At the April 1st, 2021 BPAC Infrastructure Committee meeting, Cathy Chea gave a presentation on the West Grand Avenue HOV/Bus lane extension Phase II project. The project is part of Bay Bridge Forward.
Notes from the presentation and discussion are below.
Related article by SPUR, March 30, 2021: “Giving Buses Priority on the Bay Bridge Will Improve Access and Equity.”
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) is undertaking the West Grand Avenue Bus/HOV Lane Project in the City of Oakland to provide operational improvements and increase person throughput on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge (SFOBB).
Construction for Phase 1 was completed in January 2019, which converted the existing right shoulder along the on-ramp to the SFOBB to a Bus/HOV lane.
Phase 2 is expected to open mid-2021 and will provide additional access and operational improvements for carpools and buses by converting the existing westbound right shoulder on West Grand Ave between the I-580 eastbound on-ramp and the intersection of West Grand Ave with Frontage Road. In addition, a multi-use path for bicyclists and pedestrians will be constructed on eastbound West Grand Ave between Maritime Street and Mandela Parkway.
Draft Project Schematic
- Phase 1 project opened January 2019 added 1300’ of bus/HOV-only lane
- Travel time savings of up to 20 minutes for buses
- But still excessive queueing leading up to the bus lane, especially around Maritime Street
- Crashes on the bridge can increase bus travel time up to a half hour to travel only a half mile—Usually only 1 minute in non-peak traffic
- Phase 2 project proposes the following:
- Bus/HOV lane westbound by converting existing shoulder from Frontage Road to Maritime Street
- Multi-use 2-way path on south side of West Grand between Mandela and Maritime by extending existing sidewalk. It would be 8’ wide with a 2’ barrier.
- Construction expected in 2nd half of 2021.
- Path will open up access to a lot more people in West Oakland.
- Protected intersection proposed at Mandela/West Grand—design still in the works. May use existing median along Mandela to help bike riders make turns on and off the cycletrack. The next draft should be available within a few weeks.
- How will pedestrians access the path?
- Overpass touches down at West Grand/Campbell. Pedestrians can access it from there or to the east.
- Is the path off the side of the existing overpass or part of the existing structure?
- Path will be on-street, by widening the existing sidewalk.
- The long term West Oakland Link project proposes to build a separated bike/walk overpass at this location, so this project is a short term interim upgrade.
- The project is a part of the Bay Bridge Forward initiative to improve transit time and access for multiple modes.
- Project will be going to city council in coordination with West Grand paving & road diet project, which will add buffered bike lanes from Mandela to Market Street.
- MTC is working with Caltrans and Oakland city council to get design approval.