Gilman Intersection Improvement Designs

As part of the reconstruction of the Gilman Avenue interchange at I-80, an active transportation overpass of I-80 will be built to accommodate the vast majority of people that would bike or use sidewalks to the waterfront but not if they have to go along Gilman under the freeway. In order to make the approach to the overpass nearly as inviting as the overpass in order to maximize the utility of the overpass, the segment of Gilman along the route between the Codornices Creek path and the overpass will be upgraded for cycling.

The route from the Codornices Creek path to Gilman follows Fifth, Harrison, Fourth. From there the route is along Gilman. The project will build a two-way cycle track on the south side of Gilman from Fourth to Second and cycling path on the south side of Gilman from Second to the eastern landing of the overpass.

As the route on Gilman crosses four intersections, each intersection will also be upgraded to accommodate cycling. The current designs are shown below with some explanation of each. Clicking on each image will bring up the more detailed pdf version. Feel free to suggest further improvements, ask questions, or make other comments by clicking “Leave a comment” in the menu just below this post.

Fourth and Gilman

People cycling the route westbound cross Gilman here to access the cycle track. This is relatively simple as there are few motorists on Fourth north of Gilman and people cycling need only ride straight ahead across Gilman and then turn right into the cycletrack.

People cycling the route eastbound have to cross Gilman and Fourth, making this direction more complicated. The current design has people ride across Fourth and then wait in a bike box to then turn and ride across Gilman when the light changes. The current design appears to only have room for a person or two to hand out on a bike in the bike box. It also requires hanging out on Gilman with physical protection, which is counter to the purpose of all the upgrades. This purpose is to provide a route as physically separated from motorists as possible so that more people feel comfortable using the overpass. The bike box also requires people using it to make a really sharp turn. While this is from a stop, doing so from a stop is exactly the kind of turn that is the most difficult to make on a bike that has kids or other substantial weight on the back. Women in particular struggle with this because the maneuver requires a lot of upper body strength to keep a bike loaded in this manner from going over then the front wheel is turned hard to one side at a stop.

Third and Gilman

Third and Gilman is better known as the railroad track crossing. This is straightforward. There will be railroad crossing gates across the through cycling lane in each direction in advance of the tracks, just like for motorist lanes.

Second and Gilman

Crossing Second between the cycletrack and cycling path portions of the route only requires crossing one lane of motorists and only motorists turning right from Gilman to Second. Consequently people crossing only have to look at one spot in the road for motorists who might not yield to them, and those motorists are turning right meaning they are making the slowest movement. This is almost as safe as a crossing can get short of eliminating it entirely (it would be a bit safer if there were an eastbound lane just for motorists turning right, but there is not sufficient street width or length from the roundabout to the west).

Eastshore Highway and Gilman

Eastshore Highway is one lane, one-way for motorists at the crossing. The site lines are such that motorist can see people crossing from some distance away. Motorists are also slowing in preparation for entering the roundabout ahead, which requires them to look for and yield to motorists in the roundabout. As a final safety measure, the crossing will be on a speed table, which is a wide, flat-topped speed hump. Local examples of these are the new crosswalk on Masonic at the Senior Center north of Solano and two street crossings along the Manor Way path (Peralta and Ordway).


3 comments to Gilman Intersection Improvement Designs

  • Nick Pilch

    Fourth and Gilman looks like a mess to me. We’ve got to do better. What about a protected intersection like The Alameda and Hopkins?

    • Amy Smolens

      Sorry that I don’t have any positive suggestions, but I am not a big fan of the intersection at The Alameda & Hopkins. IMHO there are too many obstacles popping up right where cyclists want to ride.

      • Preston Jordan

        Britt and Heath (Maddox, former active transportation planner for Berkeley) took on improving the design of this intersection. Heath attended the overpass access planning meeting. I saw Farid afterward who also attended the meeting in his capacity as Berkeley Transportation Division lead. Farid said he and Heath were able to convince the design engineers that the protected corners they proposed on the north side made things better rather than worse. So I think those are gone, thankfully.

        I don’t know what improvements Britt and Heath came up with, but I am confident in them. Their skill is certainly beyond mine as they are both professional transportation engineers who also get around by active transportation a lot, or even primarily, and do so with their children (a rare combination). So I plan to live with whatever they came up with and were able to get adopted in the confidence it was the best achievable given the project constraints.

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