Grand Avenue Complete Streets Project – Draft 15% Plans

At the November 3, 2022 BPAC Infrastructure Committee meeting, Celina Chan and Charlie Ream of OakDOT presented the draft 15% design plans [PDF] of the Grand Avenue Complete Streets Project.

Notes from the presentation and discussion are below.

Presentation notes

  • Update on project presented to full BPAC previously (05/19/22)
  • Project currently at 15% design.
  • Scheduled to be repaved by 2024—Opportunity for safety improvements with repaving
  • Lots of speeding especially at off-peak hours when roadway is wide open
  • Bikeways are often blocked by parked/loading vehicles.
  • Grand Ave among highest ridership AC Transit corridors—Also slowest due to rush hour congestion
  • Bike/walk collisions are 44% of total—Citywide it is closer to 20%—Collisions all throughout the corridor, top were at Broadway, Perkins, and around the freeway
  • Grand Ave Mobility Plan is the long-term vision plan from Wood to MacArthur. The paving project won’t be able to implement all of this since curb line changes & widened sidewalks aren’t within the scope.
  • Outreach via online survey and in-person outreach through October-November
  • Will bring 35% concept plan to council next summer
  • Westbound road diet was preferred over eastbound, since car traffic is lower in that direction.
  • Bike lanes bend around existing sidewalk bulb-outs and islands, since these features aren’t being changed via the paving project.
  • The block from Broadway to Webster is still undecided.
  • Two-way cycletrack sections will connect to other facilities to be delivered separately.
  • The section under the freeway would be completed by Caltrans.

Discussion

  • How much of the curbside bikeway would be concrete gutter?
    • Width of gutter pan and drainage will be worked out in later design phase.
  • Reducing travel lanes will help reduce vehicle speeds. Will Harrison northbound to Grand slip lane be removed?
    • Yes, Lakeside Family Streets project will convert slip lane to bikeway.
  • Why not also convert slip lane at Grand and MacArthur?
    • Yes, staff wants the slip lane to go away, too. Both traffic signal and median construction work needed is outside the scope/budget of this paving project. There is a potential opportunity to fix it via a separate Alameda CTC project. Also possibly via affordable housing development at the current Vegan Mob restaurant site.
  • Worried about traffic congestion and back-ups. Currently it takes 15 minutes to drive from Grand Ave exit to Euclid.
    • Traffic count data was collected in 2016, 2021, and 2022 for pre-pandemic and current traffic levels.
  • Double- and triple parking associated with vendors on Grand, more parking enforcement is needed.
  • Pedestrian refuge islands were installed several years ago with flashing beacons, but weren’t very successful without road diet.
    • Staff has identified an opportunity to possibly expand existing pedestrian islands via this project.
  • Bike left-turn movements across Grand are very difficult, this project needs to consider this.
    • Will use 2-stage turns or protected corners.
  • 2-way bikeway might be wide enough for cars to drive down it, might need bollards to prevent this.
    • Bollards might be a hazard, but lower profile splitter islands are being considered.
  • Make sure to check out grade of Grand Ave pavement east of Lake Park to make sure the curbside bike lanes are feasible. This was a stated issue by staff the last time advocates tried to get a protected bikeway here.
  • Are bus lanes feasible as an add-on here?
    • Longer term project is feasible with a much larger & more expensive work to redo curbs and islands
  • Survey is currently available in multiple languages. Postcards will also be sent to addresses on the corridor through December.

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