Blogging Bayport Alameda

March 27, 2015

Second class

Filed under: Alameda, Public Resources — Lauren Do @ 6:07 am

On Wednesday night apparently the City’s Transportation Commission voted 4-2-1 against the Clement Street bikeway design which would have been a true protected cycle track, which is such a shame.  It was disappointing to hear people who actually use their bicycles a lot advocate against the project as well.

Here’s why protected bike lanes are so important: it makes people who are not confident on bikes feel safer biking.

The Knight Foundation recently funded an organization called 8 – 80 cities which advocates for making public spaces accessible and safe for walking and biking.  The headline, which is extremely relevant to all discussions in Alameda about bicycling: Want to build a bikeable city? Focus on those who don’t bike, highlights:

Yet many cities “are investing in the 2 percent who already bike, not the 98 percent who don’t,” said Penalosa, citing trail maps, bike parking, racks on buses and lines on streets. These are all well and good, but the only thing that will attract new riders is making them feel safe on the road.

That in turn takes two things: slowing speeds down to 20 mph or less, and separating bike lanes from roadways with raised curbs, planters or dedicated streets.

That night parents came out to advocate for the protected bike ways for their own use, but also the use of their children, who they would feel safe allowing to ride their bikes on a protected bikeway, but perhaps not on a simple Class 2 (lines on the street) bike lane.

As other cities have realized, if we want to encourage bike usage, you have to build infrastructure that helps people who aren’t confident navigating the streets vs cars feel comfortable.  That’s what these protected bikeways do and right now, while we’ve created — with the completion of the Shoreline bike track — a mostly protected bicycle route on the bay side of Alameda, we’re still lacking in protected infrastructure on the Estuary side.

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43 Comments

  1. Clement Street is the perfect street for a bike way project — too bad it didn’t get passed. I hope it’s coming back to the commission with a design they can support.

    Comment by Karen Bey — March 27, 2015 @ 7:17 am

  2. So, what were the pros and cons? Surely the comm’s didn’t just say, “Neh! Go away. No money.”

    Comment by Li_ — March 27, 2015 @ 7:56 am

  3. The argument that was articulated was that retaining the street width for cars and parking on both sides of the street was more important than having a protected bikeway and that a Class 2 bike lane would be sufficient for bike users on that street.

    And that potential conflicts with the industrial usage and bikes would be more dangerous in a protected bikeway than on a regular painted bike lane. I’m not sure I understand the logic of this particular argument myself.

    Comment by Lauren Do — March 27, 2015 @ 8:26 am

  4. maybe it would be good to take a longer view. First get the Del Monte project and the extension completed an see how that affects general usage. I’ve driven there recently but can’t recall if the train track has been removed. A minimal bike lane only requires striping but even that striping will improve safety for cyclists and alert motor vehicles to their presence. I do get the idea that a unified bike track on one side of the street, like the one at Shoreline, may present special hazards with the large amount of industrial traffic and trucks. I had a boat at Alameda Marina and was coming out of an electric operated gate on to Clement and delivery truck saw the gate open and made a bee line at high speed and almost nailed me. I know that the bike infrastructure would probably help slow that truck to a reasonable speed but the industrial uses really require scrutiny and some first hand eye balling. I’ve been in and out of other driveways of industrial fabricators along that route and it just doesn’t have the feel of an all residential street. I also had a friend who was struck and killed by a dump truck while biking to work on San Pablo Ave. in Oakland. Proper bike lane would probably have done something to protect her also, but the traffic there is brutal. It’s actually probably not a fair comparison to Clement, but the point is that a preponderance of heavy commercial traffic does change the dynamic. Not doing it now dopes not prevent doing it later. Think of it has phasing process.

    Comment by MI — March 27, 2015 @ 9:00 am

  5. Geez, have none of you ever actually driven Clement more than once? Lauren definitely hasn’t. What Svendsen said sums up the opposition. (watch the video). It’s a Truck Route. Always has been, and will be for the foreseeable future. Think wide loads. Big boats on trailers turning into the marinas. Maneuvering and backing up. This is about not filling the truck drivers with fear that they are going to hit a cyclist, not about making every darn street in Alameda “safe ” for cyclists. Cyclists can pretty much select which street they choose to pedal on. Truckers, not so much. And the truck driver will always be the person cited, not the cyclist.

    Not every street can successfully be converted into a “complete street” without substantial damage to the local economy.

    Comment by vigi — March 27, 2015 @ 9:43 am

  6. I live near the new Shoreline bike path and was somewhat concerned that it would cause auto traffic and parking to spill over onto interior streets. That doesn’t really seem to have happened. People still speed down Franciscan, but I think that they’re the same people as pre-bike path. Apart from being a nice bike path, it has also made it a little less foreboding to cross the street to the beach as cars are not racing up to or through intersections like before. Recognising that the Shoreline exp. is not directly applicable to Clement (see 4), the bike infrastructure (or accommodation for it) should be part of the development process at Del Monte so that the development choices do not, in fact or in effect, prevent installation of a path at a later phase.

    Comment by MP — March 27, 2015 @ 9:45 am

  7. here is a strip and paste from a bike advocate’s post on Bike Alameda, who spoke against the bike lanes. these are just his closing comments:

    The speed limit on Clement is 25 mph.
    Some autos will go 30 mph or higher (just a fact);
    but the large vehicles I have seen hardly even get up to 25 mph
    … tankers, boat towers, semis etc.
    Such vehicles can not go through the tunnels and must arrive either via
    Miller-Sweeney or Park St bridges in order to get to Clement Ave
    or “any and all” destinations on the west end of Alameda
    including Alameda Point.
    The truck route is crucial to businesses across a majority portion of Alameda…
    not just the businesses on Clement Ave.

    If a choice needs to be made to allow a designated truck route continue to
    benefit businesses that draw millions of dollars of revenue with a portion
    going to the city through various taxes, or to have a “it will make a pleasant
    ride for families”, I choose the truck route.
    Oh, and so did the Transportation Commission (T.C.).

    Comment by MI — March 27, 2015 @ 10:02 am

  8. I think what the bicycle advocates that spoke at the TC — as well as one of the TC members — expressed was that accommodating all uses would be possible and that one (truck traffic) does not preclude having safe cycling infrastructure for all Alamedans and not just families having a pleasant ride.

    Comment by Lauren Do — March 27, 2015 @ 10:07 am

  9. The point of the continued advocacy for the protected bike lanes is truck traffic and protected bike lanes are not mutually exclusive. In fact, there was NO information presented to the TC that showed that. There was also no information on the safety of traditional bike lanes next to truck traffic. Somehow, the commercial businesses who showed up were presenting NEW information that had not been analyzed. Why that was the case, is unclear, because they should have been brought into the process early on.
    What is very clear is that the TC made a decision without enough information on the impact of bike lanes next to truck traffic and without considering alternatives like parking removal, and other lane configurations. The purpose of hiring the experts (consultants) is to get that information.

    Comment by Lucy Gigli — March 27, 2015 @ 11:39 am

  10. What is entirely unclear is why the TC took the account of the business owners present as though it were the only information they had. What about the 3 public, well-attended community workshops that led to the proposed solution that was presented by city staff? Where were those owners then, when the “preferred solution” was being shaped? What about the open-forum online system the city uses which logged (I forget the number of respondents –it was over 100 and under 200 I think) — maybe 185 comments where over 80% of them favored the separated protected bike path?

    I hear a lot of “there are too many cars” but when solutions are proposed that make it possible for more people of all sorts to bicycle or walk to where they need to go – even if its just some of the time and some of the people — any bit that helps get more cars off the road and keeps people safe would be a step in the right direction.

    Comment by Donna Eyestone — March 27, 2015 @ 1:20 pm

  11. Curious where we go from here? What happens next?

    Comment by bayporter — March 27, 2015 @ 1:29 pm

  12. Oh, the poor truck drivers who will live in fear. You sound ridiculous Vigi.

    The 4(really 5, abstention is no more helpful here) members of the TC placed more value on uninformed in person statements of a handful of people over the professional knowledge of staff and the consultants as well as the over 100 people who participated in the public outreach process.

    Normal truck traffic can be accommodated just fine w/ the protected bike lane. Concerns can be addressed. Yes, the one boat moving in and out every couple days that is more than 11 feet wide will be a bit tricky, but even a 15 foot wide load (the biggest number the boatyard owners threw out there) once a day or so won’t be that much of a problem. Its a short stretch to cover, still leaves 7 feet plus parking lane door zones to squeeze by, and if they need to send the escort truck up to the next intersection to block traffic for 1-2 minutes per day, so be it. Alamedans are used to waiting for boats to pass before proceeding already.

    Comment by BMac — March 27, 2015 @ 1:35 pm

  13. The layout in Copenhagen is great for bikes. If I lived there, I would probably use the bike most of the time like almost everyone else there. Oh, and those Danes looked a lot fitter than us.

    Comment by John — March 27, 2015 @ 2:12 pm

  14. Donna, really good points.

    Comment by Karen Bey — March 27, 2015 @ 2:45 pm

  15. Thank you, thank you Transportation Commission for not clogging up another important throughway for a sparsely-used protected bike lane! The Shoreline protected bike path has made parking on Shoreline a terrifying experience, Before, cars could avoid each other easily; now, every time someone parks, traffic backs up behind them in both directions. It’s quite dangerous. Much worse is the experience of getting out of your car after you’ve parked: You open your door into traffic, then step out into traffic. The drivers have nowhere to go to avoid you except into oncoming traffic. This is now true on both sides of the street. I now park on the residential side streets.

    As more new homes are built, vehicle traffic will certainly increase. Traffic is already negatively affecting people’s quality of life in Alameda. As traffic increases and Shoreline becomes ever more terrifying to drive, will I see more than 3-5 people using the Shoreline bike lane? I’ll say it again: Not all of us are able to ride bikes. This isn’t The Netherlands or Denmark. Also: I’m quite fit.

    Riding your bike with your family is a nice-to-have. Getting to work and to appointments are getting groceries are must-haves. f there is a well thought-out plan plan for bike lanes in Alameda that is based on credible traffic study, and the way people actually live their livesI haven’t seen it, nor any evidence of it. Instead, I read posts like this which I can summarize thusly: “Bikes good; cars bad.” It’s spitting into the wind to post a comment, and not to post one implies I agree, so post I do. Minutes of my life I’ll never get back.

    Comment by Trixie Green — March 27, 2015 @ 2:49 pm

  16. 15. Trixie: Maybe operators of motor vehicles should be more qualified. If you can’t efficiently parallel park, than don’t drive a 3,000 pound+ car. Cars are dinosaurs. Their extinction should be public policy.

    Comment by Gerard L. — March 27, 2015 @ 3:08 pm

  17. This isn’t Denmark. Thanks, Trix.

    We shouldn’t be insular in thought just because we’re insular in geography. Biking has numerous benefits. These accrue not just to those who bike–health, reduced stress, fun–but to others–less pollution, fewer greenhouse emmissions, and, yes!, less congestion for drivers on the roads. We should do all we can to make it safe and attractive.

    And, Trix, if Copenhagen and Amsterdam are too European and exotic for you, look at New York or Chicago. When I’ve been there I’ve seen bike tracks used heavily. Their mayors recognize the benefits.

    We can make Alameda better. The idea that we’re some island utopia to which no improvement may be made, and that any change is therefore bad, is self-evidently false, at least to those of us who venture further afield than San Leandro.

    When Spencer sets up a City Council committee on unAlamedan activities (chaired by vigi), I realize I’ll be in trouble for this thought crime.

    Comment by BC — March 27, 2015 @ 3:21 pm

  18. At least Trixie seems to actually use Shoreline. Many ( most) of the hysterical letters in the paper make statements with great authority which the writers appear to actually lack. I do think “terrifying” is a bit hyperbolic, especially if cars are obeying the speed limit. Frustrating may be more legit, but still in the eye of the beholder. I’ve been on vacation for a few weeks and driving the last two days has been a real culture shock. I hate it! Apart from accommodating bikes, the effect of the lane reduction is supposed to be “traffic calming”, which means peds won’t be “terrified” when using the crosswalk to cross four lanes of people exceeding the speed limit. Everything is relative.

    10. , 12. I don’t think it fair to judge decisions by boards purely on the basis of who turns up to speak or who write emails, or goes to workshops. Way back when, after a town meeting on base closure, maybe one of the first, the chair of the environmental sub committee of BRAG, the late great Mal Mooney, commented that the Audubon people had a big showing and seemed to carry the day. Mal wasn’t judging, just observing that the input was going to be a product of who showed up to lobby.

    I still think that if the road is resurfaced without railroad track and two bike lanes are painted in with sharrows that bike advocates should be circumspect and take the long view. Especially after the extension is complete and there is a better sense of use which people can really see. Then with all the information which Lucy says was missing, and more, there should be plenty of time to revisit this. Even if you take the position that facts about traffic studies should prevail and cyclists facts are correct, this is still a political issue. Whether people like that or not, political battles are not generally won over night. Adding a set of class 2 lanes is real change, if incremental.

    A last comment about trucks would be that it may not be through traffic but trucks which use the driveways which deserve scrutiny. I have no real idea what that use is but they are the ones which will be cutting across the bike lanes and having two directional of bike traffic on one side may confuse a lot of professional drivers who don’t deal with this configuration on a daily basis. Boat deliveries are lumbering and infrequent. 12. the problem may be truck drivers who DON”T live in fear and are lost in the zone of a daily routine who aren’t prepared.

    13. in the Danish TV series “Borgen” about first female prime minister ( which proceeded the actual first female prime minister), that charter and many other politicians road their bikes to work. We just aren’t there yet. It is against the rules for government employees in Florida to use the words “climate change”. We may be moving back wards.

    Comment by MI — March 27, 2015 @ 4:03 pm

  19. I figured out why you call yourself BC, BC. You’re a Neanderthal.

    Comment by vigi — March 27, 2015 @ 4:09 pm

  20. So . . . Big trucks can’t go through the tube. Clement is the designated truck route. We all know trucks make/have visibility problems and are clumsy to drive. We’ve all read about the difficulty bikers have with cars so it seems reasonable that bikes and trucks would be an even more difficult fit. Why try to do it at all? Why not make Clement a truck/car only route and make that nice, extra-wide, parallel street, Lincoln Avenue, the designated bike/car only route? If Lincoln was striped with a yellow turn lane down the middle, there would be room for protected bike lanes and parking all the way to the Base. Might even be room to have 2 senior tricycles pass each other safely! No trucks on Lincoln would make the Park Lincoln intersection much safer too. Win/Win!

    Comment by Li_ — March 27, 2015 @ 4:22 pm

  21. @15 probably deserves the “dumbass post of the week” award!

    Comment by bayporter — March 27, 2015 @ 8:24 pm

  22. Time to ban all trucks in the street , We do not need them .
    I wonder since we do have a bike lane , actually 2 in my street why cyclist still use the side walk , Oh yes the street is for Joggers……

    Comment by joel Rambaud — March 27, 2015 @ 8:52 pm

  23. #22 rule of lawn guy. Alameda Muni code explicitly allows bicycles on sidewalks. Double-wide in streets.

    That 3,000 pound fender makes everyone feel fat.

    Comment by Gerard L. — March 27, 2015 @ 11:12 pm

  24. More gist for the mill. As Alameda transitions into the 21st century, how does the community address the problems coming down the road instead of looking in the rear view mirror of the past. https://youtu.be/jQfC6mKTErg

    Comment by Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonAUSD) — March 28, 2015 @ 7:50 am

  25. I’ve been following the response to the Shoreline changes, and I’ve used that stretch since as a walker and as a driver. It’s a much better experience for walkers and it encourages cars to drive the speed limit, which actually makes it better to drive on too.There are plenty of narrowish two-lane streets in Alameda (and are the Shoreline driving lanes actually narrower than they were?), I live on one of them. When I park on the street I look carefully for cars and bikes before I open the door, and when I pull out of the driveway I also look both ways and take my time. I’ve lived on my narrowish street for nearly seven years and have not experienced a rash of cars being hit as they pull out of driveways, or doors being sheared off by passing vehicles. What exactly is the concern? Many different people are using that space, and it just makes sense to accommodate more uses. Isn’t that part of being in a community? I can see where it’s an adjustment for people who live on Shoreline and are used to the extra driving lane, but the new configuration is meant to benefit a larger group of people, and make it ultimately safer for more of them. Let me know if I’m missing something.
    It also makes sense to me that we’d find a safe way for people to ride bikes from one end of the island to another for commuting. I don’t know enough to know whether it’s Clement or Lincoln or some other street, but it makes sense to plan for this increasing use. It doesn’t mean one part of the culture is “winning,” it just means fewer people are risking their lives in transit.
    (Would appreciate not being called an idiot or a stooge, please, but I know I take my chances when commenting in forums like this.)

    Comment by Jan Greene — March 28, 2015 @ 11:06 am

  26. I’m watching the video of the TC meeting as I write this. I think the dude from Grand Marina was a bit ridiculous trying to claim a cycle track would drive him out of business. But I’m hearing Sean Svensen and others and the arguments about larger vehicles seem compelling. Avid cyclist who was a trucker who favors the track is just as compelling. Parked cars are a great buffer to vehicle traffic and most truck cabs are elevated which enhances visibility over parked cars but having cars block the ability of vehicles making turns seems problematic. Having no parked cars might be better for visibility and lane width if we could afford do away with parking on one side, which we probably can’t. So, Catch 22.

    It has been stated that TC made this decision without some information or other, but I’m not clear what the information was, or who might have provided it.
    I had a boat delivered from out of state top Alameda marina and the arrival time was not at all precise which was a bother in itself. Deliveries are not daily let alone hourly, but arranging escorts for every delivery MAY be an unreasonable inconvenience not just to marina owners but to other traffic who has to wait for wide loads.

    Citizen Spencer showed up and lent exactly nothing to the discussion, but she was brief.

    Comment by MI — March 28, 2015 @ 1:23 pm

  27. This just in: thousands of Alamedans too stupid and terrified to drive on a two lane road.

    Comment by brock — March 28, 2015 @ 4:13 pm

  28. 25)

    Welcome to the Doo Drop In ……Home of bullies who attack anyone with any differing opinion that doesn’t fit their agenda….It’s like a Klan Rally of the most intolerant .

    Bike Nazis are quick to confront anyone who gets in their way or questions their behavior, including drivers, pedestrians and even other cyclists.

    Bike Nazi

    A self-righteous, confrontational individual whose preferred mode of transportation is a bicycle. They are frequently (thought not always) riding fixed-gear or custom-designed bikes and also tend to have the hipster or bike messenger look. While hippies and bike racers may share their love of bikes, a Bike Nazis is much more likely to be a scofflaw and confrontational toward strangers.

    Bike Nazis are often vegan and believe their choice of transportation makes them superior to those who choose to drive cars (and those who drive out of necessity), as well as truckers, public transit drivers and riders, and pedestrians. Critical Mass gatherings are typically populated by a majority of Bike Nazis.

    Bike Nazis are quick to confront anyone who gets in their way or questions their behavior, including drivers, pedestrians and even other cyclists. While rarely escalating to full-blown violence (most are all bark and no bite), Bike Nazis are quick to vandalize a car if they feel they can get away with it – also referred to as “U-Lock Justice”.

    Bike Nazis are also oblivious to the rules of the road, particularly stoplights, crosswalks and stop signs. While they will demand the creation of bike lanes and angrily confront anyone blocking a bike lane, they maintain that the entire road is theirs.

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Bike+Nazi

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — March 29, 2015 @ 11:17 am

  29. Ha! Counter effect, you crack me up. I’m a middle aged mom who rides her bike occasionally for exercise, and at a sadly slow pace when I do. If it’s easier to put me in a box to fit some culture war stereotype, feel free, but I was just trying to further the conversation.

    Comment by Jan Greene — March 29, 2015 @ 1:10 pm

  30. 29)

    If you look at them like a special needs child who has been brain damaged by falling on their head and always needs to get their way and can’t critically think and their only option is to bully people you start to understand them and have some compassion. They try and retard everyone to their level……..That might be able to solve issues…… They try and Box and fence people in… We have the Best Fence and Boxers in Country In Alameda.

    Box and Fencing at The Doo Drop School Yard.

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — March 29, 2015 @ 1:48 pm

  31. It’s called sharing the road. When I ride down Shoreline — that’s what I see, a road for pedestrians, one for bicyclists, and one for cars. For some who are not used to it, and the related street re-designs that comes along with the concept of sharing the road — it’s a new concept — it’s different, but most importantly it’s change.

    Comment by Karen Bey — March 29, 2015 @ 2:13 pm

  32. We finally rode the Shoreline track today. There were a lot of people out, but we never felt crowded, and everyone we encountered was neighborly….or at least not being actively oppositional. One person was oblivious to the world around him, but I blame the sun and sand rather than the bike track. My young one proclaimed it “fancy and safe.”
    I can’t imagine the same feel on Clement, and agree with #20 that there could be a better route nearby.

    Comment by Anonymoustroll — March 29, 2015 @ 4:27 pm

  33. Bey
    Nah, that’s not sharing the road. Sharing the road’s like uh sharing the road, you know, like it was in 1908 when everybody, their horses, the streetcars, buggies, a few nottyboybills and everything else that moved shared one space between the buildings on either side. What we have now on Shoreline is six different roads with everybody shoehorned onto their own private path and unwilling to share their private little path. Sharing the road, my foot! Don’t you have a memory?

    Comment by jack — March 29, 2015 @ 4:49 pm

  34. We are now hearing about a similar possible project for Central Ave: http://alamedaca.gov/public-works/central-avenue-complete-street

    The reality of implementing something like that on Central west of Webster would involve many difficult tradeoffs that are specific to the neighborhood here.

    Let’s hope the powers that be seriously evaluate those local impacts/issues and consider reasonable alternatives. It will not be ok if this is rammed through on the rationale that it appears in a past master plan somewhere, that there is a grant available to study it, and that in general road diets are a good thing.

    All should keep an open mind about all of this, but at this point there are many concerns about both the process and the substance of “Central Avenue Complete Street.”

    Comment by Rob Siltanen — April 4, 2015 @ 10:00 am

  35. @Rob I hear skepticism about the process of some of these projects. I don’t understand if those are based on your experiences with other projects.

    There was much planning and many public meetings that outlined, reviewed and discussed the possibilities for Shoreline Drive.

    Clement Ave was the same way because it was part of the Cross Alameda Trail discussions, Transportation Plan, bike plan and two public community meetings.

    Central Ave is just beginning the process and publicity is going out now. Three community meetings, three transportation commission meetings and several others are planned. Those should give people who are paying attention plenty of time to give input to resolve the issues in the neighborhood along the corridor.

    The Central Avenue project has been “in the plans” for at least 15 years. We are lucky that our staff gets the grants that allow us to have community meetings and planners with experience in other places to help us with this complicated corridor. Past piecemeal efforts along the corridor like a stop sign on 5th and 6th and bright yellow pedestrian signs do very little to slow down the drivers averaging 30MPH.

    Comment by Lucy Gigli — April 4, 2015 @ 2:42 pm

  36. Whatever happens with this process and with the substantive decision(s) in the end, it is important that whoever will be evaluating this in 2015 and beyond look hard at the real tradeoffs involved in this specific current context west of Webster and also seriously consider alternatives (e.g., there is plenty more and different that can and should be done at Central and 6th). Costs, tradeoffs and opportunity costs of something like this are significant.

    Just as there are micro-climates for Bay Area weather so too are there particular issues in specific neighborhoods in Alameda. What makes sense in general or in some areas may not work or may only be possible at an excessively high cost in direct terms and in tradeoffs. Skepticism is appropriate for the West End as much as anywhere. Looking forward to the meeting on the 14th.

    Comment by Rob S. — April 4, 2015 @ 2:55 pm

  37. 36. Rob. I think the protected bike lane scenario is generic enough that with some imagination one can superimpose it in ones mind. Once that is done, one might ask what are specifics of the “tradeoffs” or “alternatives” to which you allude ? It’s not that I’m questioning what you have stated, but find it a little vague. I’m not specifically knowledgeable about costs per linear foot for bike track, for example, but I am inferring that maybe you do have such knowledge when you refer to “excessively high cost”. Or maybe you are referring to some other infrastructure modification. Again, some specificity might help a person in accessing the veracity of your statements or how a one size fits all might be an awkward fit for this neighborhood.

    Comment by MI — April 4, 2015 @ 3:09 pm

  38. At this point I’m trying to suggest general conceptual approaches, questions and issues that I hope will be considered at the community meeting(s) as this process begins. I know influential people read this blog so I thought an efficient way to do that would be to post a comment or two here.

    I don’t intend to get into an extended debate about this (or about my “veracity”) here anytime soon and will try to keep quiet after this comment until the meeting on the 14th. But since you asked, here are three more specific examples from a long list: (1) The crossing of central at 6th has been a neglected problem for years. There should be better paint and signage and a lighted crosswalk like on Park between Santa Clara and Central and at Webster and Taylor. If increasing safety at that crosswalk is the main objective we don’t need a massively expensive road project to fix that. (2) There is already a bike lane on Santa Clara two blocks parallel that is used heavily by students every weekday. How would this fit with that? On a related note, where are the cars being road-diet-ed off Central going to go? Central is a major route out to Alameda Point from many points East. (3) There is going to be a large amount of facilities work at Encinal High School beginning in a couple/few years from the school bond passed in November. How is this all going to work with that school being a huge construction site? Shouldn’t this wait until after the Encinal renovation work is done?

    Comment by Rob S. — April 4, 2015 @ 3:38 pm

  39. Rob, there is not very much traffic on Central, west of 6th. The navy base is no longer open, in case you missed it, traffic levels are low. The 4 lanes just make cars drive faster and create long distances for pedestrians to cross. Blinky light ped crossing don’t actually prove to be that helpful.

    There is no bike lane on Santa Clara west of Webster. It is far too narrow for that. There is, however, a white stripe between the travel and parking lanes. It is usually about an inch and a half away from the left tires of parked cars. There are sharrows.

    Comment by BMac — April 4, 2015 @ 4:42 pm

  40. P.S. I’m a long time West End resident who has legitimate concerns about this and decided to speak up at the beginning of the process. I hope the tone of the community outreach and discussion on this Central Ave project will rise above the level of the two comments here today from MI and BMac.

    I don’t appreciate (1) MI implying I might not have been truthful (i.e., wondering about “the veracity of [my] statements”) or (2) BMac’s use of the snarky and sarcastic “in case you missed it” phrase as part of his reminder that the navy base is no longer open and his opinion that traffic levels are low.

    If that’s the sort of response people from the neighborhood who speak up and try to get involved with the process will get, I don’t think the community engagement is going to work well.

    Comment by Rob S. — April 4, 2015 @ 5:29 pm

  41. 40. “rise above”? forgive me if I misused “veracity”. I wasn’t challenging your honesty Rob. I think your point about construction at Encinal is really good point and ads to what I was referring to as “veracity” of your previous comments. I don’t appreciate being accused of something I didn’t intend ( i.e. accusing you of being disingenuous or dishonest), but I’ll try to rise above getting all huffy about it and try to stick to having a dialogue aimed at clarifyication.

    Comment by MI — April 4, 2015 @ 5:46 pm

  42. 39. Aside from schools, the traffic does seem pretty light at present, but as development at the Point comes on line isn’t that expected to change and isn’t the whole point here to plan ahead?

    Comment by MI — April 4, 2015 @ 5:49 pm

  43. On the State front, it appears input from interested parties has changed the direction of requiring bike helmets for adults: http://www.kpbs.org/news/2015/apr/14/adult-bike-helmet-bill-amended-away/

    Comment by Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonAUSD) — April 15, 2015 @ 7:50 am


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