am

  5. Lauren, next time I’m in Oakland I’ll retrace my steps. There are several bike paths that have been painted green — not remembering which ones at the moment.

    Comment by Karen Bey — February 18, 2015 @ 7:57 am

  6. They are painted green where there are intersecting Streets. Purpose being someone making a turn (hopefully) will notice not to drive up the bike lane. They stared installing ‘logos’ on the green areas yesterday.

    Comment by frank m — February 18, 2015 @ 8:09 am

  7. Oakland’s standard is indeed to paint dashed green in any “merge zone” between a bike lane and a travel lane, and then a solid green stretch on each end to highlight the merge area. The idea is that solid green should mean “bikes only” while dashed green means drivers may cross with caution.

    The following document shows the specific types of lanes that get the green treatment, and Oakland staff have already identified every area around the city where it should be applied so they can roll it out routinely as part of paving projects: http://www2.oaklandnet.com/oakca1/groups/pwa/documents/agenda/oak044955.pdf. That being said, redesigning streets to eliminate “merge zones” is a more expensive but better option altogether, if Alameda can afford it. Free right turn slip lanes are bad for both bicycle and pedestrian safety, and generally inappropriate for anything outside of freeways.

    The solid green stripe on Oakland 40th Street is an experiment outside of the above-mentioned standards, and one that hasn’t been very successful so it’s unlikely to be repeated elsewhere.

    Comment by Robert Prinz — February 18, 2015 @ 8:22 am

  8. it’s a bit difficult, but I counted possibly sixty people on the path in the film and a few times I was pretty sure there were a few bikes in the clusters. The video looks like a typical weekend use where peds are not a constant flow, but they come along at regular intervals. I’m often surprised that on nice sunny days the number of folks out for exercise is so light.

    In the film the rider has to yield to peds once. This is currently the case, especially on high use days when groups like families with kids come to and from the beach with beach equipment like chairs. Often kids run ahead of parents who are lugging stuff. If kids are excited to get to the beach or to get back to MacDonald’s they can be distracted, looking back to mom and dad to catch up while standing in the path. When I ride the path on a bike I yield to peds, and walkers of dogs on those obnoxiously long leashes, and always look for spaced out beach goers crossing the path. The track will be especially good for serious cyclists who are out to get cardio by cranking it full bore for a stretch without interruption. When I ride I am usually ambling and prefer to see the water so the road is a disadvantage for view, though I may stick to the track now just to make it less confusing.

    I noted at the end of the film there was a cyclist who blew it on the curve riding in tandem with another in the oncoming lane. Also a stroller. One hopes this will get ironed out with use, but using the lowest common denomination of behavior, who knows. Some less skilled cyclists will no doubt continue to use the existing path. Jogging strollers should stay on the path.

    Even now there are often a cyclist or two who is out to ride full bore on the path with peds and dog walkers who is trying not to yield. These people are liabilities and I expect eventually one of them will cross path with peds in the green zone. I’ve met them oncoming when cycling and I get aggressive and don’t yield like I do to peds, just to make a point. As a ped I once forced a guy to make full stop by not yielding, chest bump, grrrr. It’s always dudes.

    This is a worst case description from a semi regular cyclist. I am in favor of the track, but I still want to know what happens when Fed Ex and UPS do delivery.

    On my second attempt to count peds I thought I spotted a LOT of cyclists still on the path. I also got around 42 peds, not 60. The biggest clumps tend to be from Park East toward bird sanctuary. I’m all for “build it and they will come” approach to bike and other “alternative” infrastructure, but by current use it may be hard to justify the track by sheer numbers. just sayin’. and Yes Lauren it sure would have been great to meter bike and ped use before construction. Assumed they had. Could have used a fixed camera and averaged from a single time period. I assume they must have metered auto volume. We very recently had those metering strips on Oak ( official bike path). I wonder if they are able to differentiate between cyclist and cars. I also wonder if they gauge speed by the time it takes front and rear tires to cross.

    Comment by MI — February 18, 2015 @ 9:31 am

  9. in terms of lowest denominator, are there periodic arrows on the pavement reminding people of lane use? We don’t have them for autos on regular roads, but that doesn’t mean at times they aren’t needed.

    Comment by MI — February 18, 2015 @ 9:50 am

  10. 8 comments already and none of the Alameda-Chicken-Littles are here to proclaim this project as the greatest traffic planning disaster to ever happen to Alameda? I’m extremely surprised. They must be still asleep. Or stuck in Shoreline drive traffic on the way to McDonald’s to get their senior discount coffee.

    I bicycled down the track on Sunday around 11 am, and the number of cyclists was much higher than shown in the video. I would guess 4x to 5x. Lots of families with kids. I cycled on shoreline a lot before this track was even a concept, and you would never see that before, not even making use of the ped path.

    I also rode my motorcycle* down Shoreline on Monday around 4 pm and saw some jackass in a commercial van make a U-turn right after the curve at 8th, and proceed to cross the hatched line “barrier” and nearly run over a guy on a recumbent bike. The recumbent rider seemed to take it pretty well. If it were me I would have had to change my spandex shorts.

    *I motorcycle and drive down shoreline at all times of day (in addition to biking) and I honestly cannot tell the difference in travel time prior to and after this project. I have no idea where people come up with this idea.

    Comment by Brock — February 18, 2015 @ 9:58 am

  11. #10 As a Senior I find you quite insulting.

    Comment by frank m — February 18, 2015 @ 10:14 am

  12. I don’t see why anyone except the people who live along Shoreline should care. If it makes people nervous to drive with so many cyclists in that area, they have lots of other options to get from one end of the island to the other.

    I’m glad to see something being done to make cycling safer. It’s a big improvement over the east end of Central by Otis that simply has a biker logo stenciled in the middle of the street. I’m sure the parents of school children find that enormously reassuring!

    My biggest concern about promoting cycling is that we should do all we can to prevent hostility between cyclists and drivers, as is so often the case in San Francisco. A lot of that grows out of fear and anxiety on the part of drivers. Nobody wants to be driving and have an accident with a cyclist. The more cyclists on the road, the more likely this is to happen and when it does, serious injury or death is very likely. The driver then has to live with that on their conscience, even if it was the cyclist who was at fault. People get angry when others do things that frighten them. We’ve all seen the hot shot “I’m so superior” cyclist who gets a kick out of screwing with drivers. The bad behavior of some create a hostile climate for everyone. Luckily, these folks are in the minority. I’m glad to see Jon Spangler acknowledge that this is a problem. Hopefully, with more families getting involved in the practice of cycling instead of driving, the hot shots will find someplace else to act like jerks.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — February 18, 2015 @ 1:28 pm

  13. This design concept may work for Shoreline Avenue but I would prefer that Alameda’s streets use the “shared space” way of thinking.

    “Shared Space is more a way of thinking than it is a design concept. It is most readily recognized as a street space where all traffic control devices such as signals and stop signs, all markings such as crosswalks, and all signing have been removed. Curbing is removed to blur the lines between sidewalks and motorized travel way. The philosophy is that absence of all of those features forces all users of the space — from pedestrians to drivers — to negotiate passage through the space via eye contact and person to person negotiation.

    This is all premised on the idea that traditional streets allocate distinct spaces to the different modes, and in doing so create a false sense of security to each user leading them to behave as if they have no responsibility to look out for other users in “their” space. This obviously works best for operators of motor vehicles, who are sitting within the protection of a ton and a half of steel.”

    google : street+design+shared+space for examples

    Comment by Gerard L. — February 18, 2015 @ 2:09 pm

  14. Generally, I believe that cyclists should follow the same rules as other traffic on the roadways and have safely designed roadways accessible to them everywhere–instead of relegating cyclists to supposedly “safe” but second-class separated facilities that do not always take us where we want to travel.

    I am concerned that the cycle track proposed for Clement will be much more risky than the Shore Line Drive cycle track for cyclists, with all of its industrial firms and marinas along the north side of Clement between Oak and Grand. Consider that crossing a cycle track presents the same two-way traffic challenges as crossing a street, vehicles entering and exiting those north-side driveways will be crossing TWO two-way and two-lane “streets” at once, and I worry that truck drivers may not *notice* cyclists–especially younger ones on their way to grade school.

    Compared to Clement Street, the Shore Line Drive and Fernside cycle tracks both have very limited cross-traffic and few driveways or streets that cause conflicts, so they are more suitable for the “nonstandard” traffic flow of a cycle track, as see it. On Cement, with more traffic and more interruptions (driveways, turning traffic), bicyclists may well be safer if they travel in the same direction as auto traffic within buffered bike lanes instead of traveling against traffic.

    “Separate and unequal” facilities for “whites” and “coloreds” in the South never worked well, and I do not like the same treatment being applied to cyclists or other non-motorized travelers on our streets and roads.

    Comment by Jon Spangler — February 18, 2015 @ 3:39 pm

  15. At the very end of last night’s council meeting, there was something about participating in a DOT Mayor’s Challenge for Safer Streets. Including “personal mobility devices” . Google “personal mobility device” and you find a Bar Stool on Wheels: (just for you, Jack)

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2015/01/13/honda-uni-cub-personal-mobility/21700869/

    Comment by vigi — February 18, 2015 @ 3:39 pm

  16. Did you just say Bike Lanes = Jim Crow?

    Really?

    Comment by dave — February 18, 2015 @ 5:45 pm

  17. Theoretically Gerard in #13 has It right and what he described is the way it was in this and most every other town in the world until the smokey beast manufacturing moguls wrest enough political clout in the early twentieth century to fundamentally change the nature of the shared space we now reserve for the exclusive use of steel pods with a few grudgingly given green lanes for leg driven people movers.

    But, my prediction is that eventually incrementally the world will return to the concept of commingling all means of people movement on pathways we call streets.

    Comment by jack — February 18, 2015 @ 6:07 pm

  18. 14
    To analogize bike v auto lanes with separate but equal laws is repugnant on its face.

    Comment by jack — February 18, 2015 @ 6:42 pm

  19. #12, I care and I don’t live on Shoreline. I no longer go East on Shoreline due to having to wait for people turning left; I go the long way around on Otis and circle to Shoreline going West to drop my mail in the post office drive-up boxes. Not a big deal, but with traffic the way it is on Otis, it’s a pain.

    Comment by Linda on Otis St. — February 18, 2015 @ 7:32 pm

  20. 10. “8 comments already and none of the Alameda-Chicken-Littles are here to proclaim this project as the greatest traffic planning disaster to ever happen to Alameda? I’m extremely surprised. They must be still asleep. Or stuck in Shoreline drive traffic on the way to McDonald’s to get their senior discount coffee.” don’t know if my snark meter is broke or if it’s needed, but could you rephrase your point, cause I’m not getting it.

    Went to the post office in the afternoon and thought I solved the delivery truck riddle. I hadn’t been to south shore since final striping had taken place and there is a middle section for turn lanes from Park Street to the west. Sadly, that lane only ran to the western edge of post office. Looking farther down Shoreline I couldn’t see more. I agree that two lanes seems to handle the traffic volume just fine and I think a lot of us knew it would. Biking in the street with two lanes each direction was never comfortable as cars would whiz by at 35 mph and I would always being looking fro doors on parked cars. Drivers often would not change lanes to pass as they could have. Now drivers don’t have to look out for bikes, just car doors being flung open.

    I think the high volume of peds and others this past Sunday and Monday were definitely due to fine weather and the holiday. More or less an anomaly.

    Comment by MI — February 18, 2015 @ 7:42 pm

  21. #14 wow yeah you had me until the crazy hyperbole at the end there. thing is, cars and bikes themselves aren’t equal, and there’s nothing discriminatory about providing appropriate facilities to each.

    Comment by ajryan — February 18, 2015 @ 7:50 pm

  22. #20: I think you’re totally right…why would making the shoreline (a place notorious for conflicts between bikes and walkers) a nicer place to walk and bike have any impact on whether people decide to do it more often. Especially on a sunny day.

    Comment by jkw — February 18, 2015 @ 8:12 pm

  23. #20 Sure. How’s this in haiku form:

    “Bike track seems real neat
    Traffic problems aint here, but
    Same folks will complain”

    Comment by Brock — February 18, 2015 @ 8:12 pm

  24. 22. John. Perhaps you snark up the wrong tree, just a bit. The high volume of people traffic at south shore this weekend was not magically induced by the bike track, though certainly the fact of the tracks near completion drew a significant number of cycling fans who have been waiting to try it out. But I still maintain that compared to average population of people migrating to south shore for sun and air on a nice day, the high use was a holiday anomaly. It’s also just anecdotal but Ann commented that the parking lot at south shore on Monday was packed in a way she had never seen.

    You are surly correct that a lot of cycling fans must have been drawn to the track, but I noticed A LOT of recreational cyclists all over the island Monday. I made conscious note when I saw like the fifth middle aged guy I usually don’t see, in full regalia on expensive bike, cycling on interior streets like Central and Santa Clara, probably coming back or heading to ride some distance for which they bought their expensive equipment but don’t get out enough. Sans colorful spandex, it could have been me.

    I’m sticking to my anecdotal observations averaged over years, that the general population of people walking and biking doesn’t justify this track to many casual observers, especially those who simply don’t appreciate the safety value. Regular riders who are fit and able and out for cardio work out have stayed on the street where the surface is better anyway. If the track avoids one or two serious collisions a year between peds and other ( less skilled) cyclists, that justifies it’s construction in my view.

    Here is my point as devil’s advocate on the numbers: detractors want any publicly subsidized infrastructure to be justified by high ratio of use compared to number of tax payers. I don’t know where that line gets drawn, but from my observations the numbers at the beach on any given day ( holiday anomalies excluded) SEEMS relatively sparse. As flat and bike friendly as Alameda may be it isn’t Amsterdam ( yet), though bike use SEEMS to be on steady increase.. The obvious counter point for critics like vigi would be the example of curb cuts at corners which are legally mandated for infrequent use by wheel chairs, but also benefit people with strollers or even homeless with belongings in shopping carts.

    Also, as per 8, bikes must yield to peds in cross walks as per vehicle code, but I suspect at some point a cyclist making time on the track and taking ownership of their unimpeded progress, will smash into peds who steps into the green zone. Currently with mixed use on path it makes for entanglement, maybe a bad spill, but I see potential for higher speed collision. Obviously track is better, but I think worst case scenarios are worth mentioning. Peds will be navigating TWO sets of two way traffic in short succession, having to look both ways each time. Think of the dude in Central Park or the guy in SF who blew the red light and totaled his poor helmet, Oh! and killed a pedestrian in his 70s..

    Excuse me if I’m obtuse, but I’m still waiting for somebody to explain what the strategy is for delivery vehicles.

    Comment by MI — February 19, 2015 @ 2:02 pm

  25. There are frequent yellow curb loading zones along the high density blocks. FedEx and UPS will just have to learn to not block traffic like the rest of us. Tired of subsidizing everyone’s Amazon deliveries by allowing delivery drivers to avoid the extra 30 seconds it takes to find some open curb while they deliver instead of double parking often times they do this with 50 of open curb within half a block.

    Comment by BMac — February 19, 2015 @ 4:57 pm

  26. alright..,. I dragged my ass out there. Notes from 4:10 to 4:40 pm Thursday. Really nice WEEKday. I rode west from Park to Crown beach and back. Really enthusiastic. probably twenty peds, a few less cyclists.

    Noted that first section of turn lane is adjacent to mall, so no conflict with delivery vans there ( no need). During construction mess and with partial striping/ high speed of video above, the details were allusive. During construction mess it was easy to forget the restoration of parking on south side/east bound. On third viewing I picked up on parking in video, but not until fourth time I suddenly realized the guy I thought was oncoming in wrong lane was actually extremely slow person being passed by the guy with helmet cam. Duh.

    During the day it is easy to imagine lots of parking vacancy on south side, but since package delivery is door to door, UPS job will still prove challenging. I only spotted one existing yellow zone at some apartments on north side. Double parking in right hand west bound lane in old configuration did not require drivers to cross street holding packages. UPS operates at all hours, often in the evening, and my recollection is that evening parking on old south side of Shoreline was packed solid at night. The turn lanes are barely as wide as a UPS van and so it would seem to make them unsafe for that use.

    Seems like those of you who were intimately involved with the genesis of the design probably have specifics on this but it’s fine if you want to keep making me guess. I’ll just sit out there for 24 hours and eventually I’ll figure it out. It would take me that long to find a document on the City web site anyway.

    I’m much, much less concerned about speeding cyclists hitting peds at crossings because in real time it’s clear there will be ample reaction time. False alarm on that, at least until there is seriously heavy use, like SUNNY HOLIDAYS. Two observations on green pads at intersections. The one at grand is long and the apron beyond the bike lanes is wide because parking lane allows for that, so that section should be pretty smooth, but in highest use by cyclists of differing skills and abilities it seems like people merging in and out of tracks in two directions could cause sudden halt of track flow in heaviest use. Basically a good old cluster F-K ( I hate that term, but it seems apt). At Park Street the apron is completely minimal because of the turn lane in the center and it may prove inadequate when folks waiting to get back on Park have their rear wheel in the west bound lane of the track.

    It’s a bit of a drag for people who have no perspective but from behind a windshield of a car to scream bloody murder, but it is human nature to react from what we know, or think we know. I just watched the Rumsfeld documentary, “Known and Unknown” where he rationalizes his lies by parsing “known knowns, known unknowns, unknown knowns and unknown unknowns”. You get the picture. Writing known so many times it even stopped looking like a word! A lot of folks can be won over and will calm down because just maybe most of us are reasonable animals. But twenty five years after the fact there is still a bitter minority who have never been on it who rail about that god damned bike bridge debacle.

    Comment by MI — February 19, 2015 @ 5:45 pm

  27. 25. thanks for that. I was composing 26. and didn’t see your post. I did not see the the “frequent” yellow zones. Speaking of Amazon jogged my synapses, the solution is drone delivery, duh!.

    Comment by MI — February 19, 2015 @ 5:48 pm

  28. I think I counted four yellow Loading Zones on the Nothside starting at Westline up to the Post Office. Each is the length of about four Parking spaces. They are enforced 9:00AM to 5:00 PM for 30 minute Parking seven days a week and as some Residents found on Holidays as the woke up to Parking Tickets on New Year’s Day. It remains to be seen if the Delivery Trucks actually will use these Zones or not. I am walking this stretch every morning. I actually have come to like the Bike Lanes and it is GREAT for those who use it for an early morning Commute. There are many things aside from Delivery Vans that at some point can/will be problematic. However like a lot of things in our Town any criticism be it constructive or otherwise will have you labeled ‘one of them’.

    Comment by frank m — February 20, 2015 @ 5:32 am

  29. I see on Facebook that someone got confused this afternoon and ended up with his car stuck in the sand on the actual Beach. Looks like he came out of the arterial Streets straight across over the curb and up the wooden slats that go to the Beach. He was fine till he made a U-turn and got stuck in the sand.

    Comment by frank m — February 20, 2015 @ 6:41 pm

  30. Sure wish those small concrete islands had a sloped curb instead of the traditional vertical 4″ curb. They’re trip, crash hazards for peds, cyclists and motorists.

    Comment by Basel — February 21, 2015 @ 12:59 pm

  31. Rode the bikeway for 15 minutes this afternoon (not crazy warm, not a long weekend). Counted 33 people on bikes, countless pedestrians during my trip. From my past experience, many more people on bikes than last summer. Also, lots of available parking spaces. Figured I’d put my count here for future reference.

    Comment by jkw — February 21, 2015 @ 3:21 pm

  32. next is the Clement Complete Streets Project? Alameda is beginning to feel claustrophobic. It’s being encircled by a giant green corset of cycle track.

    Comment by vigi — February 21, 2015 @ 4:25 pm

  33. Shoreline used to look half way decent. Now it looks like a crazy man’s nightmare of something designed to make everyone pissed. Like driving through a corridor of curb to dune yuck. Thanks city, for the latest do gooder crap.

    Comment by jack — February 21, 2015 @ 7:32 pm

  34. Change is sometimes difficult, but I think the investment in bicycle paths and pedestrian safety policies are well worth it.

    Here is some interesting information I found on the issue:

    An article from the National Complete Streets Coalition shows that Complete Streets stimulate the economy, making it easier for residents and visitors to take transit, walk or bike to their destinations:

    “Better bicycle infrastructure can create jobs directly, too. Cycling adds over $556 million and 3,400 jobs to Wisconsin’s economy through increased tourism, bicycle manufacturing, sales and repair, bike tours, and other activities. Similarly, there’s a $90 million benefit to the city’s economy from Portland, Oregon’s bicycling industry, and the state of Colorado reaps a benefit of over $1 billion each year from bicycle manufacturing, retail, and tourism”.

    “Local businesses see many benefits in improving access to people traveling by foot or bicycle. When a bike lane was added along Valencia Street in San Francisco’s Mission district, nearby businesses saw sales increase by 60 percent, which merchants attributed to increased pedestrian and bicycle activity”.

    And for those familiar with a “Walk Score”, here’s more:
    “Complete Streets policies lead to networks of streets that are safe and accessible for people on foot or riding bikes, which in turn raises property values. The walk ability of a neighborhood as measured by WalkScore.com raises property values”.

    Pretty neat I think ……

    Comment by Karen Bey — February 22, 2015 @ 7:39 am

  35. Bike lanes/paths are great, we need as many as we can get.

    But I still wonder why the Shoreline path was wasn’t just added alongside the existing path. It would have been much cheaper and easier to grade a portion of the existing fake dune and pour some asphalt a few yards wide. This wouldn’t have created a parking controversy either, but I guess it was just too sensible & practical.

    Comment by dave — February 22, 2015 @ 8:21 am

    • Widening the existing off-street path on either side would have been hugely more expensive than the on-street facility that was built. Widening on the beach side would mean building on top of sand, so a bunch of digging and fill would be required first then landscaping after, as well as relocating all the benches, connector paths, and other amenities. Widening on the street side would mean lots of curb work and sewer relocation, which are some of the most expensive elements of any street projects.

      Love it or hate it, but building bikeways on-street is always going to be a huge cost savings over off-street paths.

      Comment by Robert Pribz — February 22, 2015 @ 8:35 am

  36. #36 – I love it, so please on to the Clement Street Complete Street project….

    Comment by Karen Bey — February 22, 2015 @ 9:56 am

  37. 34
    The last time I drove on Shoreline heading west a motorist stopped by one of the Apt Buildings in order to attempt to parallel park. The car behind him had pulled too close to his rear blocking the ability for the guy to back up into the parking slot. The car behind the car behind had pulled too close to the behind and so on and so on until fifteen or so cars were stopped waiting for they knew not what. The lane going East had heavy traffic not letting the original behind car to illegally swing around the parking car so everyone just enjoyed the view of parked cars on the other side of Shoreline in what’s now known as an Alameda Shoreline Standoff. Side note: this same situation happens all the time with Fed X or the Big Brown trucks parking to unload.

    As a general principle maybe “Complete Streets” can improve this and that but that and this depends on the location of the Complete Street. The only way I can figure that that mess on Shoreline could possibly improve the economy and or business participation is by people being so frustrated with driving down what used to be a scenic drive that they shun the drive and possibly shun the businesses at South Shore and shop at the Landing. Which would be a good thing if they landed a Trader Joe’s at the Landing…but they didn’t, so it’s Otis or the Standoff for Joe’s. Pretty neat I think.

    Comment by jack — February 22, 2015 @ 10:05 am

  38. Jack, I just left Shoreline and everyone looks pretty happy to me. As with any change, it will take some time to get used to it, but once everybody gets a hang of it, we’ll be fine. And I agree it would have been nice to have a Trader Joe’s at the Landing!

    Comment by Karen Bey — February 22, 2015 @ 11:14 am

  39. #35, it was studied and discussed during the planning process, found to be one of those “common sense” things that didn’t make actual-sense from a cost or engineering standpoint.

    Comment by jkw — February 22, 2015 @ 11:22 am

  40. I’m pretty sure 30 cyclists is more than the average I passed on the old trail on my bike on a typical weekend morning, which is great. But that would be counting one way, not up and back. I don’t know that more folks will walk, but I expect they will be more relaxed without bikes and I know I’ll be much more inclined to bike with the new track. The view from the street is actually not that impaired especially without parked cars.

    for Clement I thought Jon’s comments on the logistics in post 14 to be worth a lot of scrutiny.

    Vigi, did you see my comment about curb cuts for disability? I’m sure people scoffed at the expense and clutter of those when they were first mandated, ( maybe even you before you had mobility issues) but they are great for all of us, just making it easier to step into the street. And let’s not forget easier for BIKES! You seem very subjective is what you pick and chose to complain about. Jack’s description is of a real situation. I’m sorry, but your post claustrophobia is just hyperbolic B.S.. Ani D. once posted complaints about sharrows painted on the street surfaces of bike routes without dedicated lanes. She hates the huge amount of signage everywhere as visual pollution. Funny, because with half a dozen no left after 3:30 signs ( including flashing LEDs) at every intersection people still do it. I’m glad the bike track included sharrows.

    I spoke to a well known cyclist who can identify himself , who said if there were slow kids on training wheels in the track he would take to one of the remaining auto lanes and assert his right to 3 feet of the roadway. I said if I were a motorist I would jump out of my car and scalp him. Sharing Oak street with the occasional ambling novice cyclist is bad enough for us car junkies. I suspect it will be very seldom that small kids on the track will be an issue. It’s a bit of a conundrum if parents are on bikes with their young kids who are learning, but maybe it’s something parents should consider, like walking with small kids and keeping them on ped path. I don’t think it’s the kids themselves that are the issue but the possibility of convergence with serious cyclists who insist on operating full tilt. How wide is each bike lane again?

    Comment by MI — February 22, 2015 @ 1:18 pm

  41. Karen, exactly where did you “just leave Shoreline”? East End not happy at all! Sunday, 22 Feb 2015, at 11:15 AM, I turned right from eastbound Otis onto southbound Broadway, to check out the east end of the cycle track. Right at the turn onto Shoreline, the AP/FD had put up orange plastic barriers, so all of us cars had to turn around and head back to Park Street, causing gridlock on Otis between Broadway and Park. Turned left on Park headed for the beach, did not see any blue curbs, but was able to park by McDonald’s [which has a rather strong rancid grease odor hanging about it in the air]. I walked toward the police roadblock [with my 4-wheeled walker] at Park. Only the far Broadway end of the cycle track was blocked by AFD, but I noticed all the cyclists were now using the walking path up to Park. Policeman sitting in his car blocking the street, but not directing traffic. I asked a passing cyclist why he wasn’t on the cycle track. He said “its all messed up”.
    What was that about me not describing a “real situation”, Mark? I have already seen a situation like Jack described; it’s happened more than once. The buses seem barely able to negotiate turns and lining up at those pads. I noticed a UHaul with its wheels already up on the curb, still too wide for the parallel parking spaces on Shoreline. The Transportation Coordinator says that’s why they couldn’t put any blue curbs on Shoreline itself: the spaces are too narrow. The TC promised the disabled community 8 handicap spaces during the community outreach meetings, but by the final product, half of those spaces had been wiped out, to make room for the cycle track. The only blue curbs are on the side streets. Without signs announcing them, they are pretty hard to find.
    I live on Grand. I used to go to the south end of the street to enjoy the peace and quiet of a sunset. Now I find traffic congestion there. Well, that’s “progress”.

    Comment by vigi — February 22, 2015 @ 2:05 pm

  42. 40:

    Did that study take into account the value of the lost parking spaces? If a space at Del Monte is worth $30,000, one at Shoreline is worth considerably more. Is $100,000 a fair estimate? That’s several million dollars of public amenities lost. Factor that in and the cost benefit analysis favors the plan alongside the existing path.

    To be clear, I am not opposing the bake lane, I like it & would like to see more. Simply saying there were more cost effective ways of executing it, and that both accounting and economic costs need to be factored in.

    Comment by dave — February 22, 2015 @ 4:32 pm

    • #40 I don’t think the value of the parking spot is $30k, I think that’s the cost to the city or landowner. That’s why converting parking spots to other uses is often a good financial deal, because the value of that parcel of land can be so much more when there is not a car on it.

      Comment by Robert Prinz — February 22, 2015 @ 5:37 pm

  43. Right, I totally got that. But lets return to common sense for a second, there is no universe in which a Shoreline resident is going to pay $100,000 for a permit to park on the street.

    Comment by jkw — February 22, 2015 @ 5:04 pm

  44. If the price of a Del Monte space is 30M, as the transit experts told us, what is a Shoreline space worth? The demand is considerably greater, while the relative supply is small.

    Comment by dave — February 22, 2015 @ 5:23 pm

  45. Vigi — I left Shoreline this morning and all was well. Like I said, change takes time and in time we’ll all get the hang of it and we’ll be fine. Regarding the accounting and economic costs –in my #34 comment, I just provided all the reasons many cities have embraced the Complete Street concept. I would say that the land fronting the beach is far more valuable because of the views of the water, and converting a portion of it to a cycle track vs using it for parking was a smart investment.

    Comment by Karen Bey — February 22, 2015 @ 7:19 pm

  46. Shoreline Drive looks so cluttered and road is narrow-I see a potential for head on collision w/cars….and those of us who drive had to take the hit for bicyclist….their lanes are wide…and drivers have to suffer….person who approved this project must be a BICYCLIST!! 🙂

    Comment by Jeanette — February 23, 2015 @ 5:47 am

  47. This conversation reminds me of working in SF. Everyday stop end go traffic approaching the bay bridge. On the last Friday of the month would be a quote from a motorist on how critical mass was preventing emergency vehicles from quick response.

    Now a bike path is causing traffic congestion? My bike weighs 20 pounds my car 3,000. Yeah my car makes me look fat. Maybe yours does too.

    Comment by Gerard L. — February 23, 2015 @ 7:47 am

  48. Rode along the cycle track Sunday morning; lots of people using it sensibly. Later, ran along the adjacent path and appreciated not having to listen for bikes behind me. It’s all good. Some people dislike any change. Most people will get used to it just fine.

    Comment by BC — February 23, 2015 @ 8:46 am

  49. 36 re 35 “Widening the existing off-street path on either side would have been hugely more expensive than the on-street facility that was…”

    The right way is what dave described, If they couldn’t afford to do it right, they shouldn’t have done it at all. Yeah, people will get used to the ugly but the potential was there to make Shoreline a beautiful scenic drive and now it’s a corridor of what some people settled for and the rest hate.

    Comment by jack — February 23, 2015 @ 9:09 am

  50. I agree 100% with you Jack…never thought I’d say that…I just drove down Shoreline…Yikes what a mess….

    Comment by J.E.A. — February 23, 2015 @ 4:18 pm

  51. 42. vigi, I was talking about curb cuts everywhere, all over every city, not disabled parking on Shoreline. BUT exactly how many blue zones existed before the bike track, none?

    Comment by MI — February 23, 2015 @ 6:16 pm

  52. If there are bottle necks for delivery vans, people behaving poorly trying to park, that is all real stuff. But the idea that this track is a hideous eyesore which ruins the scenery is grasping at straws.

    Comment by MI — February 23, 2015 @ 6:18 pm

  53. It’s ugly….plain and simple……..the orange cones will never go away because if they do there will be many accidents….Jack is 100% correct….We could have done such a beautiful bike trail but no….welcome to Alameda…
    .

    Comment by J.E.A> — February 23, 2015 @ 6:42 pm

  54. “Thomas Edison’s last words were ‘It’s very beautiful over there’. I don’t know where there is, but I believe it’s somewhere, and I hope it’s beautiful.”

    Comment by jack — February 23, 2015 @ 7:01 pm

  55. 54

    Agree. As poorly executed as it was, the aesthetics don’t change much if at all. It’s still the same fake dune next to a path next to a street with many parked cars.

    I rode it yesterday afternoon, both directions, and both times there were people walking in the bikeway. That was odd…

    Comment by dave — February 24, 2015 @ 6:25 am

  56. Look, Alameda is the genius town that put a McDonalds and post office on the beach. Let’s not set our sights too high. The town is gradually improving but it’ll be slow.

    Comment by BC — February 24, 2015 @ 7:53 am

  57. This could be a fun fill-in-the-blank game.

    Alameda is the genius town that _____________________________

    Comment by dave — February 24, 2015 @ 8:12 am

  58. BC you fail to give the genius city planning enough credit. The court house, the former movie theater, and who doesn’t love the bowling alley with its new red, white and black paint job.

    The genius award would however have to go to the folks who decided to remove our public transportation system to provide more on street parking.

    Comment by Gerard L. — February 24, 2015 @ 9:05 am

  59. dave, the entire sand beach is “fake”. Maybe alluvial mud would be more historically accurate, therefor preferable. The faux dune was actually planted with wild flowers but they only bloomed in the spring. the current native plants are preferable. Those plants like the dunes. I think maybe the “dune” is supposed to prevent sand from migrating to the roadway.

    it’s impossible, and even unfair to dictate aesthetics, but I’ve read comments about “shoving” this or that “down our throats” so many times I’m indifferent. The track is infrastructure which serves a purpose, the same as the phone poles and power lines which become all but invisible to most of us, accept for when we “see” them when they are jarring. It’s not like I’m inviting more clutter, but it’s all relative. The track is it is what it is and that is going to be ugly some some. I’m not sorry if somebody’s “view” of the bay is cluttered during their three minute drive up Shoreline in their car when they should have their eyes mostly on the road anyway. If you go for the view, get out and walk. Sorry for folks who will miss the unfettered vista of solid wall of parked cars at sunset.

    Comment by MI — February 24, 2015 @ 9:26 am

  60. “…the aesthetics don’t change much if at all…”

    The aesthetics did change, maybe not for walkers or bike riders, but for folks driving (which are the vast majority of humans traveling on Shoreline) either way on Shoreline they changed dramatically, The parked cars on the Bay side of Shoreline used to be at the curb (and then only at night time hours) which was the lowest part of the street and the cars traveling were at the crest of the street. The line of sight for drivers was over the parked cars (or dunes if no cars) and at the Bay and that view was dominant while driving. Now the diving cars are lower in elevation than the parked cars (at all times of the day) which are almost at the crest of the street blocking the view of the Bay and the fake dunes. So if you aesthetically like looking at parked cars instead of the Bay, this change was a good thing;.

    .

    Comment by jack — February 24, 2015 @ 9:40 am

  61. Jack, drivers should be driving, not sightseeing.

    Comment by notadave — February 24, 2015 @ 10:08 am

  62. notadave, that’s the trouble with these “senior” drivers like Jack, they’re looking everywhere but in front of their car.

    Comment by John P. — February 24, 2015 @ 10:24 am

  63. Maybe some of you haven’t lived here as long as I have and don’t know the City that well, but have you considered this for your car-bound sightseeing needs ? – – >

    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=alameda+harbor+bay+parkway

    Comment by Brock — February 24, 2015 @ 11:23 am

  64. I went back and drove the shore line. I spotted two long yellow zones in each of middle two blocks with apartments, which are long blocks. Farther west the residential blocks are shorter but yellow zones are far fewer. The delivery systems of UPS and Fed Ex have simply evolved over time and I guess they will have to continue to evolve to figure out how to remain profitable while their drivers run back and forth with hand trucks full of merchandise. I was in bed the other night around 10:30 and heard a bunch of banging, it was UPS.

    As for the relative “ugly”, I find the orange plastic poles to be ugly too, but relative to there function I can’t get too excited. Some people think “Painter of Light” Thomas Kinkade is high art, http://thomaskinkade.com/art-genre/bridges/, others prefer Kean, http://www.ebay.com/itm/Rare-Walter-Keane-BIG-EYES-vintage-14-X-12-3-4-Lithograph-The-First-Grail-/261782576122. I prefer Steadman. http://www.fornogoodreasonmovie.com/.

    No accounting for taste. Nothing will please everybody.

    Comment by MI — February 25, 2015 @ 12:23 pm


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