File #: 2022-2491   
Type: Regular Agenda Item
Body: Transportation Commission
On agenda: 10/20/2022
Title: Review and Comment on the Draft Alameda Active Transportation Plan (Discussion Item)
Attachments: 1. Exhibit 1 Alameda ATP Public Review Draft clickable TOC, 2. Exhibit 2 Alameda ATP Neighborhood Greenway Poster aka Bike Blvds, 3. Exhibit 3 Alameda ATP Appendix A Active Transportation Project Prioritization, 4. Exhibit 4 Alameda ATP Appendix B Summaries of Community Survey and Public Engagement, 5. Exhibit 5 Alameda ATP Appendix F Level of Traffic Stress and Trip Potential Analysis, 6. Exhibit 6 Alameda ATP Appendix G Pedestrian and Bicycle Facility Types, 7. 6A_Correspondence, 8. 2022 10-20 Draft Plan TC PPT



Review and Comment on the Draft Alameda Active Transportation Plan (Discussion Item)




On October 3rd, the City of Alameda released a Draft Active Transportation Plan that updates and combines the 2009 Pedestrian Plan and 2010 Bicycle Master Plan. The City is soliciting input through October 23rd. The Plan provides a roadmap for making walking and biking safe and desirable every-day transportation options. It addresses the needs of people of all ages and abilities - including children, seniors and people with disabilities − to address the City’s safety, greenhouse gas reduction, and transportation mode shift goals; and to enhance the health and livability of Alameda.

Staff is requesting that the Transportation Commission review and comment on the draft Plan. After receiving comments from Boards and Commissions and the community, staff will revise the Plan, and intend to bring a Final Draft Plan to the Transportation Commission’s November 16 meeting for action, and to the City Council in December to recommend adoption.

The Plan along with key figures and appendices are included as Exhibits 1-6. The Plan’s comprehensive webpage has the complete Plan with all figures and appendices, a survey for providing input, and a list of all community engagement opportunities: <>.


Over the course of the past three-plus years the City has been working on development of the Active Transportation Plan. The planning process began in fall 2019 with an intensive and inclusive public engagement period to learn what the community saw as the assets and needs of the existing biking and walking environments. In early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the Plan’s process and engagement strategy, while it also altered transportation patterns and led people to think differently about how we use public spaces and rights-of-way. In summer 2020, draft recommendations for bicycle and pedestrian projects, programs, policies, and priorities were presented to the community virtually and input was solicited. After a pause, in early 2022, staff and the consultant team incorporated the community feedback on the recommendations, developed and applied the prioritization methodology to the capital projects, and assembled the Draft Plan for public review.

The Transportation Commission is the lead City Commission for the Plan, and as such has received five presentations on it over the past three and a half years, with opportunities for input:

                     March 2019: Reviewed and approved the draft Plan scope of work

                     September 2019: Heard an update on consultant selection and contract award, and provided input on the engagement plan

                     January 2020: Heard update and provided input on Plan vision and goals

                     July 2020: Reviewed and provided input on draft recommendations on the pedestrian design strategy, bicycle network, programs, concepts for Webster, Park and Lincoln; and prioritization

                     September 2020: Received summary of statistically-significant Community Survey



This Active Transportation Plan describes the work that is needed in the long-term and also over the next eight years to make Alameda a city where people of all ages, abilities, income levels, and backgrounds are safer and more comfortable walking, biking, or rolling as a preferred mode of transportation. 

The Plan is designed to implement the clear safety, greenhouse gas reduction and multi-modal goals and actions in existing City plans, including the 2021 General Plan, which includes over 170 policies and actions related to significantly improving active transportation, spread across five elements: Mobility, Land Use, Conservation & Climate Action, Health & Safety and Parks & Open Space.

The City’s adopted Climate Action and Resiliency Plan and Vision Zero Action Plan also provide clear and specific goals for reducing the impact of transportation-related emissions and eliminating severe and fatal traffic collisions.

The projects and programs in the Active Transpiration Plan were designed to contribute towards meeting these goals for Alameda.

Plan outline

Alameda’s Active Transportation Plan, which contains an Executive Summary and nine maps in total, is organized as follows:  

Chapter 1: Introduction provides an overview of the adopted City policies and community engagement that provide the foundation for this Plan. 

Chapter 2: Vision and Goals introduces a vision for the future of active transportation in Alameda and five planning goals for active transportation.

Chapter 3: Existing Conditions provides an overview of existing facilities, community perceptions, and opportunities for improvement.

Chapter 4: Pedestrian Design Strategy describes how, where and what types of pedestrian infrastructure improvements are selected and used.

Chapter 5: Bicycle Network describes and maps a broad Bicycle Vision Network necessary to achieve the Plan vision and goals. While not yet included in the Plan, a new map is being prepared that will show just the low stress facilities from the Vision Bicycle Network, so that one can see how these form a connected, comfortable all ages and abilities network. This map will be posted to the Plan webpage by October 11th. Finally, a new facility type called Neighborhood Greenways is proposed in the Plan for Alameda. Exhibit 2 include descriptions and photos of Neighborhood Greenways (previously called bicycle boulevards in this Plan) and the treatments that would be used on them.

Chapter 6: Trails Network and Water Crossings describes improvements necessary to support high-quality bicycle and pedestrian access to and from Oakland, and access to and along the waterfront.

Chapter 7: Programs describes the 31 programs, including for safety education and maintenance, needed over the next eight years to support and encourage safe and comfortable walking and biking.

Chapter 8: 2030 Infrastructure Plan outlines 30 specific capital improvement projects needed over the next eight years to support meeting the vision and goals of this and other city plans. These projects include implanting the 2030 Backbone Low Stress Bicycle Network, which is in Figure 9 in the Plan. The chapter also describes the performance metrics necessary to track and measure effectiveness.

The Plan has seven appendices, providing further background information, detailed and in-depth analyses, and the methodology and resulting maps for the various data-driven evaluations that were performed. All of these appendices are posted on the Plan webpage, but only select ones are included with this item.

Appendix A. Active Transportation Project Prioritization. Includes an explanation of the two-step capital project prioritization process and the methodologies used, the bicycle and pedestrian prioritization criteria, and maps showing the prioritization results. A full list of all projects on the Bicycle Vision Network, and the estimated cost and ranking for each one is also included. It also includes the per mile and per unit cost estimates for active transportation facilities, which were used to inform the bicycle network cost estimates. Included as Exhibit 3.

Appendix B. Summaries of Community Survey and Public Engagement. Includes a full summary of the statistically significant survey, and also maps and summaries of the public input from previous phases. Included as Exhibit 4.

Appendix C. Plans and Policies Review. Summarizes the 2019 review of existing plans and policies that impact bicycling and walking. Not included in this packet, but available online.

Appendix D. Existing Conditions Report. A detailed summary of biking and walking existing conditions, which was conducted in late 2019. Not included in this packet, but available online.

Appendix E. Detailed Crash Analysis Report. Analysis of all traffic collisions, prepared for the Vision Zero Action Plan, from 2009-2018. Not included in this packet, but available online.

Appendix F. Level of Traffic Stress and Trip Potential Analysis. Describes these data-driven analyses, their methodologies, and maps showing the evaluation results. These input were used both to develop the bicycle vision network and in the prioritization processes. Included as Exhibit 5.

Appendix G. Pedestrian and Bicycle Facility Types. This includes two posters with photos and descriptions of many of the types of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure that are referenced in the Plan. Included as Exhibit 6.

Future of Slow Streets

In early 2020, Alameda along with many cities around the nation, implemented “Slow Streets,” a new type of facility that facilitated physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Over a 1.5-year period, 4.7 miles of Alameda streets became Slow Streets. After an extensive evaluation, staff brought program recommendations to the Transportation Commission and City Council in late 2021. The City Council voted to continue the Slow Streets program until the Active Transportation Plan provided direction on the future of the program AND these actions were implemented. Slow Streets and their future are described in chapters 3, 5 and 8 of the Plan.

In the Plan, the five streets that make up the Slow Streets programs were evaluated as any other street in the City. A top goal of the Active Transportation Plan is to create a citywide low-stress bicycling network connecting destinations all across Alameda. It is intended to serve the many people who are interested in biking more but nervous about sharing roads with faster-moving cars (a statistically significant survey found that nearly half of Alamedans feel this way).

As described in the Plan, a key element of building the low-stress connected bicycling network is Neighborhood Greenways which are used on low speed and volume streets. Neighborhood Greenways are not the same as Slow Streets, but they have some common goals - namely to create spaces where traffic is calmed, walking is comfortable, and people feel safe biking without being physically separated from cars. Neighborhood Greenways do not utilize the temporary barricades found on Slow Streets, but instead include a variety of traffic-calming interventions like speed humps and neighborhood traffic circles, along with crossing improvements at busy streets.

As part of creating this connected, low-stress network, the Plan includes Neighborhood Greenways on three streets that are currently Slow Streets:

                     Pacific Avenue

                     San Jose Avenue

                     Versailles Avenue

These streets were chosen for many of the same reasons they have been long-standing bicycle routes, and became Slow Streets - because they offer continuous connections across Alameda, and are lower-speed and -volume streets. The infrastructure implementation plan (in chapter 8) prioritizes the near term transition of these three Slow Streets to Neighborhood Greenways, using lower-cost infrastructure than can be built quickly and will replace the Slow Streets barricades. Per Council direction, these three streets will remain as Slow Streets until this transition is made.

The Transportation Commission also requested that staff consider the option of moving the bicycle facilities to Pearl Street, instead of Versailles Ave. Staff conducted this evaluation and concluded that the facilities should remain on Versailles, since it has more existing safe crossings of major streets, which are essential for Neighborhood Greenways, and better connects to neighborhoods north of Fernside. This evaluation will be posted to the Plan web page, under “Future of Slow Streets” by October 11.

Two Slow Streets are not recommended to be Neighborhood Greenways:

                     Santa Clara Avenue (which will continue to be a bicycle route marked with “sharrow” stencils)

                     Orion Street (which is proposed to have separated bicycle lanes in the future)

Per Council direction, these Slow Streets would be removed shortly after the Plan is adopted. Santa Clara is not recommended because the Slow Streets section closely parallels Central Avenue, which will have separated bike lanes and other safety interventions making it a low stress facility, and because it is not a low stress facility east of Webster Street. Orion Street is not recommended as a Neighborhood Greenway because it is only one block long, and in the future will be part of a much longer corridor of separated bike lanes, as new development occurs. However, in the near term, speed humps will be added to this section, as has been planned since 2021.

Public Engagement

Staff has requested comments from the public over a three week period, from October 3rd to 23rd.  The City is also providing opportunities for comment through an online survey, public events and presentations to community groups and City Boards and Commissions. All information about the review process is available at <>.

The major public events include or have included:

                     Virtual Public Workshop, Wednesday, October 5

                     In-person Open House, Alameda Main Library, Stafford Room, 1550 Oak St, Sunday, October 16, 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.

                     Virtual office hours: Monday, October 17, 12noon - 1:00 pm., and Tuesday, October 18, 5:00 - 6:00 p.m.

                     Tabling at the Farmers' Market, 710 Haight Ave, Tuesday, October 18, 9:00-11:00 a.m.

Public workshops with City Boards and Commissions:

                     Planning Board, October 10

                     Commission on Persons with Disabilities, October 12

                     Recreation and Park Commission, October 13

                     Transportation Commission (Special meeting), October 20

                     Social Services and Human Relations Board, October 27

To join the mailing list and receive updates, select “Transp - Active Transportation Plan” among the options here: <>.



The Plan projects and programs represent a major commitment of resources by a variety of agencies and partners, including but not limited to, the City of Alameda. The Plan focusses on implementation for the next eight years. Completion of the projects and programs identified for 2030 will require partnerships with federal, state, and regional transportation agencies that fund and/or construct improvements, and with local property owners and development partners that construct improvements on private property and the adjacent public rights of way. Some smaller projects will be funded and constructed entirely by the City. The City currently funds, either fully or partially, many active transportation projects and programs each year with local transportation sales tax funding from Alameda County’s Measure BB.  

A significant limiting factor on how many projects can be constructed in Alameda is the capacity of the existing staff and community to: develop and come to agreement on a project design; develop the necessary construction documents, which often require extensive review by funding agencies; hire and manage the construction contractors; and address community inquiries during the construction process. Each of these steps is time intensive, especially for larger projects. This Plan does not recommend that the City hire new full time staff, but rather that, with the cooperation and support of the Alameda community, the projects in the Plan can be completed with existing staff resources.


Further information on the cost of the projects and programs included in the Plan is being developed, and will be presented at the Transportation Commission meeting.




Reviewing and commenting on a draft Plan is not a “project” subject to review under the California Environmental Quality Act. Implementing the Active Transportation Plan will have a positive effect on the environment and climate change. 




Implementing the draft Active Transportation Plan will reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Alameda.  Currently vehicle trips in Alameda generate approximately 70% of the greenhouse gas emissions in the City of Alameda. This is a reflection of the fact that over 60% of all trips in Alameda are taken by automobile, despite the fact that over 60% of all trips are only 3 miles or less in length. Currently walking and bicycling comprise only 5% of all trips. One of the goals of the Active Transportation Plan is to increase the percentage of bicycle and pedestrian trips and reduce the percentage of automobile trips. 




Review and comment on the Draft Alameda Active Transportation Plan.


Respectfully submitted,

Rochelle Wheeler, Senior Transportation Coordinator



1.                     Draft Active Transportation Plan (dated 10/03/22)

2.                     Neighborhood Greenway Poster

3.                     Appendix A. Active Transportation Project Prioritization

4.                     Appendix B. Summaries of Community Survey and Public Engagement

5.                     Appendix F. Level of Traffic Stress and Trip Potential Analysis

6.                     Appendix G. Pedestrian and Bicycle Facility Types