Blogging Bayport Alameda

May 18, 2015

“We want our own lane, for cars!”

Filed under: Alameda, City Council, Development, Public Resources — Lauren Do @ 6:08 am

A few weeks ago there was a petition and a corresponding Twitter account to promote a movement called “I Drive Alameda” and, to be completely honest, I thought it was some sort of parody account.  Like so. Turns out, it was not a parody account, it was actually a real petition.

A quick view of the comments on the Facebook page shows that most people appear to be most concerned with a reduction in parking spaces with the plans to turn a stretch of Central into a “Complete Street.”  For those that regularly use Central, you’ll know that there is not a bike lane on the section between Webster and Third Street.  It is a street that has a lot of pedestrian crossings because of Paden’s location on the water side of Central.  There’s also a heavily used pedestrian crossing near the old St. Barnabas school that is hostile to pedestrians who must wait for cars to notice them before attempting to cross.  All in all given the resources across the street from Central (schools, parks, retail) the street itself is not that friendly to anyone not using a car.

Anyway, as per usual for anything that may be a change in Alameda, some folks jump to immediate conclusions about how bad it’s going to be and assume that the thing that they love the most will be the first thing wrested from them due to these changes.

Anyway this guy on this Accident Attorneys website did such a great job addressing some of the concerns of the group, I mean, yeah, it’s weird that this law firm is posting so much about pedestrian safety, someone had posted a link to another post that was written about a pedestrian signal in Oakland that was really well done too.   Anyway, highlights:

But Central Avenue is not a great street; it is one of Alameda’s most dangerous. Between 2008 and 2012, 21 people biking and nine people walking were hit by vehicles between Encinal Avenue and Main Street – accounting for 63 percent of the 48 total collisions on the corridor. Because crash severity increases exponentially with speed, collisions on Central Avenue are typically more dangerous than other streets in Alameda. For students walking or biking to the corridor’s multiple schools, or for families accessing Washington Park, navigating Central can be a frightening experience.

Road diets are typically implemented on streets with average daily traffic (ADT) of less than 20,000 vehicles. As the City of Alameda notes, traffic volumes on Central Avenue are very low and the street has excess vehicle capacity. At its busiest stretch, Central carries only 9,327 vehicles per day – less than several streets in Alameda where road diets have already been successfully implemented, including Atlantic Avenue and Broadway. In all likelihood, a road diet on Central Avenue could be implemented with little negative impact.

Here’s the section where the post tackles the issue of “parking losses”:

I Drive Alameda states that a road diet will inevitably remove parking. There is no evidence that this is the case: a road diet is a reconfiguration of lanes of travel, and the city’s design concept would maintain parking on both sides of the street. The only circumstance in which a parking spot could be removed is if there are locations in which parked cars result in dangerously low visibility for pedestrians crossing the street; however, these instances are likely to be limited, and a road diet would already improve visibility of pedestrians relative to the existing design.

Of course in response to the I Drive Alameda petition, Bike Walk Alameda created its own petition asking for the City Council to promote Safe Streets in general for all of Alameda and reminding the City Council of the pledge that was signed by our own Mayor in response to the Mayor’s Challenge for Safer People and Safer Streets.  The first challenge activity of that Mayor’s Challenge is to “Take a Complete Streets approach” which is what is being attempted for Central Avenue.

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92 Comments

  1. What is the road diet on Atlantic that is referred to by the attorney? Do they mean the bike lane portion between Sherman and Constitution?

    Comment by dave — May 18, 2015 @ 6:21 am

  2. No matter what is said about Central Avenue and the plans to develop it in to a “Complete Street,” everyone will compare it to what was done on Shoreline. As just about everyone I speak to observes, Shoreline is now more dangerous for automobile drivers, somewhat more dangerous for bike riders and a lot safer for pedestrians on the walking path. The view of the Bay has been reduced in some areas and eliminated in others. Before anything will get agreed to on Central, the City will need to address the Shoreline issue and offer data that offers a benchmark for how its working.

    Comment by Bill — May 18, 2015 @ 6:30 am

  3. I’m not sure, did that section of Atlantic have two travel lanes in each direction before the bike lane and turning lanes were put in? Before my time, if so.

    Comment by Lauren Do — May 18, 2015 @ 6:32 am

  4. How is Shoreline more dangerous to cars and bikes? I’m honestly not clear on how it’s more dangerous than, say, Third Street which has fairly narrow travel lanes and parking.

    Comment by Lauren Do — May 18, 2015 @ 6:36 am

  5. Bill: How do you think Shoreline is “more dangerous” for car drivers? “Less convenient,” maybe. “Less suited for speeding,” for sure. I’m also not terribly convinced that it’s more dangerous for bikes, except that I’m open to the idea that the lack of pedestrians allows greater speed and fewer soft places to land (i.e., pedestrians and sand), and therefore the accidents that happen are worse.

    Could you elaborate on the increase in number and seriousness of injuries to drivers?

    Good news about the pedestrian safety.

    Comment by Jack Mingo — May 18, 2015 @ 6:45 am

  6. As much as some advocates on each “side” seem (so far) to want to frame the issues here as simple questions with black and white answers, they aren’t. In the specific context and places where this would occur along Central, this is complicated.

    The most difficult questions about this project are not about the general principles (e.g., biking and walking are good and should be safe; the vast majority of people here will be continuing to drive cars for a long time especially as cars get greener and “smarter” – that seems highly likely), but about whether and how certain proposed changes would work in specific contexts along Central, including what tradeoffs would be involved and whether good alternative solutions exist for various pieces of this puzzle.

    As one example of considering alternatives, wouldn’t a stop sign at Central and 6th at that “heavily used pedestrian crossing” address the pedestrian problems there at a fraction of the cost of any other approach? Similarly, how would any of the proposed changes connect with the fact that there is already a bike lane on Santa Clara a couple of blocks parallel for this whole distance except from Webster to Alameda Point? Also on the question of alternatives, is this project really aiming for cycle tracks (like along Shoreline) or for bike lanes? Both were mentioned as possibilities at the first community meeting about this project, but there are significant differences in costs and tradeoffs between those two approaches (cycle track v bike lane). There are also significant differences between Shoreline and Central (e.g., on Shoreline there was no existing housing on the side of the street where the cycle track was built; Central is a major arterial route, etc.). Some of us are good with the cycle track on Shoreline but think a cycle track would be a big mistake on Central.

    There are real tradeoffs and opportunity costs to consider with this project. Several elements of this Central Ave project might be impossible to do without having significant negative effects, including negative effects:

    (a) on West End schools (Encinal and Paden and Encinal) and on the specific issues at those schools. For example, there are already only two lanes on Central for that long block in front of Encinal High School past the school sign and the Jet. Where’s the bike lane or cycle track going to go for that block? Also Encinal will be undergoing extensive construction/renovation scheduled for coming years following up on the school bond passed on November. How would this work fit with that construction? Shouldn’t it wait until after the school renovation is done? Paden School has a community-building Opening Ceremony every day for which many families park cars behind the school by going in and out a narrow driveway. How could this work given the morning traffic flow at Paden School or would it mean the end of morning ceremonies for families who have to drive to Paden?

    (b) on driveway access for many residents (e.g., if there were to be a cycle track built)

    (c) on possible reduced parking for existing residents along Central (e.g., which may or may not occur depending on the final plan)

    (d) at the difficult intersection of 8th and Central at the corner of Washington Park.

    (e) via any spillover traffic on other narrower nearby neighborhood streets if, for example, a narrowing of Central Ave road diet moves significant cars off of Central. How much that would happen would depend on the “elasticity” of driver’s behavior, but it would surely happen to some extent.

    There are other concerns too (e.g., the direct financial cost) of the project

    Comment by Rob S. — May 18, 2015 @ 7:38 am

  7. 6: Rob, you raise interesting points. Most of these effects are probably inconsequential, however.

    To address your last concern first: these “complete streets” projects are undertaken with grant funding from several sources (federal, state, local). The City of Alameda cannot make these changes on its own, other than to provide 10-20 per cent in matching funds on occasion, which is a terrific return on investment. Gail Payne applies for–and receives–millions of dollars for the City of Alameda through applications such as the one(s) that garnered the funds for this much-needed “complete streets” project,

    a) The schools should not be affected much.
    1) A growing number of parents are walking or bicycling with their kids to schools like Paden, or letting their kids walk or bike to middle and high schools. (Besides, fixes are “in.”) This means a lessening of pressure from parents needing to drive in or out of driveways.
    2) Class II bike lanes would not obstruct school driveways the way that a protected cycle track would.
    3) Students walking and bicycling to school will be FAR safer after this project than they are now–a big improvement.

    b) Installing Class II bike lanes instead of a protected cycle track removes the driveway conflict.

    (NOTE: cyclists should always ride outside the door zone, with 5-6 feet between the right-hand edge of their handlebars and any parked vehicles. On most Alameda streets, this means riding at the left-hand paint line of a Class II bike lane or “taking the lane” when no bike lane is present.)

    c) If parking is reduced, it would only be at or near intersections to improve visibility and reduce accidents, which Caltrans standards recommend anyway. (Trying to cross Central on Ninth or other side streets now is usually hazardous because parked vehicles obstruct your sight lines, whether you are driving, walking, or bicycling.) This slight reduction in parking is well worth the added safety it would bring from reducing collisions. Parking along Central would, for the most part, remain unaffected by installing Class II bike lanes.

    d) This project should improve the safety of the 8th & Central intersection, which needs help in any case. When intersection clearances are limited, as they are at that intersection, bike lanes can be temporarily interrupted.

    e) Spillover–the sharing of traffic by all streets–is a major advantage of having a grid street system. By definition, spillover dilutes the impact of traffic volume by dispersing traffic over nearby streets, which permits a great deal of resiliency in the overall grid. These nearby streets can handle a small and dispersed increase in traffic.

    Comment by Jon Spangler — May 18, 2015 @ 8:58 am

  8. Shoreline is great. Better for bikes, better for pedestrians, better for families, better for kids. Slower traffic- sure, more waiting in your car- sure, not super car friendly- sure. Not everyone in this city wants to drive everywhere, some people like to bike, some of us like our kids to be on bikes. ALL of the streets in alameda are for cars, would it be terrible to have a few streets that are safe for people that want to walk or ride? Do we really love our precious cars that much?

    Comment by Levis — May 18, 2015 @ 9:21 am

  9. on reducing parking spaces, we need that for greater safety for DRIVERS all over the island. Removal of four spaces at most intersections would increase visibility and safety. I have driven past accidents at Oak and Clinton and Oak and San Jose in the past year. The auto centric people who are screaming about cyclists trying to force everybody out of cars are ignorant and myopic . It’s about making it safer for people who want to walk and cycle.

    As readers are observing in Bill’s comment, those who “observe” Shoreline track as more dangerous for bikes and cars are perhaps biased in their observations and not being very scientific.

    I’d like to know comps on costs for safe street projects to costs of other projects and to various costs of accidents. Good statistician can do this, but “costs” are not just construction costs from general fund. What are the savings in various forms, long term ?

    I think a train of students on bikes streaming west to Encinal in the drop off period for Paden could be problematic. It’s been a long while since I’ve dropped off or picked up at Paden but it was crazy and they had to put a parent volunteer out front to get people to pull forward and not stop at first spot in front of the door. When drop off cars back up, rather than wait until they can pull in, people often let kids leap out with their cars half in drive and half across the sidewalk. You hear these stories about Amelia Earhart too where you can rely on lowest denominator of human behavior. I’m assuming public works has looked at both Paden and Encinal, but suggest track advocates who are not familiar with conditions go down their in the morning and observe.

    There must be viable designs for bike lanes in this stretch. I don’t think existing class two lane on Santa Clara is any argument for this lane not being a worth while enhancement which will make for improved safety. Santa Clara lane from Webster to Park seems like it has heavier use than west of Webster.

    I keep a boat at Ballena Bay and drive that stretch of Central as far as the left at Fourth frequently. From Fourth to Encinal is a weird stretch where to me the width is like no mans land situation. I’d welcome reconfiguration. Third and Taylor confluence is miserable. Seems like any track would require loss of street parking on north side of Central at Encinal. Is that untenable? Track from 5TH to Webster would seem to be worth consideration because crossing at 6th is where as a driver I often have to watch speed and peds crossing. Are there times when traffic load is would back up badly at east bound Central at Webster ? There would have to be a left turn lane. Or would the proposed track start at Crown Drive and not extend east to Webster? If that’s the case, the transition at Crown Drive seems like an odd and problematic transition. Coming on bike path from Crown beach through the gate at the condos and rising up to the outfall on Central is currently weird and bad place if cyclists are traveling too fast. I take that stretch real slow by bike because of pedestrians and blind spots. I’ve smashed my pedals against concrete benches at the north facing part of the path where there is a bend and often people sitting on benches with strollers in the path. This is not a desirable stretch of trail for bikes and is a weak link.

    Are there long enough stretches along this proposed route without “issues” that it is really viable ?

    Comment by MI — May 18, 2015 @ 9:27 am

  10. in last paragraph of 9. “From Fourth To Encinal” refers to Encinal High traveling west bound, not Fourth Street east bound to Encinal Street at Sherman. sorry.

    Comment by MI — May 18, 2015 @ 9:33 am

  11. holy crap. I obviously didn’t get that this extends all the way to Sherman. I guess that answers whether it is long enough stretch to be viable along most of it’s length,I just question whether some sections are too problematic for full track. Wow. If drivers hate the Shoreline track this will really draw a lot of heat.

    Comment by MI — May 18, 2015 @ 9:48 am

  12. #4 = Just one example [from the Alamedan:”Conversation Piece”] Submitted by Jean (not verified) on Mon, Apr 20, 2015:

    “Yesterday I was driving east on Shoreline Drive when an ambulance with siren sounding and lights flashing came up behind me. Because of the line of parked cars immediately to my right there was nowhere to pull over. I could not simply stop. The ambulance could not have got around me due to cars stopped in the opposite direction. I continued driving and finally was able to pull over into one of the green areas at the next corner. This situation seems to be quite unsafe in case of emergencies. Perhaps parking on the bay side next to the bicycle lane should be eliminated, leaving room for cars to pull over for an ambulance or fire truck.”

    There is some usual word-smithing going on here, which some of us object to. Stop equating the word “complete” with “safe”. A complete street is not a safe street for everyone. A complete street is a compromise. In a compromise, no one is completely satisfied. 50% of the disabled spot parking on Shoreline had to be eliminated in the final design, because the new parking spaces are too narrow to be ADA-compliant. All of the ADA compliant parking had to be pushed further away from this Memorial State Beach than the regular parking, when the point of ADA-compliant spaces is to allow disabled people to park closer to an event or attraction so they won’t have to walk as far. Thus the “complete” Shoreline does much to exclude disabled persons from enjoyment of Crown Beach.

    A visit to the BikeWalk petition site reveals from the comments that, not unexpectedly, most of the signatures are from out-of-towners who view Alameda as a place to visit.

    Instead of calling it a “complete streets” approach, it should be called “Cyclification”, It looks a lot like Gentrification, in which an entitled elite imposes its way of life on others, to the detriment of the existing tenants.

    Comment by vigi — May 18, 2015 @ 10:10 am

    • Vigi (and others):
      I think you are making a mistake in “us and them”-ming the issue. In this city most car drivers also have s bicycle in the garage and vice versa. It is an interesting aspect of human nature that when in a car I curse the heedless bicyclists; when on a bicycle, I curse the reckless drivers; and when I’m a pedestrian, I wish a pox on both their vehicles.

      When doing none of the above, I can see the need for all of these things. As a driver, each bike and pedestrian means fewer cars blocking my way. As a biker and runner, I’d much prefer a carless Shoreline, but see that it’s probably impractical (and realize that Driving Me would hate it).

      The point is that almost all of us usses are also thems, and vice versa. Riding a bike is not necessarily elitist frivolity; riding a car is not necessarily a sign of a disregard for health, safety or the environment.

      Comment by Jack Mingo — May 18, 2015 @ 10:36 am

  13. 9-11: Mark, It may draw some heat and resistance but overall, it will benefit drivers as much as anyone by improving safety (reducing collisions), as you mentioned in 9.

    Implementing road diets (slowing traffic speeds by reducing lane width, adding bike lanes, improving sight lines and LH turn safety) saves lives–the lives of pedestrians, drivers, cyclists, wheelchair users, and everyone else.

    How people can oppose saving lives and reducing collisions while making the traffic flows more efficient is beyond me…

    Comment by Jon Spangler — May 18, 2015 @ 10:11 am

  14. Well said.

    Comment by dave — May 18, 2015 @ 10:47 am

  15. I vote to have cyclists take Pacific.

    When I moved to Alameda and for about twenty years, I rode my bike/ drove my car and walked on shoreline as much as possible.

    Now I avoid it.

    Shoreline is now a Mess. a Mess. a place to be avoided.

    Do not ruin Central the way Shoreline has been ruined.

    Convert that big grant money into money to repave our existing Third World streets.

    Comment by A Neighbor — May 18, 2015 @ 10:53 am

    • I think a lot of drivers avoid Southshore now. That’s a good thing. I drove it this weekend and it was rather pleasant. I also biked and walked parts of it. Even more pleasant.

      Southshore has always been all but superfluous as a through street anyway. There is a huge, wide, 4-lane, pedestrian-unpleasant thoroughfare that runs next to and parallel to it. Use it for your car needs, reserve shoreline for the local residents, the walkers and the bikers. Works for everybody.

      Comment by Jack Mingo — May 18, 2015 @ 11:08 am

  16. Mr. Mingo, you are missing my point, as well as making many sweeping generalizations.You make the tacit assumption that everyone who drives is just as capable of jumping on a bicycle. I hope you are never hit by a car as a pedestrian, as I was in San Francisco, which made it impractical for me to take public transit or cycles to places where I would need my cane or walker after dismounting the bike. Certainly “most” drivers and cyclists, able-bodied, no physical impairments, below age 70, live in your world. But do we want to re-engineer our streets so that significant populations who use them now, such as the disabled and elderly, will no longer be able to do so safely? How is that a “safe street”?

    I went to grammar and high school in Alameda, and I rode my bike everywhere at that time-mostly before there were any bike lanes. i never felt unsafe. I don’t understand what the threshhold distance is for parents driving their kids to school; it seems to be pretty low. I wish more kids would bike to school. I am not anti-bike. But I do not think bicycles need to be accommodated on every street. There are enough parallel streets that go to the same destination that there is no such need. And when ADA-compliant parking is eliminated for the sake of a cycle track, well,.. that may be a violation of Federal law. Happy 25th anniversary, ADA. Alameda is still trying to avoid dealing with you.

    “most car drivers also have a bicycle in the garage”…I assume Jack Mingo lives in an expensive home with full amenities, not in Alameda, as most people in Alameda do not have a garage to put their cars in. Let them eat cake, Jack?

    Comment by vigi — May 18, 2015 @ 11:11 am

  17. I think Santa Clara could go on a road diet…big broad promenade of a street.. (poor Jack, got all caught up, heh? :0)

    Comment by Gabrielle Dolphin — May 18, 2015 @ 11:45 am

  18. Don’t mess with aanta clara! That is MY Street.

    Comment by Al P — May 18, 2015 @ 12:13 pm

  19. 18. vigi , where exactly on Shoreline was ADA complaint parking removed for the track? I’m having a hard time visualizing how the previous parking provided enough width for ADA. The traffic diets generally make streets safer for disabled to cross. You play the disabled card the way some folks play the race card. I was concerned that Fed Ex and UPS would have problems with delivery since yellow zones are rather far apart, but on second thought their business model for profit is not our concern. Emergency vehicle issue seems like one of delay as opposed to grid lock. It seems emergency drivers should have routs which avoid Shoreline for as many block as possible. Google Maps is not updated to include the track so it’s hard to use as a tool to analyze that issue or any other.

    I was CERTAIN the plan had been explained to me as being from bike path near Crown Drive west, so I got confused when I realized Saint Barnabas crossing is at Sixth would not be captured by that configuration. Realizing I was mistaken I thought it might go as far as Eighth, but on consulting the map my mind is blown to realize this proposal goes all the way to Sherman. I’ve only found dinky corridor map on the web site. Is there a full scale drawing of the route, block by block, which can be compared to Google Map? I’m trying to be open minded and think about others who have no desire to be. We need LOTS of visual aids to be able understand this design and avoid confusion. I can’t imagine that a track would not eliminate some parking, but BFD. The corridor map is the only visual aid I found. I see three brown asterisks which I hope are special light signals to allow bikes to safely integrate or discharge from the track at those locations. That is a logistic which is a little confounding.

    I think this issue is a little like clear cutting Park Street in terms of public response. Car Drivers Against Bikes or whomever will require a lot of persuasion. Only very vigorous campaign of in depth detail and positive educational PR and outreach can minimize back lash. Is there a budget for one minute video for Alameda Theater for example? It would be a welcome interlude from that stupid animated hotdog explaining how to recycle.

    Comment by MI — May 18, 2015 @ 12:17 pm

  20. #18 The original plan allowed for additional Disabled Parking spots. The spots were removed from the plan, There are four spots rather scattered along Shoreline. None actually on Shoreline. One is on Broadway, one in front of the Bowling Alley on Park Ave and two are on intersecting Streets (maybe Willow and another I can’t remember). The ones on the intersecting Streets are usually occupied by local residents of the nearby apartments.

    Comment by frank m — May 18, 2015 @ 12:39 pm

  21. Sorry should be reply to #21 Mark

    Comment by frank m — May 18, 2015 @ 12:39 pm

  22. Vigi:
    Sometimes a “garage” is just a loose metaphor, meaning “place where you keep your bike and/or car,” so your estimate of my wealth and surroundings is misplaced. If I were talking about myself, I would’ve said “a bike in their carriage house next to their classic car collection, servants’ quarters, and yet-unhung Picassos.”
    Jack

    Comment by Jack Mingo — May 18, 2015 @ 12:46 pm

  23. How about just repaving all the streets first and fix the sidewalks before we start revamping Central……When were all the streets repaved in this town….

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — May 18, 2015 @ 12:49 pm

  24. Is there a record and current status of when each street has been repaved and each sidewalk has been repaired in the city?

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — May 18, 2015 @ 12:53 pm

  25. Would love to see what that looks like on map and the last year it was was repaved. Present condition of all the sidewalks in the city and what needs to be done on a street by street basis.
    Then lets look at Central.

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — May 18, 2015 @ 1:06 pm

  26. 25-27: Why three posts? How about thinking before typing? Did you never learn to write an essay?

    Comment by BC — May 18, 2015 @ 1:21 pm

  27. What does street paving and sidewalk repair have to do with whether a street is safe for all modes of transportation?

    Comment by Lauren Do — May 18, 2015 @ 1:27 pm

  28. 28) I’m not very bright so I ask questions. Only way I can learn. Can you answer any of the ones I asked. We seem to have so many experts here I am sure they can answer these simple ones.

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — May 18, 2015 @ 1:29 pm

  29. Street paving has a lot to do with it…… If you are driving down a street with a chuckhole and you are trying to avoid those chuckholes and bumps with a bike or a car it can be dangerous. Same as walking down a street and there are massive cracks and broken sidewalk. Had a friend who brought his blind brother in town and had a rough time walking down old neighborhoods.

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — May 18, 2015 @ 1:34 pm

  30. Road defects often cause bicycle crashes. A bump gives the cyclist an uncomfortable jolt. A large bump can cause tire and/or rim damage and can cause a crash if the cyclist loses control or swerves to avoid the bump. A deep chuckhole creates a severe jolt and can cause a stopping fall where the wheel stops suddenly while momentum carries the cyclist over the handlebars. Small defects such as ridges and slots nearly parallel to the direction of travel can cause the front wheel to steer to the side or it can prevent steering required for balance. This causes a diversion fall. In addition, gravel or other slippery surfaces can cause skidding falls. Besides direct injuries from impact with the ground, falling in front of a vehicle is likely fatal.

    The most common accidents to cyclists are falls. This is because bicycles are balanced vehicles with hard, narrow tires and (usually) no springs. Some of these falls cause serious injuries, including fatalities.

    http://www.ohiobike.org/fix-road.html

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — May 18, 2015 @ 2:37 pm

  31. 30) Hi Cobalt! There is a term for what you are doing – it’s called “sea-lioning”. Here is a link where you can LEARN why it is an irritating thing to do.

    Happy LEARNING!

    Here is where the original term came from: http://wondermark.com/1k62/

    And here is the learning link: http://simplikation.com/why-sealioning-is-bad/

    Comment by Brock — May 18, 2015 @ 3:31 pm

  32. 33. Fantastic!

    22. Thanks Frank. What I infer from your post is that ADA spaces were removed from the original plan so there are fewer, but in the pre-existing situation there were no ADA at all. Is that correct? if so, then vigi’s complaints about removing ADA from the plan are REALLY disingenuous.

    The Master Bike Plan is and hour or two hours of reading which takes priority behind catching up on my magazine subscriptions and other pleasure reading which languishes. A quick scan lead to a map of existing and proposed infrastructure ( Figure 9). The part of Central in question has it’s own red code which refers to “Transitional” while Class I seems to refer to separated bike trails, but not specifically protected bike lanes like the track at Shoreline.

    Apologies for being a numb nuts and pleas for patience. Is the Complete Street discussion for Central about Class II lanes with reconfiguration to two auto lanes with turn lane as on Broadway, or a track, or both? Clement discussion was clearly for Shoreline type track and I thought this proposal was for such a track also, BUT from my not so thorough read, in “overview” I see “options analysis” for a “corridor”, which would seem to indicate the design is in flux, and two way protected bike lane and Class II lane are both up for consideration. Anybody care to take mercy and verify?

    Comment by MI — May 18, 2015 @ 4:13 pm

  33. Brock, cobalt black keys is the perfect example of “sea-lioning”, I have made it a point not to comment when he posts because of this. Thanks for giving it or him a name. As always his intent is to muck up the conversation.

    Comment by John P. — May 18, 2015 @ 4:15 pm

  34. 34 MI: See comment 6 above: “Both were mentioned as possibilities at the first community meeting about this project.” Since they mentioned a cycle track as an option, it certainly had not yet been excluded as a possibility at the time of that meeting (on April 14).

    In comment 7 Jon Spangler acknowledges that installing bike lanes would avoid/limit some of the negative effects a cycle track would bring.

    I don’t agree with Mr. Spangler’s opinion that most of the negative effects I outlined in comment 6 are “probably inconsequential,” but I appreciate the civil response and the acknowledgement that the analysis of tradeoffs on this project is different if the recommendation is for bike lanes (and a center lane like on Broadway) rather than for a cycle track (like on Shoreline).

    Comment by Rob S. — May 18, 2015 @ 4:36 pm

  35. I think the Central Complete Streets discussion is still up in the air based on what the feedback is from the community and staff. The RFP response shows a delivery of multiple options based on the feedback and the needs. That said, I always mentally thought about it probably being a narrowing to one travel lane in each direction, a central turning median running the length which would make it easier for residents to pull into driveways particularly from the opposite side of the street. The addition of Class II bike lanes (one on each side) either traditionally or with a parking buffer for the bike lane. I would prefer the parking buffer for the bike lane from a safety perspective, but can see how that change might be too much for residents on Central if the other improvements are executed.

    Comment by Lauren Do — May 18, 2015 @ 4:40 pm

  36. Why is the city not fixing the streets that need serious repairs? Where are our tax dollars going? Where have are taxes been going for the last few years?

    Comment by A Neighbor — May 18, 2015 @ 5:14 pm

  37. #38 to correct a typo: Our taxes as in Where have our taxes been going?

    Comment by A Neighbor — May 18, 2015 @ 5:16 pm

  38. The internets are amazing: http://alamedaca.gov/finance/fy-2013-14-and-2014-15-annual-budget

    Comment by BC — May 18, 2015 @ 5:27 pm

  39. We are talking about whether a street is safe for all modes of transportation.

    We are talking about Pedestrians Walking and crossing streets.

    So me asking questions about what streets have been repaved in town and when each sidewalk has been repaired in the city is very relevant.

    You might not like the question but it is very relevant.

    Considering the most common accidents to cyclists are falls. Road defects often cause bicycle crashes. Some of these falls cause serious injuries, including fatalities.

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — May 18, 2015 @ 5:35 pm

  40. Don’t feed the sea-lion.

    Comment by Brock — May 18, 2015 @ 5:36 pm

  41. Brock you must have learned that strategy from the fire department…..refuse to acknowledge

    Although he was working at a different station with firefighters who had not been involved in the DelBono incident, from the beginning there was tension between Vanderheiden and his fellow firefighters who, he claims, ostracized and isolated him. For instance, Vanderheiden said that when he would walk into a room, crew members would immediately vacate the area and refuse to acknowledge him.
    A captain told him he should not attend the annual union ski trip because it would not be safe for him to do so. He was told by Chief Christiansen that if he continued to serve as an instructor in the water rescue program, other firefighters might leave the program. He stated that one captain announced to a class that he never wanted Vanderheiden in his station or on his rig, and that a fellow firefighter went from station to station calling Vanderheiden a dead man.

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — May 18, 2015 @ 5:52 pm

  42. John Oliver’s recent Infrastructure piece included a pot-hole on Skyline Blvd. that catapulted an Oakland cyclist into oncoming traffic and his death.

    I disagree with Cobalt’s opinions all the time but I think we should agree that good pavement and smooth sidewalks have some benefits..

    I also don’t understand if you don’t pass GO and collect $200 you are still entitled to Free (on-street) Parking.

    Comment by Gerard L. — May 18, 2015 @ 6:05 pm

  43. I think we should agree that good pavement and smooth sidewalks have some benefits..

    Absolutely, but doing one (paving streets) doesn’t preclude doing the other (starting discussions about Complete Streets one Central).

    Comment by Lauren Do — May 18, 2015 @ 6:13 pm

  44. I believe if we fix the streets that need repair, there will be no excess $ to reconfigure any street. Repair does not just mean filling holes and cracks with some tar or some other temporary substance.

    Repave the streets with cracks and holes.

    Then, and only then, should anyone even think further about reconfiguring any street in Alameda.

    Comment by A Neighbor — May 18, 2015 @ 6:26 pm

  45. Projects like the Shoreline cycle track get funding from grants specifically targeted for those types of projects and could not be used for street repair anyway.

    Comment by Lauren Do — May 18, 2015 @ 6:49 pm

  46. 43. Cobalt…I’m absolutely acknowledging your questions. I’m just not answering them which is a different thing. Nobody here is your paid research assistant. You are perfectly capable of finding out the answers to these questions on your own. I’m acknowledging them in the spirit you are asking them – which is as a device to badger people here you don’t agree with.

    Now you are coming at it from a different angle, with some unattributed cut-and-paste text that isn’t related to anything being discussed here. Would you care to let us know where you lifted it from, which would be the honest thing to include? It’s clear to everyone that the writing style is completely different than your own. You seem to overestimate your own intelligence, and underestimate everyone else.

    We all understand that you think you are very intelligent, and that only you are willing to face the serious issues. That is the main point of every post I’ve seen you make here. Do you have anything more interesting than that to add to the discussion?

    Comment by brock — May 18, 2015 @ 7:37 pm

  47. Return that grant money until our streets are repaved. Do we really want the frills before we have basic safety?

    How much are city employees being paid to write grants for the frills? How much are they paid to hold “community meetings”?

    Why not write and grants for basic street paving?

    Comment by A Neighbor — May 18, 2015 @ 7:53 pm

  48. #49 should say Why not write and get grants for basic street paving?

    Surely someone with money cares about basic safety and our Third World streets.

    Comment by A Neighbor — May 18, 2015 @ 7:55 pm

  49. #47 Lauren, you and your reality-based approach. It’s refreshing!
    #49 “return that grant money” LOLE. There’s no grant money for basics, honey. Not how things work.

    Comment by Anonymoustroll — May 18, 2015 @ 8:28 pm

  50. “Anonymous Neighbor”: I always love when people put non sequitur demands in response to something not particularly related. “We should conquer paralysis so everyone can walk on the earth before we go walking on the moon,” “We should seal up all 6,000 miles of our borders before figuring what to do about ‘Dreamers'” — that sort of thing.

    Street maintenance has little or nothing to do with making streets safe for anything other than cars, cars, cars. In fact, if we got enough people onto bikes and feet, the streets wouldn’t need as much maintenance. In fact, we could close some of them down and improve the quality of life on our island.

    Comment by Jack Mingo — May 18, 2015 @ 8:44 pm

  51. #52 When I ride my bike I must look at the road and avoid the potholes, cracks, and partially filled cracks. If I don’t, I will tumble.

    Tumble means fall off my bike.. That means a probable injury.

    This means that well maintained streets do, indeed, have something to do with making streets safe for cyclists as well as car drivers. Well maintained streets are a win-win situation.

    When is the last time you rode a bike in Alameda?

    Comment by A Neighbor — May 18, 2015 @ 9:31 pm

    • Anonymous Neighbor asks: “When is the last time [I] rode a bike in Alameda?”
      Yesterday. I’ve been riding bikes for more than half a century. And I’ve been watching the road since day 1 for potholes, cracks, curbs, railroad tracks, debris, broken glass (not so much of that any more, thanks to bottle bills, puppies, squirrels, pedestrians, cars… Well, everything. I’ve never seen a perfect street that there wasn’t something dangerous to the unwary. So be wary. No big deal. I haven’t fallen on my bike since getting my French horn case wedged in the wheel in middle school (“junior high” at the time).
      If you don’t want to pay attention, don’t ride a bike. If you tumble, don’t blame the road.

      Comment by Jack Mingo — May 18, 2015 @ 10:29 pm

  52. Excuse me, folks. May I have your attention for a second? The *entire* purpose of the Central Avenue Compete Streets project is simply this:

    “The purpose of this “complete street” concept proposal effort is to make Central Avenue safer and more convenient and comfortable for all roadway users – motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians and truck and bus drivers. Each corridor has its own unique needs, demands and existing conditions that are better understood through community outreach and listening to Alamedans as is currently occurring for the Central Avenue corridor between Pacific Avenue/Main Street and Sherman Street/Encinal Avenue. In general, complete streets no longer just provide easy and fast access via automobiles but also focus on safe travel for Alamedans who want to bicycle, walk and take transit.”

    –from the PW staff report on the project, to be presented on May 27 to the Transportation Commission (link below)

    The Public Works project page for the Central Avenue Complete Streets project is here:
    http://alamedaca.gov/public-works/central-avenue-complete-street

    People can read the documents directly if they care to learn for themselves what the project’s goals, objectives, history, and next steps are.

    One upcoming step is the Transportation Commission meeting on Wednesday, May 27, at 7:00 pm in the City Council Chambers. The Item 5b staff report to the TC on Central Avenue is posted on the project page under the listing for the TC meeting.

    Here is the direct link to the staff report:
    http://alamedaca.gov/sites/default/files/document-files/5b_centralcompleteststaffreport.pdf

    And here is a tiny excerpt of what the staff is going to recommend to the TC:

    “For the bikeway approach, the consultant/staff team considered cycle tracks, buffered/protected bike lanes, conventional Class II bike lanes similar to Broadway as well as Class III bike routes similar to Oak Street by the Main Library and the status quo/do nothing. Staff recommends moving forward with the following options for consideration (Figures 2 through 4):
    A. Do Nothing / Status Quo (Figure 2)
    B. SharrowMarkings(ClassIIIBikeRoute):sharedlaneformotoristsandbicyclists(Figure 3)
    C. ClassIIBikeLanes(Figure4)”

    Comment by Jon Spangler — May 18, 2015 @ 9:39 pm

  53. Alameda, the city where bike lanes launch a thousand conspiracy theories. Give me a break…..

    Comment by Mike Henneberry — May 18, 2015 @ 10:50 pm

  54. “The purpose of this “complete street” concept proposal effort is to make Central Avenue safer and more convenient and comfortable for all roadway users – motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians and truck and bus drivers”

    Wouldn’t you first want to make sure all your access streets and sidewalks onto Central and Central itself have properly paved roads and sidewalks not in disrepair. That encompasses many streets in Alameda. I don’t see that in the Consultant team report. But I’m not an expert or consultant. Just trying to learn the thought and thinking process when we are looking for safer streets and sidewalks for pedestrians and bikes that condition of these are not number one. Considering Road Condition and that the most common accidents to cyclists are falls. Road defects often cause bicycle crashes. Some of these falls cause serious injuries, including fatalities.

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — May 18, 2015 @ 11:45 pm

  55. Dear Cobalt BKJ,

    Alameda is slowly making progress improving its pavement quality, according to the Public Works budget presentation to the City Council on May 6. (I was there. You can look it up here: https://alameda.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx)

    But street paving funds come from an entirely different source of funds than “Complete Streets” project money does–and you cannot use money from one (grant) source in an unapproved manner to accomplish another task, generally speaking.

    In the end, BOTH reconfiguring the streets and repaving them CAN make life better, but you can’t pit them against each other, either…

    Comment by Jon Spangler — May 18, 2015 @ 11:59 pm

  56. According to the 2012 National Survey on Bicyclist and Pedestrian Attitudes and Behaviors, poor quality facilities are the leading cause of pedestrian injury.

    Six most Frequent Sources of Injury Percent
    Tripped on an uneven/cracked sidewalk 24
    Tripped/fell 17
    Hit by a car 12
    Wildlife/pets involved 6
    Tripped on stone 5
    Stepped in a hole 5

    Causes of injury

    According to the 2012 National Survey on Bicyclist and Pedestrian Attitudes and Behaviors, nearly a third of all injuries are caused when bicyclists are struck by cars.

    Six most Frequent Sources of Injury Percent
    Hit by car 29
    Fell 17
    Roadway/walkway not in good repair 13
    Rider error/not paying attention 13
    Crashed/collision 7
    Dog ran out 4

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — May 19, 2015 @ 12:02 am

  57. Jon……..Using your logic and analogy and thought process and what you are selling to Citizens …..If we were building a house…..We have money for the Roof but funds are being held up for the foundation and come from a totally different source. I think we need to care of the basics first .

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — May 19, 2015 @ 12:16 am

  58. 48) Brock I posted a link where I got the Information in #32…. I admit I’m not very bright…. But I try and learn…..Anyone who thinks they know everything about a subject or issue is kidding themselves. The More the expert the greater the douchebag is my experience and makes them prejudice about new information and what is really going on.

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — May 19, 2015 @ 12:28 am

  59. #52: “Street maintenance has little or nothing to do with making streets safe for anything other than cars, cars, cars”. There you go again, Mingo.

    I dare you to walk down these streets wearing an Elizabethan [dog] collar and not fall flat on your face.

    This year, I went to the Buena Vista Methodist Church Asian festival for the first time. There was Only street parking so I had to walk a few blocks on Eagle and Oak near Park.
    Using my wheeled walker, I hit an asphalt shelf at a driveway curb cut that was so high, my walker buckled and folded, almost letting me fall flat on my face. That was at the start of my walk! Most of the sidewalks after that were so narrow and so buckled as to be almost impassable. Sometimes I had one foot in the gutter.

    If active repairs were going on to smooth these existing old sidewalks and curb cut transitions, I would not mind the road diets so much. But it is too easy for Public Works to get excited over these new projects, and neglect the old stuff. And grants are usually one-time money bags, intended to start projects without providing ongoing maintenance.

    Comment by vigi — May 19, 2015 @ 9:27 am

  60. 54. Jon Spangler, thank you, thank you, for being generous in taking time to post links to staff report. I read the whole thing and hope I’m up to speed (for the moment). I now know that I’m not crazy or completely dumb in thinking the discussion was, at least for a moment, about cycle tracks, and relieved to know staff recommends or has actually eliminated that option, but pleased that class II will be considered. Interesting to note that traffic volume of Central west of Webster is greater than east to Sherman. I wonder if that is due to schools, because my general impression driving at non-peak times for schools would be the opposite. Also great that they gave comparative volumes for streets with three lane class II configuration like Broadway. I hope to watch video of Transpo Com meeting but won’t be there. I would tend not to weigh in where I have less experience but in this case I’m confident enough of personal familiarity with roadway and comps like Broadway to email support for three lane class II to commission members.

    53. A Neighbor. First, you should take heed of Jack Mingo’s very apt analogies in 52., but also in answer to your “have you ridden Alameda Streets on a bike lately?”, for me not extensively, but yes. I can’t get excited about them being dangerous state of degradation for bikes, but have to ask you, have you ridden your bike in Oakland lately? On the one hand the condition of Oakland streets has nothing to do with our streets, but it still lends some perspective about what is “hazardous”. Many Oakland streets are hazardous for autos.

    57. Johnny Strip and Paste, over decades of riding I have had two collisions with cars while riding a bike ( one my fault) and a couple other spills. None were from condition of road surface. That is anecdotal, but about as useful as national statistics when assessing Alameda.

    Comment by MI — May 19, 2015 @ 10:16 am

  61. vigi. Asphalt driveway shelf ? really? that is about the crudest example of paving and most obscure example you could pick, but it happened to vigi so it should be a priority. In the big picture of paving hazard, that’s a ridiculous micro example. If we had to tend to that level of detail before dealing with macro design, nothing would ever get done. The problem with side walks is often poor choice of trees which are constantly growing and undoing attempts at repair. Tearing out every tree causing this problem and repaving walk ways would be prohibitively expensive and in many cases the tree cutting gets controversial. You know how we Alamedans feel about our trees. I’ll dare to guess that compared to that, restriping Central for bikes is a bargain. Thanks for reminding me not to wear my Elizabethan style collar. Close call on that one.

    Comment by MI — May 19, 2015 @ 10:29 am

  62. 53: A Neighbor, if you are having trouble with staying upright on your bike here in Alameda, where our pavement quality is rated as fair to good, there are other things that may be the cause.

    Putting on my League Cycling Instructor’s cap for a minute, here are some practical suggestions for you–and for anyone on a bike who is having difficulty either staying upright (balancing) or dealing with pavement irregularities:

    1) Rider skill. Is there anything you can do to improve your skills at choosing your path so you avoid obstacles better?

    a) Do you know how to ride easily over bumps?

    b) Do you “spin” with little effort per stroke at 65-100 pedal RPMs when you ride, or pedal very slowly? (Spinning easily makes balancing much easier.)

    c) Most obstacles on streets can be handled fairly easily by a skilled cyclist. I recommend Bike East Bay’s FREE bike classes to everyone, because you will be come a better driver as well as learn how to handle your bike better–and most of us can benefit from both of these.

    d) Obviously, riding a bike while under the influence is more dangerous and likely to lead to falls and crashes–just like cars. And some medical conditions impair one’s ability to balance, too.

    2) Your bike.
    a) Skinny tires are harder for maintaining balance. Try installing wider tires to improve your balance, and keep them properly inflated.

    b) If your wheels wobble a lot, get them trued: round wheels act like gyroscopes and help you stay upright–even going over bumps. c) Is your bike’s frame not aligned properly? If it has been in a crash (or was poorly designed) it may not even be able to go in a straight line.

    ***Take your bike to a good local shop and see if they can help you stay upright. You might be surprised by how some simple fixes can make a big difference.***

    Comment by Jon Spangler — May 19, 2015 @ 10:46 am

  63. #53

    1. I choose my routes carefully
    a) I know how to ride over bumps—even on Bayview where the signs say “Lumps ahead”
    b) I ride as fast as my legs will go
    c) I took the Bike East Bay’s free class about ten years ago–when it was held at Perforce
    d) I don’t drink or ride when I’ve been drinking. Likewise, count me out for having a medical condition.

    2. My bike
    a) is a hybrid. I have medium width tires. They are properly inflated. I check them regularly.
    b) I take my bike to a local, well established bike shop.

    After answering your quiz, I vote to use whatever money the city has to repave our failing, cracked streets.

    Put city staff to work to get grants for repaving.

    Comment by A Neighbor — May 19, 2015 @ 12:40 pm

  64. MI: The presence of an asphalt shelf had nothing to do with trees. It was caused by asphalt which had been poured for an old street repair not being smoothed at the point where it met the driveway. The entire sidewalk along Oak between Eagle and Buena Vista is in terrible shape, and too narrow for 2 pedestrians to even pass each other without one stepping into the street. Street trees are not a factor– there aren’t any. it is a poorer part of town, which may explain the lack of attention. But the people who live there have to walk it every day.

    Comment by vigi — May 19, 2015 @ 1:18 pm

  65. Deferring Maintenance of City assets for the last 15 years and not Repaving all the streets and not fixing the sidewalks and not fully funding and not putting in the budget is just part of the Houdini act and Three Card Monty games that are played in the Budget Roulette that the Grifters play when negotiating raises saying that we have 30 Million in Reserves…..What would it cost to bring our streets and sidewalks up speed?

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — May 19, 2015 @ 1:27 pm

  66. Would it be possible to get a Updated Map of all our Streets and Sidewalks when they were last repaved and when were the sidewalks fixed on a block by block basis. Maybe somebody from city has all the information. I’m sure Lauren has in at the city that can furnish that.

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — May 19, 2015 @ 1:47 pm

  67. 18, 62: Carol, I hope you do not have any more encounters like that. But there is hope…

    According to the 2013-14 Annual Report from Public Works, the number of sidewalk repairs has increased dramatically over the past couple of years. (Although I do not recall the numbers, PW’s 2015-16 budget presentation included a similar increase in the number of sidewalk repairs completed. (Most of these repairs seem to be made necessary by the many healthy trees we have in Alameda: their roots keep expanding underneath our sidewalks.)

    I’m glad to see that PW started reallocating resources to make our sidewalks safer in 2012-13 and they are maintaining that momentum, if not increasing it.

    Comment by Jon Spangler — May 19, 2015 @ 3:41 pm

  68. 70, 62: Here’s the link to the 2013-14 Annual Report from Public Works. I inadvertently left it out of post 70:
    http://alamedaca.gov/public-works/public-works-annual-report

    Comment by Jon Spangler — May 19, 2015 @ 3:42 pm

  69. Just a side note as a pedestrian the Shoreline path works for me. One thing I pointed out during construction was it they could get a Street Sweeper in there. So far they haven’t and certain areas of the trak are inundated with sand. Also when they use the weed waker along the strip between the Ped and Cycle paths the debris is just left on the trak. In certain area there is quite a pile. I know how I see bikers speak of ‘debris zones’ and for parts of it the trak nearest the curbing is debris.

    Comment by frank m — May 19, 2015 @ 4:34 pm

  70. Jon we have 21 Million in unfunded and deferred maintenance cost just to parks….Looks like about 90 Million in unfunded and deferred maintenance on Streets….. Wonder if that includes sidewalks..Very interesting read….Still would like to see breakdown of a Updated Map of all our Streets and Sidewalks when they were last repaved and when were the sidewalks fixed on a block by block basis.

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — May 19, 2015 @ 4:43 pm

  71. We might Rename City Hall ” DEFER”

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — May 19, 2015 @ 4:47 pm

  72. Spending 522 K a year on Sidewalks takes care of how many blocks…… That’s half as much as we spent just on shoreline. Like reading funny papers.

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — May 19, 2015 @ 5:00 pm

  73. City is only responsible for sidewalks where there are City Street Trees. The remainder is the responsibility of the individual property owner. Used to be PW came out and tagged sidewalks and you either had to fix them or City would hire contractor to fix and bill you. However the last ten years this hasn’t been done aggressively.

    Comment by frank m — May 19, 2015 @ 5:23 pm

  74. 67. there are many driveway curb cuts on which cars bottom out because they are steep so somebody lays a table of asphalt which is inevitably ragged at the edges. I thought that is what you encountered. Concrete is better because you can feather the edges, but it also doesn’t adhere well in thin layers. I’m not sure these are by PW but perhaps by individual home owners. Our driveway is that steep but has no shelf of material so you must enter and exit straight on and slowly.

    72. I’ve noticed a lot of crap and silt on the track. in the last rain the storm drain near McDonald’s plugged and the gutter was flooded for about 12 feet in each direction. Our street gets sweeper to technically meet clean bay mandate that streets must get swept. Thankfully we don’t have to vacate for sweeping but the consequence is the sweeper mostly drives fast down the middle of the street and doesn’t really do what it is supposed to do.

    Comment by MI — May 19, 2015 @ 7:25 pm

  75. Comment by Gerard L. — May 19, 2015 @ 7:40 pm

  76. 54 Thank you for posting a link to the staff report on the Central Ave project.

    Although a Shoreline-style cycle track was mentioned at the April 14 community meeting as a possibility for that project, it is good to read that staff has now concluded it would not have worked in this specific context. As the report says, “The cycle track options were eliminated because of the frequency of driveways and intersections. . .”

    Comment by Rob S. — May 20, 2015 @ 4:33 pm

  77. The staff report should have said “the cycletrack and protected bike lanes options were rejected because we are too chicken to consider taking out a lane of parking.”

    Comment by BMac — May 20, 2015 @ 5:34 pm

  78. funny Rob should have returned to post here this afternoon because I had returned to this thread earlier today and left it on my computer to leave another comment. I’m not clear about taking out parking for track. Certainly a track protected by a lane of parking would be dubious in places like Paden and Encinal if the track were on north side because of the really frequent use of driveways to schools. A protected track is “safest” and most desirable from bike safety up to the point it invites opportunities for collisions at driveways and intersections who can’t see cyclists until the last second. Each driveway and intersection requires paring back parking for visibility.

    Three lanes for auto ( 2 traffic plus one turn) with two class II bike lanes outside parked cars can be done without major loss to parking. I’m not sure how removal of entire lane of parking can render bike lane which is fully protected, though it obviously enhances visibility. There are sections of Shoreline track which do this. To me it’s a numbers game not a game of chicken. Though, even the least “invasive” reconfiguration will invite all manner of ignorant blow back. If we can make use of facts and figures easier and less speculative we might avoid some of the hyperbolic exchanges. Massive and unmitigated displacement of vehicle parking will be a de facto war on cars.

    We need MORE PICTURES of existing tracks in other cities. Our collective lack of familiarity and unease with enhanced bike infrastructure makes it difficult to have meaningful exchanges. I know that large scale graphic renderings of details for Alameda tracks and other enhancements which are only proposed and less likely to be built are prohibitively expensive, but using shots of existing comparable situations is far less expensive and would really facilitate meaningful exchange of ideas. The photo shops in the report of various striping were useful, but only for configuration, not for challenging the minds of people who would be helped by seeing burgeoning bike infrastructure in use.

    Comment by MI — May 20, 2015 @ 7:01 pm

  79. 3 lanes with class II bike lanes the entire length would ge a great improvement over the status quo. It would establish a true cross Alameda bike route from the point all the way to Fernside, which would be impressive. I just wish Public Works didn’t use the Obama in his early years negotiating tactic of starting out with the compromise position (road diet with class II bike lanes) as the perceived most ‘extreme’ option.

    Comment by BMac — May 20, 2015 @ 10:46 pm

  80. To me the most important issue is crossing Central safely. Unprotected crosswalks that cross four lanes of auto traffic within 1/2 block of an elementary school, AND which have parking allowed right up to the intersection limit line is dangerous and unacceptable. To the driver last weekend going ~35 mph who swerved around the car that had stopped for my family to cross at the cross walk at Central at 8th, and then screech to a halt within 3 feet of us: FU for almost killing a 5 year old and thank you for clarifying the need for major realignment on Central and galvanizing me in support. The current street design is stupid. I will be at every meeting. I will get every neighbor to write in support of total reconfiguration of Central and also attend the meetings.

    Comment by AJ — May 21, 2015 @ 9:44 am

  81. 84. AJ and others, thanks for your newfound militancy. As a frequent traveler on the west half of Central (car, bike, pedestrian and runner) I’m agreeing that it needs a lot of work to make it safer and more usable. It it is pretty horrible for non-car use…but it doesn’t really even work all that well for cars. We can do better.

    Comment by Jack Mingo — May 21, 2015 @ 10:05 am

  82. I mean Central and 9th. 8th is the stoplight.

    Comment by AJ — May 21, 2015 @ 10:11 am

  83. “I mean, yeah, it’s weird that this law firm is posting so much about pedestrian safety”. No it isn’t, Lauren. That is exactly what trial lawyers do to drum up business!

    GJEL Accident Attorneys is devoting a considerable amount of time and space to portraying Central Avenue, partially a State Highway, as an “unsafe status quo”. Unsafe compared to what? Perception is not necessarily reality.

    Those who object to the new Shoreline are almost unanimous in their feeling that driving there now is more unsafe than it was before.

    100% of GJEL business is representing Victims of Car Accidents. http://www.avvo.com/attorneys/95113-ca-andrew-gillin-313451.html#resume

    When powerful and wealthy trial lawyers, who stand to profit from increased accidents, call for changes in the configuration of existing streets in the name of “safety”, they just might be redefining the term a la Harold Hill on Pool Tables.

    ” Alamedans, either you are closing your eyes to a situation you do not wish to acknowledge, or you are not aware of the caliber of disaster indicated by the status quo of Central Avenue in your community”

    It’s about time one of our high schools put on The Music Man again. People never learn.

    Comment by vigi — June 2, 2015 @ 12:13 pm

  84. vigi: “Those who object to the new Shoreline are almost unanimous in their feeling that driving there now is more unsafe than it was before.” Isn’t everyone who objects to it a driver? And unanimity among a group of the like-minded doesn’t really show us much, does it?

    But now your mayor, having met the mayor of Copenhagen (how dare she! Not only a non-Alamedan but a foreigner from a near communist country!), has signed up to the complete streets program. To be serious, this is really great. I may yet reconsider Spencer if she follows through with, dare I hope for it, a yes vote when a project is proposed.

    Comment by BC — June 2, 2015 @ 12:53 pm

  85. 87.
    A. Feelings are not data.
    B. Opinions of only those who object are pretty useless. Sure, they probably think what they hate has no redeeming value. More accidents? “Probably!” Ugly? “Of course!” Causes cancer? “Absolutely!” Satanic? “I should say!”
    C. Most trial lawyers don’t eat their own children. Some are even people, or virtually so, with human concerns just like you.

    Comment by Jack Mingo — June 2, 2015 @ 1:21 pm

  86. 89: so you believe trial lawyers never lobby or manipulate public opinion so as to achieve a better business climate or favorable juries?

    Yes, “feelings” is the word most commonly used to advocate for more “safety”, as in: “I don’t feel safe cycling on Central”. Where is the actual data that Central is more dangerous than other East-west streets crossing Alameda, Jack? Predictions based on other cities are not necessarily valid data for Alameda

    Comment by vigi — June 2, 2015 @ 2:56 pm

  87. 90. I believe if they were trying to increase their business, they’d be working the other direction: more car lanes, faster speeds, painting over bike lanes, and repealing helmet laws and pedestrian right-of-way laws. (See NRA’s tactics.)

    Or just leaving things as they are.

    Is it possible that one could be a trial lawyer, see firsthand the damage that our car culture can do to people, and care about the safety of children, friends, neighbors and families? For that matter, is it possible to be a dentist and not root for more tooth decay, a cop and not cheer for the criminals, a builder who does not pray for hurricanes and earthquakes, a minister who doesn’t hope for more sin, or a doctor who doesn’t try to spread epidemics?

    Comment by Jack Mingo — June 2, 2015 @ 3:15 pm

  88. nicely put Jack Mingo.

    Comment by John P. — June 2, 2015 @ 9:45 pm


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