File #: 2023-2762   
Type: Regular Agenda Item
Body: Transportation Commission
On agenda: 1/25/2023
Title: Recommendation to Endorse the Design Concept for the Clement Avenue/Tilden Way Project.
Attachments: 1. Exhibit 1 - Outreach #1 Summary – Spring 2022, 2. Exhibit 2 - Outreach #2 Summary – Fall 2022, 3. Exhibit 3 - Existing Conditions Memo, 4. Exhibit 4 - Concept, 5. Exhibit 5 - Concept Analysis Memo, 6. Presentation, 7. Correspondence Batch 1, 8. Correspondence Updated 1-23-2023, 9. Correspondence Updated 2 1-25-2023, 10. Correspondence 1-26-2023



Recommendation to Endorse the Design Concept for the Clement Avenue/Tilden Way Project.




To: Honorable Chair and Members of the Transportation Commission




The Clement Avenue/Tilden Way design concept provides for an important segment of the Cross Alameda Trail, provides a number of important transportation safety improvements in the project area, and allows for an expansion of public open space amenities for the adjacent “Wedge” and Fernside neighborhoods. 


Staff is recommending that the Transportation Commission review and endorse the proposed design concept.  Any recommended changes to the concept will be presented to the City Council when staff brings the design concept to the City Council for review and endorsement.   


Additional information regarding the design and the project is available on the project webpage: <>




Over the last 20 years, the City of Alameda has been planning for and constructing the Cross Alameda Trail on former railroad right-of-way from the Seaplane Lagoon at Alameda Point at the western end of Alameda to the Miller-Sweeney/Fruitvale Bridge on the eastern end of Alameda.  Upon completion, the cross island low-stress bicycle and pedestrian facility will provide a safe, comfortable and convenient facility for bicyclists and pedestrians across the City.  


The Cross Alameda Trail is being completed in segments.  Much is complete, some segments are currently under construction, and some final segments are still in the design phase.  In mid-2023, construction will start on the segment of the Cross Alameda Trail from Willow Street to Broadway. Once this work is complete, the trail will be complete with the exception of two remaining “gaps”:  the gap between Hibbard Street and Grand Street, which is being constructed by the recently approved residential project on the former Pennzoil site, and the gap between Broadway and the Miller-Sweeney/Fruitvale Bridge.


The Clement /Tilden Project design concept is the proposed design for closing this last remaining gap from Broadway to Tilden Way and then to the Miller-Sweeney/Fruitvale Bridge.  The proposed design concept would not have been possible without the work that has been completed over the last 17 years, including the following major accomplishments:


                     In 2005, the City Council approved the Cross Alameda Trail Feasibility Study and the Vision document;

                     In 2009, the City Council approved the Transportation Element of the General Plan policy that directs staff to "Pursue opportunities to utilize the corridor of the former Alameda Belt Line railroad for transit, bicycle and pedestrian transportation."  The 2009 General Plan also listed Clement (East) between Broadway and Tilden Way as a future new street, and listed both Clement Avenue and Tilden Way as truck routes and regional arterials;

                     In 2017, the City Council appropriated $1.7 million in Measure BB grant funds and $548,000 of local match for fiscal years 2017 to 2019 as shown in the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) for the Clement/Tilden Project;

                     In 2018, the City Council authorized the pre-construction grant funding agreement with the Alameda County Transportation Commission (Alameda CTC) totaling $2 million in Measure BB funds and $445,000 in local match, and also approved taking action to acquire Union Pacific property via eminent domain for the Clement Avenue/Tilden Way extension;

                     In 2019, the City Council appropriated an additional $2 million in Measure BB grant funds and $470,000 of local match for fiscal years 2019 to 2021 as shown in the CIP for the Clement/Tilden Project;

                     In 2021, after several years of real estate negotiations, the City Council finalized the purchase of the Clement/Tilden property from Union Pacific via eminent domain for $1.54 million.  The City Council also approved the Second Amendment of the Agreement for Kittelson Associates that includes planning and outreach for the Clement/Tilden Project.

                     In 2022, staff conducted two rounds of public outreach (Exhibits 1 and 2).  Each round involved a stakeholder meeting with about 20 participants, a virtual community workshop with about 30 participants, an in-person Open House with 15-19 participants and a survey with 175 and 116 respondents.  To notify interested parties, the City sent out two letters to over 300 adjacent properties, provided sandwich boards at adjacent intersections, and posted social media alerts and emails to City lists.  The project webpage - <> - also has project information including recordings of the virtual community workshops.  Key themes heard in the outreach are as follows:

                     Dissatisfaction with safety of study area: 60 percent are either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied;

                     Dissatisfaction with operations: 56 percent are either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied;

                     Want safety, slower speeds, connectivity for bicyclists, improved pedestrian crossings and more greenery including a dog park; and

                     Concerned about increased through traffic on Clement Avenue and truck traffic with the extension, driver unfamiliarity with roundabouts and speeding.


In addition, City staff received input from Alameda County, AC Transit, Alameda Housing Authority, BART Bicycle Task Force, BCDC, Bike Walk Alameda, Bridgeside Shopping Center, Commission on Persons with Disabilities, City of Oakland staff, Downtown Area Business Association, Edison School families, Greer Mortuary, San Francisco Bay Trail, Recreation and Parks Commission (February), Transportation Commission (January), Unity Council in Oakland, and individual members of the public.




Existing Conditions: The proposed design concept responds to and is shaped by the existing conditions in the project area as explained below and in Exhibit 3:

                     Adjacent land uses: The project area includes a mix of uses including residential and commercial uses.  

                     Roadway network: Tilden Way is an important gateway into the City for automobiles, trucks, bicyclists, and pedestrians.  Blanding Avenue, Clement Avenue and Park Street are high-injury corridors and the Blanding/Tilden/Fernside intersection is a high crash intersection.  The Clement/Tilden study area reports 21 injury crashes between 2011 and 2020 with pedestrians and bicyclists accounting for 38 percent of total injury crashes but only 9 percent of the study area trips.  The Alameda Intersections in the areas operate at or below 75 percent of capacity during the weekday morning and evening peak hours;

                     Bridge operations: Alameda County is expected to keep the four travel lanes on the bridge and has plans to narrow these travel lanes so as to add bicycle lanes in each direction;

                     Bus operations: AC Transit operates trunk line frequent service on Line 51A as well as peak services on Lines O, W, 663 and 78 and local line infrequent service on Line 19 and 851, which connects via Broadway, Blanding Avenue, Tilden Way and Fernside Blvd. to/from Oakland and Fruitvale BART;

                     Truck routes: Tilden Way, Clement Avenue, Broadway and Alameda Avenue in the City of Oakland are all designated truck routes.  The sharp right turn going westbound from Tilden Way to Broadway does not work for heavy vehicles even though it is on the designated truck route, which causes trucks to use Blanding Avenue or Park Street;

                     Waterfront access: Waterfront paths exist to the west of the study area in the Bridgeside/Nob Hill shopping center, which are required by the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC);

                     Open space: The “Wedge neighborhood” between Park Street, Tilden Way and the Estuary is the least well served in terms of proximity to public open space and parks.


Design Concept: The below section summarizes the Clement/Tilden design concept, which is shown in Exhibit 4 and is described in Exhibit 5 as a memo.


Gap Closure: The Clement/Tilden design concept closes the gap between Alameda’s Clement Avenue Cross Alameda Trail project and the City of Oakland's Fruitvale Avenue protected bikeway project.  The design concept allows for a bicycle “freeway” from Alameda Point to Fruitvale BART by providing low stress, protected bikeways on Clement Avenue and Tilden Way.  The concept is consistent with and implements the recently approved Active Transportation Plan in the study area. 


Roundabout: The concept includes a roundabout at the existing Tilden Way/Blanding Avenue/Fernside Blvd. intersection.  Roundabouts have been proven to reduce automobile delay, reduce public maintenance costs, reduce speeding, and reduce fatal and severe injury crashes up to 78 percent compared to traffic signals or all-way stops.  For emergency evacuation, the roundabout will be designed to handle contraflow, if needed, so that all travel lanes can be used to exit Alameda.  To view how roundabouts operate, please refer to the following Metropolitan Transportation Commission roundabout webpage for videos of roundabouts in action: <>


Road Diet and Speed Limits: The concept reduces the number of lanes on Tilden Way from four to two or three depending on the roadway section. Road diets have been shown to reduce crashes up to 47 percent, and will allow the City to reduce the speed limit to 25 miles per hour on Tilden Way between the Miller-Sweeney/Fruitvale Bridge and Broadway consistent with the rest of the City. 


Clement Extension: The concept includes a one-way, westbound vehicle extension between Tilden Way and Clement Avenue.  This one lane, one block extension of Clement Avenue will reduce vehicle miles traveled and will provide incoming vehicles a more direct route to the cross town Clement Avenue truck route.  The extension will slightly reduce traffic volumes on Blanding Avenue, portions of Tilden Way and Park Street by eliminating the need for westbound vehicles entering the City to use those streets to access Clement Avenue.  An all-way stop at Broadway and Clement Avenue will improve safety and the ability for people to more easily cross Broadway. 


Open Space: The concept includes space for a linear neighborhood park along Tilden Way.  A separate community planning process will be needed to design and program the space and landscaping design.  Community suggestions received to date include: a community garden, pocket play areas, a dog park, seating areas and bicycle parking.  This concept does show a dog park adjacent to the former rail bridge totaling almost 5,000 square feet. The site does include a number of oak trees, which the concept will avoid removing where possible, and the design includes privacy fencing or other measures to the adjacent property on the northeast corner of Broadway and Clement Avenue.


Public On-street Parking: Public on-street parking will be reduced by the improvements shown in the design concept on Fernside Blvd at Tilden Way to accommodate the roundabout.


Turning Restrictions: The design includes certain new restrictions on turning movements.  The design includes: prohibited right turns from Tilden Way to Broadway and prohibited left turns from Pearl Street to Tilden Way to increase safety at these intersections. 


Next Steps:  After review by the Transportation Commission, staff will request review from the Recreation and Park Commission and the City Council.  Once the City Council has endorsed the design, the next steps in the design process include working with State agencies for the necessary permits for waterfront improvements and hazardous material protocols.  In 2024, design is expected to be completed and the construction could begin. 


Project Budget: The Clement/Tilden Project is estimated to cost approximately $10 million.  Costs include right-of-way acquisition, which is completed, planning and design, hazardous materials remediation and construction.  The City has received an $8.4 million Measure BB grant, which requires a $1.5 million local match.




This action is consistent with the Alameda Municipal Code and the City's Mobility Element (ME) of the General Plan (2021) with the four main goals of equity, safety, choices and sustainability. 

The ME specifically mentions roundabouts as follows:

Vision Zero (ME-5):

Strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all.


Vulnerable Users (ME-6):

Policy that aims to provide safe and convenient access for vulnerable users (including children, seniors, people with disabilities, and people walking and bicycling) designing, redesigning or resurfacing streets.


Safe Streets (ME-7):

e. Roundabouts. Increase the use of roundabouts at intersections to improve the safety and lower maintenance costs compared to traffic signals.

j. Intersection Safety. To improve safety at a stop controlled or signalized intersections, consider a roundabout design or eliminating right turns on red and adding pedestrian scrambles to existing signals.

k. Roundabouts and Traffic Circles. When considering modification to an intersection, prioritize roundabouts and traffic circles for consideration recognizing that land acquisition needs, operational considerations, or other engineering factors or constraints may result in other intersection solutions on a case-by-case basis.


The ME specifically mentions road diets as follows:

Roadway Diets (ME-8):

To reduce speeding and collisions on 4-lane roads on high-injury corridors, consider converting the 4-lane road to a 2-lane road with turning lanes, transit lanes, or bicycle lanes.


The ME specifically mentions the Clement/Tilden project as follows:

Alameda Street Grid (ME-13):

f. Clement Avenue Extension. Complete the Clement Avenue extension from Sherman Street to Grand Street and from Broadway to Tilden Avenue.

g. Tilden Avenue. Reconfigure Tilden Avenue into a 25 mile per hour, complete street with sidewalks, low-stress bikeways and safe pedestrian crossings.

h. Rights-of-Way. Utilize former railroad and public rights-of-way for transportation improvements and extensions to the Alameda street grid and pathway network.




Approval of the Clement/Tilden concept is categorically exempt pursuant to California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines section 15301(c) Existing Facilities (Minor alterations to existing facilities including bicycle facilities) and Section 15304(h) Minor Alterations to Land and the creation of bicycle lanes on existing public rights-of-way.




Since vehicle miles traveled in Alameda is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Alameda, City staff is expecting that the Cross Alameda Trail extension between Clement Avenue and the Miller-Sweeney/Fruitvale Bridge and a roundabout at Blanding/Tilden/Fernside would have a positive climate impact.  The concept was developed to make it safer and more convenient to bicycle, walk and ride the bus and to reduce congestion and idling motor vehicles.




Recommendation to endorse the design concept for the Clement Avenue/Tilden Way project.


Respectfully submitted,

Andrew Thomas, Director of Planning, Building and Transportation



Gail Payne, Senior Transportation Coordinator



1.                     Outreach #1 Summary - Spring 2022

2.                     Outreach #2 Summary - Fall 2022

3.                     Existing Conditions Memo

4.                     Concept

5.                     Concept Analysis Memo


cc:                     Jennifer Ott, City Manager

                     Erin Smith, Public Works Director