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File #: 2019-7284   
Type: New Business
Body: Transportation Commission
On agenda: 9/25/2019
Title: Update on Active Transportation Plan
Attachments: 1. Exhibit 1 - Alameda ATP Scope of Work, 2. Exhibit 2 - Alameda ATP Schedule, 3. Exhibit 3 - Alameda ATP Equity Framework, 4. Exhibit 4 - Public Engagement Plan, 5. Staff Presentation

Title

 

Update on Active Transportation Plan

 

Body

 

Background

 

The City of Alameda’s Bicycle Master Plan (2010) and Pedestrian Plan (2009), have served the City well over the years, as evidenced by the many completed projects and programs and the major complete street capital projects now underway. After ten years, however, both plans are in need of updating. Over the past decade, pedestrian and bicycle best planning and implementation practices have evolved. Protected bikeways are becoming a standard. Vision Zero policies and implementation tools are improving methods and plans for network safety. Equity is now an essential goal of all new plans. As well, the community of Alameda has changed, and many new City plans and policies have been adopted in the last ten years that impact pedestrian and bicycle planning.

 

Earlier in 2019, the City embarked on updating its Bicycle and Pedestrian Plans, as one combined Active Transportation Plan (ATP). Staff wrote a Request for Proposals (RFP) to hire a consultant to develop the ATP. The draft scope of work for the RFP was brought to the Transportation Commission for input at their March meeting. The consultant selection panel, which included a representative of the Transportation Commission, recommended Toole Design Group as the top firm, and Council awarded a contract totaling $330,000 in July. The final consultant contract scope of work, which also includes a Vision Zero Action Plan, is attached (Exhibit 1).

 

Discussion

 

The City and consultant’s work on the ATP kicked-off in August 2019. This initial “Project Launch” period has so far included developing the project schedule; gathering existing conditions and citywide data; preparing for a community survey which will assess the community’s interests in, and concerns regarding, walking and biking; and creating a draft Equity Framework and a draft Public Engagement Plan.

 

As shown in Exhibit 2, the overall schedule for the ATP is to present the draft Plan to the Transportation Commission in September 2020, and the final draft Plan to the City Council in November 2020. 

 

City staff and the consultant are requesting input from the Commission on the following two draft documents:

 

1.                     Equity Framework (Exhibit 3): This document lays out how the City and consultant will incorporate equity into every stage of the development of the ATP, so that it is a plan that includes and reflects the experiences and needs of disadvantaged communities, which have historically been less represented in planning processes. The Framework lays out a series of questions to consider and actions to take to integrate equity into each project task.

 

2.                     Public Engagement Plan (Exhibit 4): This document outlines how the ATP process will involve the public from start to finish, and establishes goals for public engagement. It identifies how key stakeholders will be engaged, and includes a robust set of outreach activities, such as pop-up events, bicycling and walking audits, and online interactive tools, in addition to stand-alone workshops. It lays out five meetings with the Transportation Commission, as the lead Commission for the ATP, as follows:

1)                     September 25, 2019: Project kick-off

2)                     January 2020: Discuss key community feedback, draft vision and goals

3)                     March 2020: Discuss the key findings from the existing conditions report and the needs analysis

4)                     July 2020: Discuss draft bicycle and pedestrian networks and prioritization

5)                     September 2020: Draft plan review

 

In addition, while the ATP is being developed, the consultant and staff team are working on developing high priority policies, standards, and new ordinances to bring to the Transportation Commission and City Council for adoption, with the goal of accelerating the implementation of walking and bicycling improvements. As mentioned in the Vision Zero staff report (Item #5C), staff have already begun to prepare proposed revisions or new standards for motor vehicle travel lane widths; street widths for fire access; bike lane and buffer design; crosswalk placement and design; and rapid installation bulb-outs. In early 2020, staff plans to bring these updates to the Transportation Commission for input and then to the City Council. The recent Alameda Municipal Code intersection “daylighting” amendment, adopted by the City Council on July 2, 2019, is an example of a high-priority pedestrian safety improvement that was quickly developed and adopted, and is now being implemented in the restriping plans for the City’s 2019 repaving program.

 

Financial Impact

 

The City’s approved FY 2019-2021 Transportation Planning Division Budget includes $330,000 to be used towards the consultant contract for the development of the Active Transportation Plan. These funds come from a mix of Measures B/BB Bicycle and Pedestrian funds, Local Streets and Roads funds and TDA Article 3 local discretionary grant funds.

 

Municipal Code/Policy Document Cross Reference

 

The Transportation Choices Plan (2018) includes two high priority projects that directly call for updating the Bicycle and Pedestrian Plans: Project 2: “Bicycle Master Plan and Design Guidelines Update and Vision Zero Safety Policy/Plan” and Project 9: “Pedestrian Master Plan and Design Guidelines Update and Vision Zero Safety Policy/Plan.”

 

Having Pedestrian and Bicycle Plans is called for in the Transportation Element of the City's General Plan, as referenced in the following policies:

4.3.2.d Develop and implement a Pedestrian Master Plan with regard to physical system improvements, as well as programs and policies relating to encouragement, education and enforcement.

4.3.3.a Maintain and implement the Bicycle Master Plan with regard to physical system improvements (especially the identified priority projects), as well as programs and policies relating to encouragement, education and enforcement.

 

Environmental Review

 

Approval to develop planning documents is statutorily exempt from further review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) pursuant to CEQA Guidelines Section 15061(b)(3), the general rule that CEQA applies only to projects which have the potential for causing a significant effect on the environment. Any future physical changes to the environment or roadway network that requires discretionary action by the City Council or Transportation Commission will be subject to future environmental review.

 

Recommendation

 

Hear update on the Active Transportation Plan and provide input.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Andrew Thomas, Director, Planning, Building, and Transportation Department

 

By,

Rochelle Wheeler, Senior Transportation Coordinator

 

 

Exhibits:

1.                     Active Transportation Plan (ATP) Scope of Work

2.                     ATP Schedule

3.                     ATP Draft Equity Framework

4.                     ATP Draft Public Engagement Plan