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Crown Harbor Homeowner Association

Central Avenue Project Workshop

The city of Alameda Public Works department has a grant to develop a concept proposal to improve Central Avenue. The planned improvements include reducing the number of traffic lanes to make room for a bikeway and enhance pedestrian access.

meeting

Public Meeting

Community Workshop #3

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

Email from Crown Harbor resident Scott Sheppard

From: Scott Sheppard
Sent: Friday, September 18, 2015 7:23 AM
To: gpayne@alamedaca.gov
Cc: tspencer@alamedaca.gov ; fmatarrese@alamedaca.gov ; tdaysog@alamedaca.gov ; mezzyashcraft@alamedaca.gov ; joddie@alamedaca.gov ; community@crownharbor.org
Subject: feedback from Third Community Workshop Focused on Making Central Avenue Safer for Pedestrians, Bicyclists, and Motorists

I attended last night's "Third Community Workshop Focused on Making Central Avenue Safer for Pedestrians, Bicyclists, and Motorists." Everyone is passionate about their positions, and no one is happy. It can be described in a form similar to the story This is the house that Jack built.

  • No one wants to lose parking.
  • Since no one wants to lose parking, to make space for bicycle lanes, the number of travel lanes needs to be reduced.
  • With the number of lanes reduced and the growth of Alameda Point, motorists don't want the extended travel times that would result, and the proposed lanes are too narrow for safe travel (as well as accommodating opening car doors).
  • To mitigate some of the extended travel times, and since Central and Eighth is the most congested intersection in all of Alameda, the plan calls for no lane reduction from Webster to Eighth, and as a result, bicyclists do not feel safe sharing the road with cars. Parents do not feel comfortable allowing their children to ride their bicycles to school.

So the motorists are not happy. The bicyclists are not happy. The pedestrians are not happy. It's a lose-lose-lose scenario. The suggestion was to direct bicycle traffic on to Santa Clara, but that street has busses that run every 10 minutes making it non-amenable for bicyclists.

Though right now it seems more like Aesop's fable, "Try to please everyone, and you please no one," a solution that seems possible:

  • Make Central for cars.
  • Make Santa Clara for bicycles.
  • Improve safety on Central for pedestrians.

To do this, the plans would move the bus routes from Santa Clara to Central. The current plans to implement safety improvements (i.e., stop lights, marked cross walks, flashing crossing lights) along Central would be retained.

  • Parking and traffic on Central are unaffected for motorists.
  • Bicyclists get a safe dedicated place to travel.
  • Pedestrians (particularly children) can more easily cross Central.

I recognize that the people who worked on the city's proposed plans have a lot invested in them. They would hate to see all of their hard work be for naught; however, in science, disproving an incorrect theory is as valuable as proving a correct one. So they have done us a service to demonstrate that the physical space of Central is simply not suited for cars, bicycles, and pedestrians simultaneously. Since the feedback process demonstrated that the city should amend its current plans, will that happen? I look forward to hearing dramatically altered plans at the upcoming Transportation Commission meeting on November 18. Perhaps this presentation will be delayed since the results from the Shoreline study will not be ready by then? When this timing was shared last night, everyone laughed out loud in unison. It seemed like a good idea to collect the data first, analyze it, and then form a plan for action.


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