Central Avenue Project Updates
In July, the city will begin outreach to continue design for the Central Avenue plan. We will be there with your support to fix the portions of the plan that we feel are unsafe for bicyclists. Our proposal for the portion between Paden Elementary and 8th street will greatly improve on the shared lane concept in the approved plans.
We propose to continue the cycletrack while giving the rest of the street adaptive travel lanes. Lanes that switch between travel during peak hours and parking during non-peak hours. We believe this proposal enables the bicyclists to remain separate from traffic and gives the rest of the street flexibility.
On December 6, 2016, the City of Alameda was awarded $7.3 million for the Central Avenue Project
The full project cost is estimated to be $12 million. The $12 million includes the redesign of Central Avenue near Pacific Avenue, which is part of Alameda Point development. $7 million is sufficient to design and build the project outside of that. It includes protected bike lanes from Encinal High School to Paden Elementary School, bike lanes and bulb-outs and other crosswalk enhancements.
Bike Walk Alameda will continue to pursue changes to the plan that extend the two-way cycle track to 8th Street. When the city council approved the project concept in early 2016, each member expressed concern over the Webster to 8th Street design that placed bicyclists in the middle of traffic with just sharrows guiding everyone. We will work on improvements to that design.
Central Avenue Safe Concept Plan Approved!
WE DID IT!
The City Council signed off on a safer Central Avenue in February, unanimously okaying a conceptual plan to put bike lanes, a bikeway serving two schools, more and more visible crosswalks and a host of other improvements along the cross-Island arterial.
Given that it was unclear just six months ago whether this plan was even going to go forward, it probably goes without saying that your postcards, letters and heartfelt comments to policymakers at three packed public meetings made them realize that the community wants this and that they should move it forward.
Congratulations on using YOUR voices to score a big win for safety in this community!
This complete street projects includes 1.7 miles of Central Avenue from the Pacific/Main/Central intersection at Alameda Point to the Sherman/Encinal/Central intersection. The project will provide the first and only cross-island bicycle facility in Alameda, spanning from High Street to the Point!
The Central Avenue project closes gaps in the Bay Trail and provides safer connections to:
- Encinal High School and Junior Jets
- Paden Elementary School
- Child Unique preschool
- Shoreline walking and biking trail
- Webster Street shopping district
How will this create safer, more livable streets?
- Currently cars speeds 20-33% over the speed limits. This project will help these West End neighborhoods become calmer and more livable.
- People crossing Central Avenue will have fewer lanes to cross, which is proven to reduce tragic collisions.
- People who choose to bicycle will have safe, separated lanes that will allow for more convenient access to both ends of the island.
- Traffic studies have found that drivers will face little to no impact in their travel times.
- Parking is maintained, and businesses and residents will continue to be able to use city streets for short-term parking.
The project’s goals have strong community support
City staff surveyed the community about what they wanted, and they spoke clearly:
1. Encourage walking and bicycling
2. Improve safety
3. Improve the overall streetscape (more trees, etc.)
Specifically, the project will provide:
The proposal recommends different bikeways on the east end and the west end of the project: Bike lanes on the east end and a two-way separated bikeway on the west end with short sections of shared lanes at Eighth and Webster streets.
Sherman Street to Paden School: Bike lanes and a center turn lane in a configuration similar to Broadway (which carries higher volumes of traffic). The proposal would also install a new traffic signal at Fifth Street in the long term.
Paden School to Pacific Avenue/Alameda Point: A two-way separated bikeway on the south side of the street starting on the west side at Paden School and a center turn lane for automobiles. Similar to Fernside by Lincoln Middle School, there will also be a westbound bicycle lane for bicyclists who wish to continue along the bike lane. The proposal includes a new traffic signal at Third Street/Taylor Avenue.
Overall, the project will increase on-street parking and will maintain parking in the business district.
The proposal provides a net gain of 40 on-street parking spots along the study area with the highest gain in the west end by Alameda Point, on Boat Ramp Road and on the west side of Fourth Street. The number of parking spaces near Webster Street would not change.
Will trucks and buses still be able to travel along Central Avenue?
Absolutely. The lane widths are consistent with those on the Golden Gate Bridge. The travel lane widths of 10 to 11 feet are consistent with the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) guidelines which have been shown to be the safest widths for neighborhood streets, including those that carry buses and trucks. The center turn lane provides additional space so that wider loads won’t impact oncoming traffic.
For more on protected bike lanes, check out this video.