Caltrans Encroachment Permit Process Discussion

At the August 5, 2021 Infrastructure Committee meeting, Sergio Ruiz, Amjad Naseer, and Ajay Sehgal of Caltrans District 4 were in attendance to answer questions and discuss the Caltrans encroachment permit process with the BPAC Infrastructure Committee and OakDOT staff.

Since it can be a long time (usually decades) between when Oakland streets get attention, the designs are usually very outdated, not in line with Oakland’s traffic safety and climate goals and serving levels of car traffic that no longer exist.
This means that design changes often involve bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure upgrades. The higher level of scrutiny for proposed changes compared to the status quo then favors car traffic over bike/walk traffic, and has negative impacts on public safety.

Notes are below.

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14th Street Safety Project design review

At the August 5, 2021 Infrastructure Committee meeting, Charlie Ream, OakDOT transportation planner, presented on the latest block-by-blocks for the 14th Street Safety Project. The project area is 14th Street from Brush Street to Lakeside Drive/Oak Street. The previous presentation with more background is here [PDF].

“14th Street is the heart of Downtown Oakland, connecting neighborhoods and civic institutions. How can we use this $14M grant to welcome more people to Downtown, make them feel safe and connect them to the cultural and commercial resources of our Town?”

Download the presentation [PDF]. Notes from the presentation and discussion are below.

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MLK Jr. Way – 7th to 20th St Bike Lanes

On June 16, 2021, OakDOT staff Emily Ehlers emailed the BPAC Infrastructure Committee, sharing the 95% plan set for a repaving and road diet project on Martin Luther King Jr. Way from 7th Street to 20th Street, just west of Downtown. Robert Prinz, Brendan Pittman, and Dianne Yee reviewed the plans and submitted comments, mainly concerning upgrading curb ramps and potentially adding painted bulb-outs.

View the plan set below.

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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.

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?

The presentation and discussion notes are below.

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2021 Citywide Striping Project

In early May, OakDOT staff Jason Cook shared the 2021 Citywide Striping Project draft plans with the BPAC Infrastructure Committee. These plans were shared through email and not presented at an Infrastructure Committee meeting.

“The 2021 Citywide Striping Project consists of a series of enhancements and green markings to existing bike lanes throughout Oakland. We had funding become available that needs to be encumbered before the end of the fiscal year and saw this as an opportunity to put together a striping project.” –Jason Cook

“These are relatively small projects, mostly filling in bikeway gaps or adding on to and upgrading existing bike lanes. These projects do not include paving, curb ramps, posts, or other non-striping elements.” –Robert Prinz (Infrastructure Committee co-chair)

The project areas are:

  • 35th Ave from International Blvd to Foothill Blvd
  • MacArthur Blvd from Boston Ave to Coolidge Ave
  • Washington St from 2nd St to 9th St
  • Market St at 7th St
  • E 12th St at 16th Ave
  • E 12th St at 22nd Ave
  • E 12th St at 29th Ave
  • W MacArthur Blvd from San Pablo Ave to 500ft west of Market St

The draft striping plan and comments by Robert Prinz and Dianne Yee are below.

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14th Ave Streetscape Project – Phase 2

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.

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.

Project Schedule

  • 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)

The presentation [PDF] and notes from the presentation and discussion are below.

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High Street Paving Project

At the April 1st, 2021 BPAC Infrastructure Committee meeting, Charlie Ream and Colin Piethe gave a presentation on the High Street Paving Project.

High Street is an important east-west corridor that connects the Laurel District, Maxwell Park and Allendale to International and Foothill Boulevards.

Project Goals

  • Slow vehicle speeds and curb unsafe driving
  • Reduce vehicle collisions
  • Improve safety and comfort for people walking, especially crossing at major intersections
  • Increase the visibility of people walking and biking
  • Investigate providing a bicycle lane for people biking on High Street

Project Schedule

  • Feb/March/April 2021 – Public Outreach
    • Online Presentation and Online Survey to get neighborhood feedback
    • Presentations to stakeholder groups (email OakDOT staff if you’d like to set up a small-group video chat)
    • Postcard mailer to the High Street community
    • Social media/online outreach
  • Spring 2021 – Select final design for street and post online/email to survey respondents
  • Summer 2021 – Roadway design
  • Late 2021/early 2022 – Roadway repaving

The presentation and notes from the presentation and discussion are below.

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