Last September, AS&R joined with numerous other organizations (the Berkeley Climate Action Coalition, Bike East Bay and the Albany Berkeley Soccer Club among others) to send a letter to the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC) panning various aspects of its active transportation design for the I-80/Gilman interchange reconstruction, chief among these the proposed multi-million dollar active transportation overpass. You can read the letter at bcac-twg-asr-gilman. One of the key maps from the letter is shown below.
ACTC applied for over $8 million from state active transportation program cycle 3 to partially fund construction of the proposed overpass. Fortunately this application was not funded. AS&R has no knowledge whether or not the letter played a role in this decision.
Hopefully this result will motivate ACTC to take the concerns of the community seriously, and revamp the design. AS&R recently learned of an example of a flawed active transportation overpass not five miles away that provides a further red warning light regarding the design proposed by ACTC. The Riverside crossing of I-80 in Richmond is being completely replaced as part of an interchange reconstruction project there. The eastern landing of the previous overpass was between the frontage road and the freeway, like the overpass ACTC proposes at Gilman. Unlike at Gilman though, the planners and engineers of the new Riverside overpass engaged with the community. The community’s main request was to land the eastern side of the overpass on the east side of the frontage road so people did not have to expose themselves to the hazard of motorists on the frontage road in order to access the overpass. The planners and engineers listened, and the new overpass with this configuration will be opening soon.
It is amazing to have such a clear example of the correct outcome from a better process so close by. AS&R will send a followup letter to ACTC pointing out this example, and will seek to have the same broad range of signatories.