At the April 1st, 2021 BPAC Infrastructure Committee meeting, Charlie Ream gave a presentation on the 14th Avenue Streetscape Project. Charlie previously presented the project at the November 19, 2020 BPAC meeting.
The presentation [PDF] and notes from the presentation and discussion are below.
About the project
14th Avenue is a major east-west corridor that connects International Boulevard with Highland Hospital and points north of I-580. 14th Avenue is currently a relatively high-speed, 4-lane divided roadway that is a barrier for people walking between residential neighborhoods to the north and south. 14th Ave is also an important, (relatively flat) connection for people biking and is a critical gap in the network between the Foothill Blvd and MacArthur Blvd bike lanes.
The City recently completed Phase 1 of this Project, which upgraded sidewalks, pedestrian crossings, and landscaping between International Blvd. and E 19th Street.
The next phase of The 14th Avenue Streetscape project will deliver an important bicycle connection on 14th Avenue from Foothill to 27th Street/Highland Hospital. This project will form the foundation for a complete network connection north to MacArthur Blvd. This project will also make pedestrian crossing improvements and striping upgrades between E8th Street and International Blvd.
- Fall 2020 – Public noticing, outreach, and online survey
- Summer 2021 – Complete design of roadway
- Fall 2021 – Advertise project for construction
- Mid-2021 – Begin construction (18 month duration)
- Phase 1 project added bike lanes, new sidewalks, curb ramps, and signal upgrades on the southern half of 14th Ave.
- Phase 2 proposes to calm car traffic and improve street safety on the northern half of 14th Ave north of Foothill, especially for pedestrians. Currently there are many unsignalized crossings.
- Proposed road diet with buffered bike lane, high visibility crosswalks, pedestrian flashing beacons (13), crosswalk and bus bulb sidewalk extensions
- New pedestrian crossing at 14th Ave/E 23rd to help connect to a stair path—includes pedestrian refuges in the middle
- Some striping changes yet to be added on 14th Ave on north end of project to lead into road diet section
- Lots of sidewalk obstructions and right-of-way conflicts along 14th Ave – Neighbor requests for widened sidewalks received. About $4.6M of $5.1M project budget is already being spent on sidewalk and crossing upgrades. No budget available for additional, significant sidewalk changes.
- Due to sidewalk width constraints, added street trees are being proposed at medians and sidewalk bulb outs, instead of along the entire sidewalk.
- Phase 2 design estimated completion: summer 2021
- Construction: starting late 2021
- Buffered bike lanes are sometimes used as passing lanes by speeding drivers. Has parking removal been explored in order to facilitate a 2-way protected bikeway instead? Connection all the way to MacArthur is needed.
- City has approved funding via CIP for planning/design of extension to connect to MacArthur.
- Grant was originally focused solely on pedestrian safety then augmented later to also add bike upgrades, so the core of the project is still centered around the pedestrian elements.
- Staff invites ideas/suggestions on how to adequately harden a protected bikeway with lots of driveways along the street.
- 14th Ave is a concrete roadway, which means repairs are very expensive. Will staff look at making fixes just within the bikeway right-of-way?
- Savings on sidewalk trees could be reinvested into some roadway repairs. Will look into it.
- Will 14th/E 21st also get bike turn upgrades?
- Yes, likely 2-stage left turn boxes.
- Extended refuge islands will help discourage sideshows in the middle of intersections. Will there be any sidewalk repairs as part of this project?
- Corner bulb-outs will likely be only sidewalk repairs done by the city.
- Will the medians be concrete all the way down, or just portions?
- Existing 4’ wide medians will be retained—not widening in mid-block areas. However, pedestrian refuges at intersections are new and wider than existing median.
- New trees will be planted in median to replace damaged or diseased ones.
- Has a center-running 2-way protected bike path been considered, to avoid driveway/parking conflicts?
- Great idea, though it would go far beyond existing project budget.
- Will traffic signals be retimed or add bus priority?
- Yes. Traffic signals will be retimed to account for shorter crosswalks, but no full overhauls to implement bus priority.
- Will there be any stormwater treatments at bulb-outs or medians?
- No, this wasn’t funded via the original grant award a long time ago-
- Any opportunity to remove some parking spots to build tree wells in the street instead?
- Will look into it.