CIP, paint and signs

[From Preston Jordan]

The following message was sent today regarding the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) adoption on the Council agenda as item 6-3 tomorrow night.  AS&R tried to get this Plan to include implementation of paint and sign improvements on cycling routes in 2010 with no success, and is trying again this year (the CIP is adopted every two years).

You can send messages to the Council at cityhall@albanyca.org.

Take care.

Preston Jordan

——– Original Message ——–

Subject: CIP, paint and signs

Date: Sun, 15 Jul 2012 14:19:11 -0700

From: Preston Jordan <mailto:pdjordan@lbl.gov><pdjordan@lbl.gov>

To: personal addresses removed, please use <mailto:cityhall@albanyca.org><cityhall@albanyca.org>

CC: Beth Pollard <mailto:bpollard@albanyca.org><bpollard@albanyca.org>, Judy Lieberman <mailto:JLieberman@albanyca.org><JLieberman@albanyca.org>, Jeff Bond <mailto:jbond@albanyca.org><jbond@albanyca.org>

Hello Council members-

You will again consider the proposed Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for 2012 to 2017 at your meeting tomorrow.  Albany Strollers & Rollers (AS&R) has previously requested the CIP include a project to implement the paint and sign cycling route improvements throughout the City.  The CIP in the agenda packet still does not include such a project.

Please do not approve the CIP until it includes such a project. AS&R is not requesting this without thought, or in an ad hoc manner, but rather in accordance with the Active Transportation Plan (ATP) you adopted in April.

Action A of Policy 3.1 in the ATP states, “Implement all signage and striping-only projects identified in this plan by 2015.” (page 4-74) The ATP also states, “Painting street markings and erecting signs are low cost items that can be realized quickly. The Plan recommends that these paint and sign features receive priority, in an attempt to implement them quickly in advance of the overall projects.” (page 6-89)  It is highly doubtful this goal can be accomplished in the six months following the adoption of the next CIP in mid-2014. Recent events underscore this, as detailed below the signature.

Thank you for your consideration.

Preston Jordan

for Albany Strollers & Rollers

***

AS&R has been requesting installation of sharrows and share-the-road signs on Masonic since last October as a needed safety feature during the Greenway closure. AS&R was informed by staff they would be installed by the end of December.  By the end of the month no sharrows had been painted and a few signs had been installed, all in the wrong color and many in the wrong position.

AS&R repeatedly asked staff in the following months when the sharrows would be painted and signs installed, but there was no definitive response.  On June 7th, Patch published an article quoting staff as saying the sharrows would be painted and signs installed in two to three weeks

http://albany.patch.com/articles/bike-safety-signs-coming-to-masonic-avenue).

It is now five and a half weeks later, and more than nine months since the original request, and sharrows have not been painted or signs installed.

In October, AS&R asked for immediate installation of these features out of concern that some people riding on Masonic during the closure had less experience riding on roads with motorist volumes and speeds high as Masonic (which is validated to need motorist calming measures, which have also never been installed, in the 2000 Traffic Management Plan).

Unfortunately AS&R’s concern was underscored two weeks later when a parked motorist opened their car door into the face of a toddler in a cycling trailer, which also cast the child’s father off his bike into the road.  The child required plastic surgery to his face and the father received a concussion (http://albany.patch.com/articles/toddler-father-on-bicycle-sent-to-hospital-after-getting-doored-by-driver). The father subsequently commented to the Traffic & Safety Commission that he normally rode on the Greenway path, and his son had post-traumatic stress syndrome from the accident.

AS&R requested sharrows based on quantitative research showing they reduce the likelihood of people biking being in a position to collide with a car door that is illegally opened in their path by a motorist (http://www.sfmta.com/cms/uploadedfiles/dpt/bike/Bike_Plan/Shared%20Lane%20Marking%20Full%20Report-052404.pdf). Because of such research results, sharrows were adopted into the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices, which is manual of allowable roadway features used by engineers.

Albany has the second highest percentage of people cycling of any city in Contra Costa or Alameda counties. Ironically, Albany is the only city along the Bay from Richmond to San Leandro, and possibly beyond, without any sharrows.

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