Blogging Bayport Alameda

April 18, 2017

Gap band-aid

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:08 am

Staff is back with a slightly improved design for the Cross Alameda Trail section of Atlantic between Webster and Constitution.   They are finally suggesting a protected bike lane to link two protected bike lane segments.

From the staff report:

This design has the following attributes:

• Protected Bicycle Lanes: Two-way, ten-foot wide, protected bicycle lane on the south side of Atlantic, between Webster and Atlantic, which will be a combination of at-sidewalk-grade (to the west) and at-street-grade (to the east) facilities.

• Continuous Sidewalk: New and existing sidewalks will be 6 to 7.9 foot wide along the south side of Atlantic.

• Intersection Crossings: Separated pedestrian and bicycle crossings, which reduce conflicts between the modes which travel at different speeds.

• Enhanced Intersection Safety: The designs have features of “protected intersections” with raised corner safety islands, which create a protected area for people biking to wait for the traffic signal and tighten the turning radius, to slow cars. Protected left turn signals will be installed on Atlantic at Constitution, to reduce conflicts between autos and bicyclists, as well as signage to warn turning vehicles to watch for bicyclists and pedestrians throughout the project. High visibility crossings will be painted.

• Maintain Bus Stop (Eastbound): Retained and expanded eastbound bus stop to meet AC Transit standards.

• Changes to Auto Travel Lanes: Retained all auto travel lanes on Atlantic, except for one of the three eastbound lanes between the southern driveway and Constitution, which is utilized by the protected bicycle lane. (Note that this is the area where the City’s easement area is very limited, so there were few other options for the facility in this section.) Most auto travel lane widths are reduced, but outside lanes are a minimum of 11 feet.

• Improve Webster St. Bus Stop (at southwest corner of RAMP/Atlantic): Bus stop will be re-configured, as part of the combined CAT RAMP/Atlantic Gap project, to remove the step up to the bus stop, and create a fully level corner plaza that seamlessly connects to the bus stop.

• Easement and retaining wall: Use a minimal amount of the City’s easement area, about 10 feet wide at its maximum, near the corner of Webster.


Screen Shot 2017-04-17 at 4.07.43 PM

One thing that staff studied but then rejected was a mid block crossing in that gap.  Even though they know that people, especially seniors, jaywalk that section ALL OF THE TIME they determined that there was not enough people getting run over at that crossing to warrant a crosswalk or even one of those flashing signal thingies.  Here’s what the mid block crossing would look like.

Screen Shot 2017-04-17 at 4.08.08 PM

So it’s an improvement from the initial plans.

Oh and there are a bunch of Council Referrals on the agenda again.  At this point there are more Referral agenda items then there are regular agenda items.  This referral process is so broken.



  1. That portion of the trail was originally a portion of the Beltline right of way. Anyone know how or why that piece was lost, while the larger portions to both East & West were retained? It happened well before the city won the RR back in court.

    Comment by dave — April 18, 2017 @ 6:50 am

  2. I think MI might have some knowledge about it, he’s discussed it before with regard to the Walgreens property. It sounds, based on comments, that the sale was made by the railroad owners. Here’s a comment from 2009.

    Comment by Lauren Do — April 18, 2017 @ 7:07 am

    • Well that was a weird trip back in time. By visiting that 2009 link, it seems Lauren Do was full of praise for Jean Sweeney back then. Yet as I recall, you and the odious Mr.John Knox White strenuously opposed Jean Sweeney when she ran for a council seat on the strength of these same accomplishments described in your 2009 post.

      Comment by vigi — April 18, 2017 @ 9:29 am

      • Uh, just because she did a great thing in finding the old contract doesn’t mean that she would have been a great City Council member.

        Comment by Lauren Do — April 18, 2017 @ 9:55 am

        • Jean Sweeney’s civic involvement went back decades & was not limited to the railroad issue. For example, she was one of the longest serving members on the BRAC & the RAB when she died. Considering who was elected instead, I think the citizens of Alameda missed a great opportunity to elect someone who would think for herself & work in the best interests of Alameda, not just rubber-stamping what developers put before the council or using a council seat as a stepping stone on their way to higher office.

          Leave it to Lauren Do to jump to the shallower conclusion.

          Comment by vigi — April 18, 2017 @ 10:39 am

      • The community did her a favor by not electing her. It is best that her legacy stand on the work she did to make Jean Sweeney park a reality.

        Comment by notadave — April 18, 2017 @ 1:16 pm

        • council seats are where people get started in the political process, there is nothing inherently wrong with that. Also there are a great number of people in this city who are “pro-development” which means we would like to see housing for our work force and retail development for our citizens so we do not have to go off Island to shop. To put “pro development” as some sort of criminals is just as wrong as to put “nimbys” in the same frame. we all have opinions and maybe we should show a little respect for peoples different beliefs.

          Comment by JohnP.trumpisnotmypresident. — April 18, 2017 @ 4:59 pm

  3. If that portion was sold by the rails, whose ownership was later encumbered by courts in favor of city, can (or did) city claw back the proceeds from that sale?

    Comment by dave — April 18, 2017 @ 7:33 am

  4. It may have been that the portions in question were sold before the City exercised its option to buy back the line. Here is a snippet from the google-able ALAMEDA BELT LINE, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. The CITY OF ALAMEDA, Defendant and Appellant. No. A099429. Decided: November 04, 2003 that includes the buy back option and that may or not be referencing subdivisions or lots that were being sold before the City began the process of asserting its right to buy back the line:

    The parties formally executed the agreement on December 15, 1924, whereby the City agreed to sell the railroad to ABL for the sum of $30,000.   Paragraph 14 of the agreement, which is at issue here, gave the City an option to repurchase the belt line railroad.   It provided:

    Said City shall have the right at any time hereafter to purchase said belt line railroad including all extensions thereof, for a sum equal to the original cost, together with the cost of any and all additional investments and extensions made therein by said ALAMEDA BELT LINE, provided, that said City shall give at least one year’s previous notice of its intention so to do by ordinance to that effect;  and provided that at the same time it purchases from the parties of the first part, or either of them as the case may be, the branch railroad, extensions and spur tracks referred to in the twelfth section hereof.  [¶] It is agreed that said ALAMEDA BELT LINE will keep an accurate account of the cost of additional investments and extensions, and file a verified report thereof annually with the City Clerk of said City, similar to the report filed with the Railroad Commission.   It is further agreed and understood that the term ‘investments’ as herein used shall not include the cost of upkeep and repairs.

    On October 6, 1999, the City staff filed a report with the Mayor of Alameda informing him that ABL had been cutting back operations and selling off parcels of its property.   The report made specific reference to a 22-acre rail storage yard that ABL was in the process of selling for about $18 million.   The staff believed the fair market value of this property alone was significantly more then the original $30,000 that ABL paid the City for the railroad, plus the cost of all investments and extensions they made subsequent to the original purchase.   Based on the staff recommendation, the Alameda City Council passed ordinance No. 2817 N.S. on November 2, 1999, giving notice to ABL that the City intended to exercise its option to repurchase the railroad and all extensions thereof on December 4, 2000, pursuant to the requirements of paragraph 14 of the parties’ 1924 agreement.

    Comment by MP — April 18, 2017 @ 9:25 am

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