14th Street Safety Project 65% design review

At the January 27, 2022 Infrastructure Committee meeting, Charlie Ream gave an overview of the 65% design of the 14th Street Safety Project. The project was last presented at the August 5, 2021 Infrastructure Committee meeting. An excerpt of the 65% design plans is below, followed by notes. The full plan set is available here [47mb PDF].

Excerpt – 65% Design

Potential bus shelter design: Kaleidoscope OS

Presentation notes

  • Project is currently at 65% design. 100% design to be completed soon (“early 2022”)
  • There have been 2 traffic fatalities and 189 injuries, even since project funding was awarded 5 years ago
    • Many safety issues are due to drivers running red lights—wide street allows for faster speeds
  • Curbside protected bikeway with 6” raised concrete islands included, some low landscaping in the curb areas (less than 2’ high)
  • Some sub-basement locations are creating construction constraints, so the protected bikeway is raised to sidewalk level at these spots
    • Most of the bikeway will be at street level
    • Bikeway will also be raised to sidewalk level between Webster and Harrison to better accommodate after-hours activity around nightclubs, and on the south side of the street to the east to accommodate senior center transit loading
  • Project will intersect with another upcoming bike lane (not protected) on MLK Jr Way, but will include a protected intersection at the junction of the two bikeways
    • OakDOT now trying to use concrete as much as possible to separate car and bike traffic
  • Accessible parking areas, like at 14th/Clay, will use painted hash markings and rubber bumper curbs instead of concrete
  • Upgraded street lights included in project will better illuminate the sidewalk, not just the street
  • 10’ wide bus boarding islands in this project don’t fit a standard bus shelter
    • Working with design team for other shelter options with seating and canopy that will fit into these areas (see Kaleidoscope OS example above)
  • Project will also go to the full BPAC February meeting, and to City Council in March (tentative). It will be especially important to hear community voice at the council meeting

Discussion

  • Can splitter islands at protected intersections be added at more locations, to prevent parked car blockages?
    • The goal is to add them wherever they will fit. Intersections that have a center turn lane have more constrained geometry 
    • OakDOT is learning from every new protected intersection installation, and applying lessons to future standards
  • Will rubber bumpers at accessible parking stalls be enough to keep other drivers out?
    • It is a balance between accessibility and preventing illegal parking. The current designs are an outcome of design conversations with the accessibility commission and staff.
  • In the traffic signal phase plans, it is good to see separation of turning movements from through movements—But some locations have permissive turn movements, what was the reason for this (such as 14th/Lakeside)?
    • Staff will look into it and follow up offline
  • Are there any traffic signal modifications at 14th/Castro Street?
    • Yes, there are signal improvements planned for this intersection. These are still in the works and not included in the 65% design plan. The design is trying to have bikes remain in protected bikeway to the right, instead of a “mixing zone”
  • Will leading pedestrian intervals (LPI) walk phases be included in this project?
    • Will look into it
  • Really liked the bus shelter proposed, will it be on every bus boarding island in this project? Is there a cost estimate?
    • Yes, that is the intention (all 8 boarding islands in this project), also including lighting and trash cans. Yes, there is a cost estimate, will have to follow up directly on exact cost.
  • Will there be a curb ramp for bikes to access the 12th Street BART entrance?
    • Curb ramps being reserved for sole bicycle paths of travel. For other locations for bike riders to access specific business or other destinations, the expectation is to use curb ramp at intersection, or dismount and walk bike over curb.
      • Later follow-up with input from BART staff suggested the use of a rolled curb to allow bike riders to access the sidewalk without being able to ride onto it at speed.
  • Delivery trucks often park on 14th near Franklin, is this being considered?
    • Rite Aid location has since closed, but commercial activities are still being considered via new loading zones. 
  • How does this line up with Lake Merritt cycletrack extensions and bus lane construction schedule? Are there any traffic analyses, especially related to bus impacts?
    • No cumulative transit impact study, but AC Transit has been a close partner with both the 14th St and Lake Merritt Blvd projects. The hope is that these projects will improve operations for Line 14 buses.
    • Some bus stop consolidation is included in the 14th Street project.
    • Both projects are on a similar time schedule: 100% design of the Lake Merritt Blvd project is within the next few weeks, and 14th Street within the next few months.
  • Both Harrison and Franklin have protected bikeway recommendations. Will the new traffic signals be future-proofed for later work?
    • Made sure that no concrete infrastructure is in the way of future projects. Signal design for Franklin is too unknown at this point to accommodate in this project.
  • Is the bus boarding island design becoming more consistent via this and future OakDOT projects? More commonly new projects ramp boarding island down to the street/crosswalk, then back up to the sidewalk.
    • Yes, in part because it is a simpler design including with drainage.
    • Bottom of the ramps will now include a detectable edge to let users know to proceed left or right at these locations.

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