Apr 14 2019

Traffic Calming Proposed for Oakland Avenue and Many Other Streets to Improve Pedestrian Safety

Reducing Traffic Speed on Oakland Avenue, Magnolia, and Fairview Avenues with Bulb-Outs, bright flashing Beacons, Bioswales and relocated Crosswalks.

The city consultant, Coastland, prepared preliminary designs for proposed bulb-outs and other changes at several intersections on Oakland Avenue plus other streets.  The consultants will discuss their concepts at the Piedmont City Council meeting on Monday evening, April 15, 2019, in City Hall, 7:30 p.m. The meeting will be broadcast live on Channel 27 and from the City website under videos/City Council.  See links to staff reports showing locations and photos at the end of this article.

Before proceeding to the final designs and construction documents, the City wants to ensure that the Council and the community have full awareness of the proposed improvements and have an opportunity to have any questions or concerns addressed.

Oakland Ave. at El Cerrito Ave. This is a fully developed, 4 corner bulb out design that will achieve the following: •shorten the pedestrian crossing distances on Oakland Ave. and El Cerrito Ave., •bring the pedestrian access points into greater visibility

  • include hard-wired, double sided, bright rapid flashing beacons (brighter than the current beacons) at each corner with user activated buttons •include all new pedestrian ramps for each direction on each corner•refreshed street paint at the intersection Similar to the previously constructed bulb outs on Linda Ave.,

Staff is proposing to next install landscape improvements wherever possible in place of impervious concrete. In addition to the improved aesthetics, these landscaped areas will be planned as bio-swales wherever possible to capture and slow down the storm drainage on Oakland Ave. (See staff report Exhibit B for a photograph of the existing intersection and Exhibit C for the proposed improvements.)

Oakland Ave. at Jerome Ave. While very similar in features to the Oakland Ave. at El Cerrito Ave. bulb outs, the Jerome Ave improvements will have a slightly different configuration due to the intersection geometry.

Grand Ave. at Fairview Ave. In the Piedmont Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan (PBMP), this intersection was identified as No. 8 in the High Priority Projects. The basic issues related to this intersection are that it is a very wide crossing for pedestrians, and motorists traveling northbound on Grand Ave. and wanting to turn slightly right to proceed up Fairview Ave. are difficult for pedestrians to see. See staff report Exhibit C for photographs of the existing intersection. Furthermore, because of the ease of this slight right turn and the uphill nature of Fairview Ave., there is a tendency to accelerate through the intersection. The configuration was driven by creating traffic calming and increase pedestrian safety, but also preserving the existing street parking. Thus, the use of street paint still allows parking in front of 1250 Grand Ave., which fronts on Fairview Ave. See staff report Exhibit D for the proposed configuration of improvements.

Oakland Ave. at Greenbank Ave. This intersection was not identified on the PBMP, but is, due to its configuration and topography, problematic for the local residents and pedestrians. The basic issues related to this intersection are similar to those described at Grand Ave. at Fairview Ave. These include compromised visibility for both pedestrians and motorists, downhill grades creating increased speeds, and the existing geometry of the intersection fostering unsafe conditions. See staff report Exhibit E for photographs of the existing conditions at this intersection. The driveway to 1203 Oakland Ave. will cross over a portion of this bulb out, but the nature of this installation will maintain access to this driveway. (See staff report Exhibit D for the proposed configuration of improvements.)

Magnolia Ave. at Nova Drive Previously identified in the PBMP as No. 17 in the High Priority Projects, this intersection poses issues for pedestrians, especially when walking on the northern side of the street (left side going uphill). Along Magnolia Ave. at the intersection with Nova Drive, the throat of the intersection is extremely wide. See attached Exhibit F for a photograph of the existing intersection. Since the 2018 Paving Project includes this portion of Magnolia Ave, Staff wants to take the opportunity to implement the recommendations of PBMP and install logical measures to create traffic calming and a safer environment for pedestrians. The proposal is to create an island refuge with street paint, lane delineators, and signage. This would be connected to the existing sidewalks with new crosswalks of considerably shorter length. Besides creating an island refuge for pedestrians, this will visually narrow the westbound lane of Magnolia Ave. which should promote slower speeds.

Read staff reports by clicking below:

04/15/19 – Receipt of Report on Preliminary Design of Traffic Calming Measures at the Intersections of Oakland and El Cerrito Avenues and Oakland and Jerome Avenues 

04/15/19 – Receipt of a Report on Proposed Traffic Calming Measures at the Intersections of Fairview & Grand Avenues, Greenbank & Oakland Avenues, as well as Magnolia Avenue & Nova Drive


One Response to “Traffic Calming Proposed for Oakland Avenue and Many Other Streets to Improve Pedestrian Safety”

  1. The traffic bulb proposed at Oakland and Greenbank will create a big problem. Cars coming down Oakland Ave will have to stop in order to make a 90 degree turn onto Greenbank. This will cause lots of congestion.

    The existing angled turn onto Greenbank enables cars to easily flow without sudden stops. It should remain unchanged.

    Yes, excessive speed of cars driving downhill continues to be a problem. Perhaps 25 mph speed bumps are the solution. Forcing downhill traffic to stop to accommodate a car turning right onto Greenbank is NOT a solution; it’s a problem.

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