ACTC Rapid Response Projects follow-up discussion

At the June 3rd, 2021 BPAC Infrastructure Committee meeting, OakDOT staff Jason Patton and Jason Cook gave a presentation on the ACTC Rapid Response Projects and led a discussion to follow up on these projects. Notes from the presentation and discussion are below.

Grant info

$75k Grant with $75k Local Match ($150,000 total) for quick-build transportation improvement projects that support improvements to the Rapid Response locations, Essential Places Locations, and a curbside buffered bike lane upgrade. Deadline for completion is June 30, 2021.

More info: Alameda County Transportation Commission – COVID-19 Rapid Response Bicycle and Pedestrian Grant Program

Discussion questions

  1. Hardened centerlines are a new design treatment in the toolkit. Where will this treatment be most beneficial? How should the many possible locations be prioritized?
  2. What are lessons learned from the vertical separation installed along the bike lanes on Embarcadero?
  3. Plastic is not a great building material. Under what circumstances should it be used?
  4. Quick-Build” and “Community Engagement” may be incompatible goals. Under what circumstances does one take priority over the other?

Presentation

Download the presentation file here [PDF].

Presentation Notes

  • $75k in county funding + $75k local match, with June 30, 2021 completion deadline
    • Project built on existing rapid response & essential places locations
    • Also added bikeway separation on Embarcadero east of Oak Street
  • Foothill at 26th Ave
    • Existing rapid response location
    • Added concrete pedestrian refuge in place of previous posts
    • Done by in-house crews
    • Will add a flashing beacon later
  • Foothill at Cole
    • Rapid response location
    • Replaced K-71 posts with more durable modular flexpost installations – still a temporary material
  • Foothill at Munson
    • Same flexpost replacements as Foothill/Cole
  • Adeline at 18th St
    • Essential places upgrade—Modular centerline posts and bolt on curb
    • Now 50% completed. The hardened centerline at midblock crosswalk yet to be installed
  • Funding allocation for Oakland was the same as other, smaller cities
  • Short timeframe was such that the work had to be done in-house, not contracted out
  • Looked to existing work already underway, as opposed to new projects, such as rapid response locations or essential places locations

Discussion

  • Are hardened centerlines more effective at signalized intersections, and what is the intended outcome of using them?
    • Yes, mostly at signalized intersections—Helps with bad left turning behavior, slow down turns—But now also looking at uncontrolled crosswalks, like on 18th St in front of a school where there isn’t enough room for a median refuge
    • Consider also 2-way stop locations, prioritizing at school zone locations and on neighborhood bike routes
    • Also consider locations with bus boarding islands in-lane 
  • Thoughts on Embarcadero bikeway protection?
    • Working well, no reports of blocked bike lanes yet
    • These types of posts are very expensive
    • Even if the post breaks, the plastic curb will remain. Crews could possibly replace the post into the remaining curb
    • Different types of installations work better/worse in different contexts
  • Plastic product durability isn’t great
    • Go in fast with less planning, work with drainage
    • Big concrete curb separated installations could be cost competitive, but not currently enough in-house capacity yet
    • Request in current budget for OakDOT to hire more concrete finishers, could help increase capacity
    • Concrete or rubber wheel stops could be an option, but they are held in place with rebar—could become a danger if dislodged
    • Is doweled-in concrete still an option?
      • Full-depth concrete installation was used at the Foothill at 26th Ave location 
  • Quick-build projects vs robust community engagement—are they compatible?
    • Big push from the county on quick-build projects, but staff are struggling on how to communicate and receive input on projects within those time frames
    • Via slow streets projects, staff got both praise and criticism for moving quickly
    • For these projects there was no community engagement—Mostly built at locations where there was previous work
    • There have been complaints about projects due to long construction timelines, especially related to impacts on local businesses. City could still use quick-build construction techniques, but with a more robust communications process, in order to lessen impacts during build out and keep stakeholders happier

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