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File #: 2018-6271   
Type: New Business
Body: Transportation Commission
On agenda: 12/3/2018
Title: Recommendation to Approve Interim Main Street Striping Plan
Attachments: 1. Exhibit 1 - Interim Main Street Road Section, 2. Exhibit 2 - Main Street and Stargell Intersection Improvements, 3. Item 5-A Presentation, 4. Item 5-A Public Comment as of 12-3-18 3 20 pm

Title

 

Recommendation to Approve Interim Main Street Striping Plan

 

 

Body

 

To: Members of the Transportation Commission

 

From: Liam Garland, Public Works Director

 

BACKGROUND

 

The Environmental Impact Report (EIR), General Plan Amendment, and Master Infrastructure Plan (MIP) for Alameda Point was approved by the City Council on February 4, 2014. The MIP includes street sections for backbone roadways within Alameda Point including Main Street.  The approved Main Street roadway section includes conversion of the existing four lane roadway to a three lane roadway with separated cycle track and pedestrian pathways. 

 

Although significant development activity has taken place since the adoption of the MIP, it will likely be several years before Main Street is reconstructed to the MIP approved configuration. Staff has developed an interim plan to restripe Main Street into a three lane roadway and provide for continuous Class 2 bike lanes from the intersection of Pacific to the Main Street Ferry Terminal entrance.  The proposed street section is shown in Exhibit 1. The revised configuration would calm traffic and improve safety for motorists and cyclists. The project, limited to striping improvements, is anticipated to cost less than $100,000 and can be completed within the next three months using existing Capital Budget appropriations for traffic striping and roadway improvements.

 

The Transportation Commission is asked to review, accept public comment, and approve the interim striping plan for Main Street.

 

DISCUSSION

 

The closure of the Naval Base left behind infrastructure designed to accommodate up to 18,000 jobs at the height of its operation and Main Street was designed as a four lane roadway to accommodate the traffic of the time. Traffic volumes today are significantly lower and a four lane roadway is not necessary. In addition, the Alameda Point EIR and MIP evaluated and projected traffic at full redevelopment of the former base and determined that a three lane roadway would be sufficient to accommodate traffic.

 

The primary reason to immediately restripe Main Street to a three lane roadway is to improve safety for both motorists and cyclists.

 

Motorist Safety

 

A total of 58 vehicle accidents were recorded by the Alameda Police Department on Main Street between Pacific Avenue and the Ferry Terminal entrance over the past 5 years.  In particular, 26 vehicle accidents occurred at the intersection of Main Street and Stargell Avenue. One tool to evaluate relative safety is the Intersection Crash Rate. This index accounts for traffic volumes and a rate above 1.0 indicates that there is likely an existing safety concern at a particular intersection. Using traffic counts from 2017, the Intersection Crash Rate for Main Street and Stargell Avenue is 1.25.  Further review of the Police reports show that the majority of accidents at this intersection were associated with left turn movements.  Other typical accident types are sideswipes which are common when a vehicle abruptly changes lanes.

 

Conversion of a four lane roadway to a three lane road, sometimes referred to as a “Road Diet”, has been shown to significantly improve safety with limited reduction in capacity. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) reviewed several studies and found that installing a Road Diet can lead to an expected crash reduction of 19 to 47 percent. One of the major improvements is reducing the number of conflict points and improved sightlines for left turning vehicles as shown in Exhibit 2. In addition, Road Diets have been shown to have a calming effect on vehicle speeds.

 

The City regularly collects traffic counts on major roadways throughout the City. Traffic Counts collected in November 2017 show an Average Daily Traffic (ADT) of 6,000 vehicles on Main Street north of Stargell Avenue and an ADT of 4,500 was observed south of Stargell Avenue. These traffic volumes are well below the 20,000 ADT maximum for Road Diets recommended by the FHWA.  Traffic peaks on Main Street are highly directional and largely represent morning traffic to and evening traffic from the ferry terminal and Bay Ship and Yacht, a large employer near the ferry terminal.  Even with the focused commute traffic, observed volumes are below the single lane capacity of 500 vehicles per hour at a functioning intersection.

 

Bicycle Safety

 

In November 2017 the Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) conducted a rider survey and found that 18% of all ferry users commuted by bicycle to the ferry, an increase of over 60% from 2014.  Nearly all of these cyclists arrive at the ferry terminal from Main Street and bicycles are a common sight.

 

The existing bicycle infrastructure on Main Street consists of separated pathways that are either not continuous, in poor condition, narrow, and often with poor connectivity through intersections.  As a result, as many as half of all bicycle riders opt to ride on Main Street despite the lack of a paved shoulder. Several City departments including Police, Fire, Community Development, and Public Works have received complaints from cyclists regarding the conditions along Main Street. The number of complaints has increased recently with the beginning of Site A construction which closed West Atlantic and restriped Main Street at the new intersection and access to Alameda Point at Trident Avenue.

 

The City has previously looked at upgrading the existing pathways on the east and/or west side of Main Street into cycle tracks connecting to the ferry terminal.  The lack of right-of-way along the eastern side of Main Street and limited width on the western side of Main Street would require significant improvements. Proper treatment of a cycle tracks at intersections further complicate matters and would require improvements to the existing traffic signals. Preliminary cost estimates range from several hundred thousand dollars up to a million dollars depending on the configuration and will not likely be funded without a successful grant application.

 

The proposed interim striping on Main Street includes Class 2 bike lanes from just north of Pacific Avenue to the ferry terminal entrance.  While not as protective as the separated cycle track envisioned in the MIP, the bike lanes will provide an immediate improvement in comfort and safety for cyclists. Less confident cyclists can continue to use the existing pathways on the east and west side of the roadway. Importantly, these improvements can be constructed now and will not preclude the ultimate construction of the Main Street roadway section included in the MIP.

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT

 

The proposed interim striping plan can be completed with existing Capital Budget appropriations for traffic striping and roadway maintenance.

 

MUNICIPAL CODE/POLICY DOCUMENT CROSS REFERENCE

 

The proposed street section revisions are consistent with the purpose and intent of the Alameda Point Master Infrastructure Plan and support several General Plan goals of improving access and safety of the transportation network.  Furthermore, the project advances the Transportation Choices Plan’s Priority Strategy #4, Bicycle and Pedestrian safety, and projects #6, Main Street Ferry Terminal Access, and #30, Vision Zero Safety Improvements.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW

 

The City certified the Alameda Point Project Environmental Impact Report on February 4, 2014. The proposed revisions are minor and within the scope of work evaluated in the project EIR.

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

Recommendation to Approve Interim Main Street Striping Plan.

Respectfully submitted,

 

Liam Garland, Public Works Director

 

By,

Scott Wikstrom, City Engineer

 

Exhibits:

1.                     Interim Main Street Road Section

2.                     Main Street and Stargell Intersection Improvements