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File #: 2015-2144   
Type: New Business
Body: Recreation and Park Commission
On agenda: 10/8/2015
Title: Review and Recommendation on the Design of the Cross Alameda Trail in Jean Sweeney Open Space Park
Attachments: 1. 2015-10.29 CAT Jean Sweeney PPT



Review and Recommendation on the Design of the Cross Alameda Trail in Jean Sweeney Open Space Park


To: Honorable Chair and Members of the Recreation and Park Commission


From: Amy Wooldridge, Recreation and Parks Director


Re: Review and Recommendation on the Design of the Cross Alameda Trail in Jean Sweeney Open Space Park




Jean Sweeney Open Space Park (Sweeney Park) is a 22-acre community park, located in Central Alameda and is bounded by Constitution Way, Atlantic Avenue, and Sherman Street. This site is the former Alameda Beltline Railroad property that was secured by the City at its original purchase price due the advocacy efforts of long-time resident Jean Sweeney. 


The City of Alameda received a grant from the regional Active Transportation Program to design and construct the Cross Alameda Trail (CAT) through Sweeney Park.  Staff is working with BKF Engineering and Placeworks, to design this bike/walk trail that travels east and west along the northern edge of Sweeney Park.




The Cross Alameda Trail design addresses the bicycle and pedestrian pathways; minimal landscaping; and entry plazas.  It also includes the “gap closure” that connects the CAT from the corner of Constitution Way and Atlantic Avenue to the CAT along Ralph Appezzato Memorial Parkway.  The gap closure will include improved ADA access for the traffic signals plus sharrows, which is a street marking that is placed in the travel lane to indicate where people should preferably cycle.


The proposed trail design through Sweeney Park separates the cyclists and pedestrians for improved safety and to provide a more natural, open space feel for the pedestrians.  The bicycle portion of the trail is 12 feet wide, which provides for a 6 foot lane in each direction.  The pedestrian portion of the trail is wider at each entrance, measuring 8 feet wide.  Once the trail reaches the interior one-mile designated loop, then the pedestrian trail narrows slightly to 6 feet wide and a 5 foot jogging path is added, comprised of decomposed granite.  The bicycle and pedestrian trails are anticipated to be asphalt paving with a landscaped median between them.  This landscape, in the initial CAT phase, will primarily consist of trees, such as live oak trees and other drought-tolerant trees.


The proposed design concept also includes themes along various sections that will then drive then design for the circular plazas and plantings.  These themes include:

                     Urban agriculture through the community garden and demonstration area;

                     Urban habitat and environmental education through the middle open space portion of the park;

                     Site history and the story of the Jean Sweeney Open Space Park; and

                     Railroad history of the Alameda Beltline, located closest to the original railroad office and potential future site of a model railroad museum and concession stand.


The internal plazas are specifically design to reduce conflicts between bicyclists and pedestrians, by moving the plazas below the main bicycle thoroughfare.  The plazas will include concrete seating walls to provide resting areas for pedestrians and also significantly reduce bicycle speeds through these plazas since the bicycles will need to move around them.  There will also be interpretive signage at each plaza that incorporate the themes listed above.


The entry plazas, located on both sides of the park, are designed to complement the brick buildings as seen on the historical Del Monte building on the east side, at Alameda Landing on the west side, and in other historical Alameda buildings, such as City Hall.  Additionally, the plaza structures are designed to invoke a railroad station with the three archways and may have other smaller design details.  The construction of these entryways may be included in a future phase, depending on the final engineer’s estimate for the trail construction.




The construction of the Cross Alameda Trail through Sweeney Park is fully funded in the amount of $2.5 million by the Active Transportation Program with 11.47% of City matching funds from Measure B and the Open Space Fund.




Review and Recommendation on the Design of the Cross Alameda Trail In Jean Sweeney Open Space Park


Respectfully submitted,

Amy Wooldridge

Recreation and Park Director



1.                     Power point: Cross Alameda Trail Design Concepts for Jean Sweeney Open Space Park