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Crown Harbor Homeowner Association

Central Avenue Project: Is there an alternative?

The city of Alameda needs a way to connect bicyclists from the east end of the island to the ferry terminal on the former Naval Air Station. The City's project web page and the project survey present a "preferred alternative" where the city would remove 2 lanes of traffic from Central Avenue and replace them with 1 turning lane and 2 bicycle lanes. Based on community input, the city plans to present a more refined proposal at the September 17 community workshop and the November 18 Transportation Commission meetings. The consultant/staff team is looking at ways to minimize delays such as maintaining 4 lanes at the 2 congested intersections — Central/Webster and Central/Eighth. Parking is in high demand along this Central Avenue corridor, so one of the goals is to minimize the loss of parking, which is based on community input to date.

As an alternative to the city's preferred alternative, what if the city left the 4 auto travel lanes intact? Using neighboring resources such as existing bicycle paths, this is possible. This alternative was proposed by Crown Harbor resident, Scott Sheppard, and does not reflect the official position of the Crown Harbor Association.

proposed
City Plan

City's Preferred Alternative

  • Start on Shoreline Avenue
  • Have the option to connect to Westline Drive
  • Have the option to continue on to Eighth Street
  • Make a Left on Central Avenue in a dedicated bicycle lane
  • Travel down Central Avenue in a dedicated bicycle lane
  • Connect to existing bicycle path on Main Street
See map.
alternative
Sheppard Plan

Scott Sheppard's Alternative

  • Start on Shoreline Avenue
  • Connect to existing bicycle path at Crown Beach
  • Continue on to existing bicycle path at Crown Harbor
  • Make a left and travel parallel to Central Avenue on a mixed-use path (by converting the sidewalk to be shared by foot traffic and bicycles)
  • Make a right at Fifth Street (add a sensor-based traffic light to allow bicyclists to safely cross)
  • Travel up Fifth Street
  • Make a left at Pacific Avenue and travel to Main Street
  • Connect to existing bicycle path on Main Street
See map.

Piece by Piece Comparison

Let's compare the city's preferred alternative and the other alternative piece by piece. Instead of using the grant money allocated for making changes to a long stretch of Central Avenue, it could be used for a 10 car-length section of Central Avenue, part of Fifth Street, and part of Pacific Avenue.

proposed
City Plan

Leverage Existing Crown Beach Bicycle Paths

  • CITY: The city's preferred alternative gives bicyclists the option to travel up Westline Drive/Eighth Avenue and make a left turn on to the new bicycle lane added on Central Avenue.

    • The city already recognizes the bicycle paths at Crown Beach and Crown Harbor as available.
    • The city's preferred alternative for Central Avenue adds bicycle lanes as an alternate path in addition to Crown Beach and Crown Harbor.
    • The city's master plan has parallel bicycle paths located at Willie Stargell Avenue, Ralph Appezzato Parkway, Pacific Avenue, Santa Clara Avenue, and Central Avenue. There is an overall consistency to this.
    • Though equally spaced geographically, which makes sense, traffic on Pacific Avenue, Santa Clara Avenue, and Central Avenue is not equal. Central Avenue is the busiest of these avenues which makes a road diet on Central Avenue impractical.
alternative
Sheppard Plan
  • SHEPPARD: What if the bicyclists used the existing bicycle path at Crown Beach?

    • Using the Crown Beach path allows bicyclists to continue to experience the waterfront scenery even after they exit Shoreline.
    • For this section of roadway, Central Avenue can remain as is with 4 travel lanes for traffic. This includes the very busy intersections of Central Avenue/Eighth Street and Central Avenue/Webster Street.
    • As with the city's preferred alternative, parking along Central Avenue in this area remains unaffected by this alternative.
proposed
City Plan

Leverage Existing Crown Harbor Bicycle Path

  • CITY: The city's preferred alternative has bicyclists travel down Central Avenue.

    • The city is looking to improve safety on Central Avenue.
    • I the past 10 years, 68 people have been injured in collisions.
    • Of these, 20 bicyclists and 18 pedestrians were injured.
    • There were no deaths.
alternative
Sheppard Daytime
  • SHEPPARD: What if the bicyclists used the existing bicycle path through Crown Harbor?

    • Crown Harbor already makes the path available to the public from sun-up to sun-down as part of an easement agreement with the city.
    • View sections of the Crown Harbor bicycle path:

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    • It is not anticipated that there will be a significant increase in bicycle traffic along the Crown Harbor path as moderate traffic exists today.
    • For this section of roadway, Central Avenue can remain as is with 4 travel lanes for traffic.
    • As with the city's preferred alternative, parking along Central Avenue in this area remains unaffected by this alternative.
alternative
Sheppard Nighttime
  • SHEPPARD: What do bicyclists do at night when the bicycle path through Crown Harbor is not available?

    • Crown Harbor only makes the path available to the public from sun-up to sun-down as part of an easement agreement with the city.
    • The Crown Harbor path is unavailable at night, but bicyclists could travel up McKay Avenue, make a left at Central Avenue, and ride a short distance on Central Avenue (as it exists today) to connect to the newly added mixed-use path that starts just west of Crown Harbor. There is less traffic on Central at night.
    • Some of the federal money available for the road diet could be applied to McKay Street to improve its surface. The eminent domain issue regarding the federal property could have an impact on the ability to do this.
proposed
City Plan

Convert a Small Section of Sidewalk to a Mixed-Use Path

proposed
Sheppard Plan
  • SHEPPARD: What if a small section of sidewalk was converted to a mixed-use path?

    • Allowing bicycles to accompany walkers on a small section of sidewalk (about 10 cars in length) provides a way for cyclists to get from Crown Harbor to Fifth Street.
    • This is feasible, since Crown Harbor path is already a mixed-use path that accommodates walkers and bicyclists.
    • Converting the sidewalk is an alternative to converting 10 existing parking spaces to a dedicated bicycle lane.
    • Residents with homes adjacent to this section of sidewalk may not favor this option. They may fear being hit by bicycles as they enter/exit their homes. To make a clear delineation, the section of the sidewalk closest to the road could be painted green as an indicator as to where bicycles should travel. Walkers can walk to the side of the green area.
    • Independent of adoption or non-adoption of this alternative, homeowners along this section of Central Avenue should trim their vegetation so that all of the sidewalk is available to the public.
    • View the sidewalk section under consideration:

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    • With the cars parked as a separator from traffic, this section of sidewalk serves as a protected, but shared, bicycle lane.
    • For this section of roadway, Central Avenue can remain as is with 4 travel lanes for traffic.
    • By converting the sidewalk instead of the parking spaces, parking along Central Avenue in this area remains unaffected by this alternative. If the sidewalk were left as it exists today, 10 parking spaces would need to be converted to 2 bicycle lanes to retain all 4 travel lanes.
proposed
City Plan

Leverage Less-Traveled Fifth Street and Pacific Avenue

proposed
Sheppard Plan
  • SHEPPARD: What if less-traveled roadways such as Fifth Street and Pacific Avenue were used instead?

    • A sensor-based traffic light could be added at Central Avenue and Fifth Street so that cyclists could safely exit Central Avenue on to Fifth Street. There is a stop sign there now for cars.
    • The existing stop sign may be sufficient for cyclists to cross, but a traffic light would also help shutter traffic on Central Avenue.
    • Fifth Avenue is already designated as a bicycle path.
    • Pacific Avenue is already designated as a bicycle path, and extending the path status to Main Street is already part of the city's preferred alternative.
    • For this section of roadway, Central Avenue can remain as is with 4 travel lanes for traffic — especially near Paden Elementary and Encinal High School where traffic peaks at the start and end of the school day.
    • As with the city's preferred alternative, parking along Central Avenue in this area remains unaffected by this alternative.

Recap of This Alternative

This page provides an alternative to the city's preferred alternative for Central Avenue. It has its own pro's and cons.

pros

Pro's

  • Bicyclists have a way to get from Shoreline Avenue to the Alameda Ferry Terminal.
  • Central Avenue avoids the road diet and retains 4 lanes of traffic.
  • Busy intersections at Central/Eighth and Central/Webster are unaffected.
  • With the mixed-use path option, no parking spaces on Central Avenue are lost.
  • Leverages existing bicycle paths at Crown Beach and Crown Harbor.
  • Allows federal dollars to be spent in other areas of the city's master plan.
  • Safety is improved with a stop light at Central and Fourth Street.
cons

Cons

  • Crown Harbor residents may not like additional bicycle traffic on their private path.
  • Bicyclists need to use the street from McKay to just past Crown Harbor when the Crown Harbor path is closed at night.
  • Bicyclists traveling at 22 mph on paths shared with walkers are not as safe as dedicated bicycle lanes.
  • Homeowners on Central Avenue from Crown Harbor to Fifth Street may not want a mixed-use sidewalk in front of their homes.
  • Fifth Street residents may not want additional bicycle traffic.
  • Pacific Avenue residents may not want additional bicycle traffic.

Make Your Voice Heard

Whether you support or oppose the alternative presented on this page, make your voice heard.

meeting

Community Workshop #3

  • When: Thursday, September 17
  • Time: 6:30 pm
  • Location: Encinal High School Cafeteria (210 Central Avenue)

Transportation Commission Meeting

  • Date: Wednesday, November 18
  • Time: 7:00 pm
  • Location: City Council Chambers (2263 Santa Clara AVE)

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