Upcoming Events

Oct
28
Thu
5:00 pm AS&R Happy Hour Meeting back in ... @ Everest Kitchen
AS&R Happy Hour Meeting back in ... @ Everest Kitchen
Oct 28 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
AS&R Happy Hour Meeting back in person!! Eat, drink & problem-solve!! @ Everest Kitchen | Albany | California | United States
Come and talk about walking and cycling in Albany, while eating delicious Nepalese & Indian food in Everest Kitchen’s Parklet! All are invited. Got a gripe, question or idea that would make cycling or walking[...]
7:00 pm Transportation Commission Meetin... @ Council Chambers, City Hall
Transportation Commission Meetin... @ Council Chambers, City Hall
Oct 28 @ 7:00 pm – 10:30 pm
The monthly Transportation Commission Meeting, the Fourth Thursday of every month, is a great place to make your ideas known, find out about the transportation issues and projects in Albany, and help improve things for[...]
Nov
3
Wed
7:30 pm “Bay Trail Confidential” free Zo...
“Bay Trail Confidential” free Zo...
Nov 3 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
"Bay Trail Confidential" free Zoom program
Kensington resident, avid cyclist and AS&R member/volunteer Rodney Paul wants to let everyone on the list know about a FREE Zoom program he hosts called Bay Trail Confidential.  Each month, he highlights different public spaces[...]
Nov
11
Thu
7:00 pm AS&R Meeting – You’re Invited to... @ St. Alban's Episcopal Church
AS&R Meeting – You’re Invited to... @ St. Alban's Episcopal Church
Nov 11 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
AS&R Meeting - You're Invited to Join Virtually! @ St. Alban's Episcopal Church
Have a gripe, an idea or some input about anything that would further cycling and pedestrian conditions here in Albany? Then join us at our next meeting (every other month – odd-numbered months) where we[...]
Nov
25
Thu
7:00 pm Transportation Commission Meetin... @ Council Chambers, City Hall
Transportation Commission Meetin... @ Council Chambers, City Hall
Nov 25 @ 7:00 pm – 10:30 pm
The monthly Transportation Commission Meeting, the Fourth Thursday of every month, is a great place to make your ideas known, find out about the transportation issues and projects in Albany, and help improve things for[...]
Dec
1
Wed
7:30 pm “Bay Trail Confidential” free Zo...
“Bay Trail Confidential” free Zo...
Dec 1 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
"Bay Trail Confidential" free Zoom program
Kensington resident, avid cyclist and AS&R member/volunteer Rodney Paul wants to let everyone on the list know about a FREE Zoom program he hosts called Bay Trail Confidential.  Each month, he highlights different public spaces[...]
Dec
23
Thu
5:00 pm AS&R Happy Hour Meeting back in ... @ Everest Kitchen
AS&R Happy Hour Meeting back in ... @ Everest Kitchen
Dec 23 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
AS&R Happy Hour Meeting back in person!! Eat, drink & problem-solve!! @ Everest Kitchen | Albany | California | United States
Come and talk about walking and cycling in Albany, while eating delicious Nepalese & Indian food in Everest Kitchen’s Parklet! All are invited. Got a gripe, question or idea that would make cycling or walking[...]
7:00 pm Transportation Commission Meetin... @ Council Chambers, City Hall
Transportation Commission Meetin... @ Council Chambers, City Hall
Dec 23 @ 7:00 pm – 10:30 pm
The monthly Transportation Commission Meeting, the Fourth Thursday of every month, is a great place to make your ideas known, find out about the transportation issues and projects in Albany, and help improve things for[...]

Discounts

Become an AS&R member and get discounts at local bike shops and businesses!

Blue Heron Bikes: 10% off parts and accessories.

Marie Bowser Acupuncture: 30% off your first visit.

Bikes on Solano: 10% off labor, parts and accessories.

Quad Republic Skate Co. 5% off SKATES, 10% off parts & accessories.

Offers are valid to members of Albany Strollers & Rollers and their households. Tell your friends!
Contact us with questions.

UC Village – Whole Foods Development

ACTION TAKEN:
On October 5th, Preston Jordan submitted AS&R’s official positions and comments (see attachment below) on the draft EIR (DEIR) for this project to Amber Curl of the City of Albany.

As one primary goal, AS&R advocates for a safe crossing of San Pablo from Dartmouth to the east to the future Codornices Creek Trail to the west both through the EIR process and must continue to do so as this project comes up on the agenda of various bodies, such as the Sustainability Committee, Traffic and Safety, Planning and Zoning and the City Council.

THE PROJECT: The University of California (UC), in an effort to utilize its land holdings to generate revenue for its educational mission, has entered into an agreement with the LaLanne Group to develop the property in its Albany Village fronting on San Pablo Avenue between Codornices Creek, which is Albany’s southern border with Berkeley, and Village Creek, which is the southern boundary of the Gill Tract, and west of 10th Street.  The project, as currently conceived, proposes a Whole Foods supermarket fronting on Monroe Street and San Pablo with a parking lot to the north against Village Creek, one story retail along San Pablo south of Monroe, and 175 units of senior housing in a series of five story buildings across the rest of the block south of Monroe.

The project also currently includes a walking and cycling path along Codornices Creek as well as 10th Street, back in diagonal parking for motorists along Monroe, which is generally safer for cycling on the street than front in angle parking like that on Solano, and some sort of improvement to the Dartmouth to Codornices Creek path crossing.

Typically UC projects are exempt from local approval by State law.  Because this project is not a part of UC’s mission, though, and because it requires exceptions to the current zoning, the City of Albany has approval authority.  Consequently whether the project occurs and its final configuration are subject to the City’s desire.

More information on this project is available at http://albanyca.org/index.aspx?page=521, which includes a record of the City’s consideration to date and the DEIR.  A hard copy is available at the Library’s Reference Desk.

THE ISSUES
: This is a complicated project at a critical location for the human-scale transit network in Albany.  The network in the southwest quadrant of the City will flourish or languish to a large extent on the destiny of this project.  For instance, some of the complexities are described in comments from Robert Raburn, Executive Director of the East Bay Bicycle Coalition, at http://ebbc.org/?q=node/3691.

AS&R envisions a high-speed and low-speed cycling network. The high speed network includes on street facilities on Marin/Buchanan and Masonic for instance.  The low speed network includes the Ohlone Greenway path for instance.  East-west routes are sorely needed in the low speed network.  The planned path along the south side of the Marin Extension/Buchanan west of San Pablo would also be a part of this network, but it would not provide a low speed facility across San Pablo.  The current Bicycle Master Plan identifies the Dartmouth Codornices Creek corridor as a cycling route, and AS&R envisions it as the low speed network route in southwest Albany.  Thus, improving the San Pablo crossing at Dartmouth and connecting the envisioned Codornices Creek path in a manner that satisfies potential users, and so draws demand, rather than simply appearing to be a good solution from an engineering perspective, is critical.

AS&R members Nick Pilch, Susan Moffat and Preston Jordan have met with Bob LaLanne of the LaLanne Group and Peter Waller, the project architect, to discuss the project and the San Pablo crossing in particular.  AS&R pushed for some sort of signalization of the intersection that prioritized human-scale transit movements without facilitating motorist movements.  One concept that has been shared is to install a “bicycle signal,” which is a relatively new traffic control device that has been deployed in Davis and San Francisco.

On AS&R’s recommendation, the LaLanne Group hired John Ciccarelli of Bicycle Solutions to consult on the cycling engineering.  John is a member of the engineering team hired by the City to complete 35% design and environmental documents for the Marin/Buchanan cycling improvement project.  AS&R was impressed with John’s work on that project.
A secondary concern for this project is how to cycle to the proposed Whole Foods supermarket.  There are no enhanced facilities proposed for this from the Albany Village housing to the west currently.  Eventually there will be a continuous path along Codornices Creek that could serve this purpose to a small degree, but there is no commitment currently for this to be completed  synchronously with the proposed project, and such a path would be along the south edge of the Village in any event and a transit a block from Whole Foods.  There would be a connecting path on 10th Street, but using this network would require Village residents cycling to the store to travel first south to the Codornices Creek path then back north from the path.  This is a somewhat typical example of the circuitous routing that satisfies some project planners but demonstrates that human-scale transit is a secondary priority.

The same problem exists for people trying to cycle to Whole Foods from the east.  The low-speed network would require travelling south along San Pablo to the Codornices Creek path from Dartmouth, travelling all the way to the southwest corner of the project along this path and then back north along 10th Street.  This again indicates accommodating cycling is secondary to accomodating motorists.  This may ultimately be inevitable if this project goes forward as the supermarket would be a regional attractor that would draw thousands of motorists.  AS&R will work forward with this project to improve its design as much as possible.  The ultimate decision whether AS&R endorses the project will only come through a dialog of the membership after the design has been finalized.

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