Top 10: Alameda's transportation priorities

Top 10: Alameda's transportation priorities

Michele Ellson

Clement Street bicycle lanes, street and sidewalk maintenance and continued funding for a shuttle to BART top a list of priority transportation projects okayed by the City Council on Tuesday.

The list, which prioritizes projects to be put forward for grants and regional funding, was drafted to address concerns over what some saw as a lack of input over local projects placed into a transportation plan that was to be funded by a countywide sales tax increase, which voters ultimately rejected. (The main project submitted for those funds – a new Broadway/Jackson/I-880 interchange in Oakland – didn’t even make the city’s new, seven-page priority list.)

The council actually signed off on a pair of lists – one of projects to be implemented and a second filled with projects that need more analysis and public input. The lists are to be reviewed annually to ensure the projects are still ones city leaders and the public want to see built – if money becomes available.

Here are the top 10 projects on the proposed implementation list, in order. The full lists are attached below.

1. Clement Avenue Bicycle Improvements (Cross Alameda Trail)
Description: Bicycle lanes between Grand Street and Broadway that would serve as a short-term alternative to a shoreline path and provide a “commuter-oriented” route linking central Alameda to the East End
Estimated cost: $1.4 million for railroad track removal, plus $42,000

2. Maintenance of streets, sidewalks, curb ramps and trails
Description: Ongoing maintenance and repair of all of the city’s paved surfaces
Estimated cost: About $5 million per year; projects are partially funded by Measure B sales tax, gas tax, city development fees and assessment district fees

3. Estuary Crossing Shuttle
Description: Continued funding for shuttle that ferries pedestrians and cyclists from the West End to Lake Merritt BART
Estimated cost: $210,000 per year; project is fully funded through August 14 and partially funded for two additional years

4. Blanding Avenue bicycle improvements
Description: Bicycle lanes between Park Street and Tilden Way and a bike route between Oak Street and Park Street that would together serve as a direct, “commuter-oriented” route linking central Alameda and the East End.
Estimated cost: $400,000 for railroad track removal plus $10,000 (2009 estimate)

5. New and enhanced signage
Description: Maintain existing signs and install additional ones, including signs to help cyclists navigate the city
Estimated cost: $125,000 (2009 estimate)

6. Alameda Paratransit Shuttle
Description: Convert shuttle to alternative-fueled, low-floored vehicle.
Estimated cost: $200,000; Alameda County Transportation Commission will provide matching dollars for alternative fuel paratransit vehicles.

7. Bay Farm Island wooden bridge
Description: Reconstructs the East Bay Regional Park District’s wooden bridge, connecting the Bay Farm Island bike/pedestrian bridge to Veterans Court.
Estimated cost: $2.5 million (2010 estimate)

8. Bicycle and pedestrian-related events and services
Description: Provides assistance/materials on Bike-to-Work Day, Bike-to-School Day, Team Bike Challenge and other events to encourage cycling and walking
Estimated cost: $50,000 for the bicycle plan (2009 estimate), $10,000 for the pedestrian plan (2008 estimate)

9. Shoreline Park pathway repairs (Bay Farm Island)
Description: Repair and possible widening of existing path on Bay Farm Island
Estimated cost: $2.3 million (2009); $200,000 in funds included in Alameda’s capital improvement plans for 2012-13 and 2013-14

10. SMART Corridor Projects
Description: Provides real-time information at bus stops and priority signal/queue-jump lanes for buses and shuttles
Estimated cost: $3,500 per real-time sign and $5,000 a year for operation and maintenance (2009 estimate); variety of funding sources

Comments

Submitted by Jon Spangler on Tue, Jan 15, 2013

Implementing many of these projects, like implementing most capital projects in Alameda, will depend on finding sources of grant funding. Fortunately, our Public Works Department is very good at finding, applying for, and winning grants. This is a capability for which PW is not adequately acknowledged in the community.

Submitted by Sylvia Gibson on Tue, Jan 15, 2013

I'm concerned that all of the bike path projects are focused on the east end of Alameda. The west end is in need of a safe bike route between Webster St. and Encinal High School, Academy of Alameda, and Island High School.
~Sylvia

Submitted by knealy on Wed, Jan 16, 2013

I'm concerned that the city continues to approve housing whose occupants will be using the Webster and Posey tubes. The East end has four bridges. The West end has one tube. We can't keep adding housing with only one exit from Alameda. We have to face this before gridlock or worse yet the tubes become unavailable.

Submitted by Alex D. (not verified) on Thu, Sep 26, 2013

I have to agree with knealy (above). Any major construction projects at Alameda Point and the West End should be tied, directly or indirectly to the Broadway/Jackson interchange improvement project. Major development without corresponding major transportation improvements will only lead to a degrading of the quality of life for Alameda residents.

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