Sprouts Gets Even Better!

The image above is of the latest retail component of the University Village Mixed-Use Project at San Pablo and Monroe.  This plan was prepared in response to input from CalTrans and Albany’s Planning and Zoning Commission.  It was presented at the last Traffic and Safety Commission meeting on June 27th.

This plan eliminates the two driveways from San Pablo into the Sprouts parking lot that were part of the previous plan.  These make the cycle track and sidewalk along San Pablo much more cycling and pedestrian friendly.  It also dramatically increases the odds of CalTrans approving the cycle track (which is needed because it is proposed to be in CalTrans’ right-of-way).

Not only were the driveways eliminated, the former position of the southern driveway is now proposed as a plaza with seating, which makes for an even more welcoming pedestrian environment.  The former position of the north driveway is now a walking path along Village Creek, which then curves around the west side of the property to connect to Monroe.

AS&R can’t claim credit for any of these improvements.  Thanks for the driveway elimination are due to Planning and Zoning Commissioner Phillip Moss and the CalTrans review team assembled by District 4 Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator Beth Thomas.  Thanks for the path along Village Creek is owed to Albany resident Ed Fields, who realized the previous plan did not accord with the amenity list included in one of the Council approvals a year ago.  However without a willing and fast-acting retail developer and major tenant that actually listen, all this input might have been for naught.  So thanks and appreciation are also due to Oppidan (which appropriately is a word that means “of the town as opposed to the university”).

Albany has informed AS&R the project will be studied again by the Planning and Zoning Commission at its July 24th meeting, which starts at 6:30 pm in the City Hall Council Chambers.  If you have written input you would like to provide, you can send it to cityhall@albanyca.org.  You could commend the project for being the first to propose a cycle track along a major commercial street in the East Bay, and perhaps the first along a commercial portion of a State highway.  You could ask the project to improve the cycling accommodation along Monroe.

The agenda to the P&Z meeting is here and this is the third agenda item.

It is unlikely to come up before 7:30, but you can monitor the meeting on Cable Channel 33 or streaming  if you want to time your arrival.  You can also offer input and/or encouragement by email to cityhall@albanyca.org.

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