Eyes on the Street: New Segment of Cross-Alameda Trail
Another half-mile of off-street cycling heaven on the island city... and yet... the intersections
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Another section of the cross-Alameda trail, seen above and below, is just about open for business.
From Bike East Bay’s Susie Hufstader:
This is all very exciting! The Cross Alameda Trail currently has construction fencing taken down and is open from Poggi to Main. The section from Poggi to Webster, as well as the on-street “Atlantic Gap” cycletrack project, are both still under construction. I stopped by the “Gap” today and it’s coming along. They have striped the mid-block crosswalk, realigned the lanes, and ripped out the existing corners. Looks like they are staging some new signal poles in Jean Sweeney and still doing some work on the median areas.
Hufstader also reports that the gap from Jean Sweeney Park to Poggi (seen in the lead image) is on track to being completed in time for a planned February 29 ribbon cutting (right now, the entrance at Webster street is fenced off). “As a staff member with Bike East Bay and also a resident of Alameda, I am so excited about the progress,” she added in an email to Streetsblog. “This newest segment of the trail will significantly improve safety and access to several schools, the Boys and Girls Club, and the College of Alameda. And the care-free ride out to our favorite breweries at Alameda Point is a great bonus as well.”
Streetsblog is definitely in support of that last bit.
It was just over a year ago that Alameda opened the bike path across Jean Sweeny Park, an integral part of an ongoing project to create a safe, protected, and off-street bike path across the entire island from east to west. In April of 2018 Streetsblog reported on another segment, a protected on-street two-way bike lane on Clement. Ultimately, advocates want a network of protected bike routes, with a link to Oakland via a new bike-and-ped-only bridge over the estuary.
The City of Alameda’s Cross Alameda Trail (CAT) is envisioned as a premiere cross-town, low-stress four-mile bicycling and walking corridor that will connect the west side of the island to the east, from the Seaplane Lagoon at Alameda Point to the Miller-Sweeney (Fruitvale) Bridge. The CAT is being built in segments, with many segments in the design or construction phase, and some completed. The Jean Sweeney Park segment (0.6 miles) between Constitution Way and Sherman Street was opened in December 2018.
Rochelle Wheeler, Senior Transportation Coordinator for the City of Alameda, confirmed that everything is on track for a soft opening of the full segment from Jean Sweeney (Constitution Way) to Main Street later this month or early next.
Having a bike path fully separated from the adjoining road is clearly the way to go. However, the intersection designs are problematic. Streetsblog has written about this issue plenty; these designs show “Level of Service” thinking that prioritizes car traffic over everything else. Embedded sensors (seen in the asphalt in the picture below) turn signals green for cars. Cyclists, on the other hand, have to dismount and hit a beg button and wait.
And signs such as the one in the picture below are a little strange to find at the connection of a bike and pedestrian path to its adjoining neighborhood:
“Intersection improvements” are listed on the city’s web page as a goal of this $7.1 million project, to “…facilitate safe pedestrian and bicycle crossings.” Streetsblog has reached out to Wheeler to find out if that might include protected intersections, or perhaps something similar to what’s going in on Emeryville’s Doyle Street Greenway, in some future phase of the project.
UPDATE: Bike East Bay’s Robert Prinz posted updated diagrams of the Constitution and Webster intersections, which apparently will have protected intersection. Awesome! We decided to move the diagram into the main body of this post:
The advocates of Bike Walk Alameda have asked people to save the date! The Grand Opening Celebration of the Cross Alameda Trail from Main to Jean Sweeney Open Space Park is on February 29, 10am-12 noon. Here’s the Facebook invite to the event. And Bike East Bay is also holding a free family cycling class in Alameda that day, ending with a group ride on the trail. Details at BikeEastBay.org/FCW.