Oct 6 2021

Consideration of the Draft Piedmont Safer Streets Plan

Pedestrian Bicycle Advisory Committee to Consider Recommendation on Piedmont Safer Streets Draft Plan

Thursday, October 7, 2021, 5:30 p.m., Virtual Meeting


Piedmont’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan consultants Eisen | Letunic significantly contributed to the plan being considered.  The consultant produced  a program  of seven main phases, resulting in the proposed plan under review by the committee for their recommendation to the Piedmont City Council for their consideration and action.

Most comments received during the PBMP planning process were related to pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, damaged sidewalks, traffic safety on Grand Avenue and Oakland Avenue, lowering speed limits, wayfinding signage, prioritizing SR2S programs, and offering educational programs for traffic safety and biking in Piedmont.

Key input themes that emerged from the round of public engagement for the PSS plan are described below.

• The primary concern expressed was speeding traffic. Several suggestions were received for curbing speeding such as installing traffic calming measures (speed humps, cushions, stop signs, sharrows), lowering speed limits, increasing police enforcement and offering educational campaigns.

• Related to walking, the main concern among participants was regarding unsafe crossing conditions at intersections including: poor sight lines and visibility, insufficient street lighting, and speeding drivers failing to yield to pedestrians. Gaps in existing sidewalk coverage were another concern.

• Related to biking, all comments pointed to the lack of a comprehensive bikeway network and gaps in existing limited bikeway network.

• The Grand Avenue road diet project received mixed opinions, but with a general consensus that the reduction from four lanes to two resulted in vehicular congestion. However, improved safety for pedestrians and bicyclists was noted by participants.

• In general, the installation of low-cost intersection improvement measures was not favored. The prevailing opinion of participants was that the low-cost installations are effective in slowing down traffic and ensuring pedestrian safety, but that they are unattractive and confusing.

• Finally, the elimination of on-street parking close to intersections and overgrown vegetation on corner lots were a concern for most participants.

Read the complete report and plan with street maps, recommendations, and public input > here.


Prior Projects:

Intersection improvements including flashing beacons installed on Oakland Avenue at Jerome and El Cerrito and painted island cross walks
Installing bikeways and marking designated bike lanes on Cambridge way (between Grand and Ricardo Avenue), Sheridan Avenue (between Highland and Caperton Avenue), Magnolia Avenue (between Hillside and Nova Drive) among others.

Road diet on Grand Avenue between the City limit to the south and Greenbank Avenue

Bulbouts at Linda Avenue/Kingston Avenue and bulbouts, flashing beacons and new street lighting at the midblock crosswalks on Linda Avenue around Beach School.

Landscape triangle at the intersection of Kingston, Linda and Rose Avenues.

Safety railings along both sidewalks of the Oakland Avenue bridge. The last phase of the project is scheduled to complete soon.

New and improved curb ramps and street resurfacing projects on locations throughout the City.

Three schools near Piedmont Middle School are enrolled in the Safe Routes to School (SR2S) Program.

In 2019, Piedmont staff featured a second energizer station for the BiketoWork Day event.

In 2017, the City Council adopted a crosswalk policy to better ensure consistency and objectivity in the review of residents’ requests; provide transparency on the process to the public; and allow for flexibility to industry standards in addressing unique conditions on local streets.

5 Responses to “Consideration of the Draft Piedmont Safer Streets Plan”

  1. I think your report understates some of the key inputs themes from the report. These themes are mostly taken from the public survey that was conducted plus specific comments – see pie charts on pages 23-26 of the plan. From those results I’d say installation of speed bumps/humps and the Highland Avenue road diet are the two most popular themes for directing future projects. Speed bumps/bumps are highly supported by the community (75%) so those who want them on their street should read that section of the report and comment.

  2. Garrett’s point about speed humps/bumps is really important. Running of stop signs at speed has become more frequent everywhere, but especially in Upper Piedmont where there is virtually no police presence for enforcement. In the absence of police enforcement it is essential that the city install physical obstacles that can significantly reduce speeding and stop sign violations.

  3. At last night’s Committee meeting, the City Engineer indicated that speed bumps/humps would not be allowed on streets that are designated as arterials and major collectors.

  4. Past staff decisions have vetoed speed bumps/humps entirely, in spite of some public support. From Garrett’s statement it would seem that there is now a softening of that opposition. Possibly now they could be allowed on minor streets. BTW, other nearby cities use real speed bumps effectively, like Oakland and San Leandro. The bumps, as compared to humps, really do work well although disliked by many.

    Editor’s note: Neighbors have welcomed the speed bumps/humps that have been installed on several Piedmont streets, including Greenbank and Scenic Avenues, within the past year.

  5. The plan being put forward by the City is called Safer Streets but the survey results show Piedmont wants slower streets – 75% surveyed strongly or somewhat supported speed bumps/humps. Mike is right – staff has opposed bumps/humps in the past and is now proposing a review process. Bumps/humps won’t be allowed on main connector and arterial streets – I think these streets are designated on maps in the General Plan. That makes some sense but staff is also proposing a case by case review process. Hopefully that won’t be costly (think traffic studies) and slow down the installation of these controls. Instead, as it has done with stop signs, perhaps the city can be proactive and identify streets for which humps/bumps are allowed.

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