Transportation

City Council members took on the politically charged topic of traffic on Wednesday, voting to initiate an effort to draft a citywide transportation plan.

The council voted 4-1 to draft a pitch to prospective consultants to draft a plan, a process that could cost up to $400,000 and take 18 months to complete.

Councilman Tony Daysog - who originally pitched the transportation plan - said the plan would coordinate existing transportation plans and resources in order to create a framework for reducing solo driving trips. The request for proposals to be drafted by city staff should specifically spell out how a new plan will do that.

Alamedans who don’t own cars will soon have another option for driving around and off the Island, and parking will be included.

Alamedans who drive – and park – in Alameda will soon be free to leave their bags of change at home.

The city is set to replace all 822 of its analog parking meters with digital meters that accept both change and credit cards. The new meters could be in place by the end of June.

Earlier this month, the City Council okayed a $567,000 contract with IPS Group, Inc. to purchase the meters and for service. The meters will cost $435 apiece to purchase and another $121 per meter per year to service – the cost of wireless service, credit card transaction fees and cloud access.

Harbor Bay ferry riders who are struggling to find someplace to park may soon have new legal, on-street options. But some homeowners who live near the ferry terminal say they want better parking enforcement, not relaxed restrictions.

The Transportation Commission is set to consider relaxing parking restrictions temporarily on a section of Adelphian Way and permanently on a portion of Harbor Bay Parkway, opening dozens of spots for ferry riders. The commission is slated to take up the matter on Wednesday night.

Ferry riders are supporting the parking proposals, saying they are having a hard time finding legal parking ahead of their morning ferry commute.

Island commuters who are already facing delays due to work on the High Street Bridge will soon face a fresh obstacle to their commute: Reconstruction of the I-880’s 29th Avenue overcrossing, which sits in Oakland just across the Park Street Bridge.

Traveling on foot or bicycle through the tunnels that connect Alameda’s West End with downtown Oakland is a loud, soot-covered experience, and commute hour car traffic can be a hassle. But shuttle services provided by the City of Alameda and developers looking to fulfill their responsibility to manage tube traffic provide another option.

City leaders are set to develop an Island-wide plan to address what one city staffer identified as “the single most debated issue” generated by new development – traffic.

The San Leandro Bay Bridge – better known to locals as the Bay Farm Island bridge – will be getting a bit of a facelift.

The car bridge will be closed nights starting in October. The bike bridge, meanwhile, will be shuttered for some daytime and some evening hours.

Caltrans will give the City Council a preview of the planned $3.4 million rehabilitation project at the council’s meeting tonight.

Last November voters approved Measure BB, which spells out the transportation and transit priorities for Alameda County over the next 30 years and the funding source for these projects: a half cent increase to the previous county sales tax for transportation. The new tax is in place through 2044.

The $8 billion that will be generated by the tax will pay for several major road and transit projects, including a complete reconfiguration of the I-80 Gilman Street interchange in Berkeley and the extension of BART to Livermore, plus an expanded commitment to East Bay paratransit and affordable transit passes for youth and seniors.

The city kicked off efforts to develop the first mile of its long-planned Cross Alameda Trail with a one-hour community meeting to vet its designs Monday night.