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Celebrate the 4th with an Alameda Update

A couple of bits of bike/boat news from the Bay Area's favorite island city

A rendering of how Central Ave. will look soon. Image: City of Alameda

The Alameda shoreline is a nice place to watch the 4th of July fireworks, so Streetsblog thought it apropos to report a few short updates from the Bay Area's island city.

Central Avenue bikeway gets final approval

A map of the project area. Image: City of Alameda

Alameda advocates celebrated clearing the final hurdle towards getting protected bike lanes and other upgrades down the length of Central Avenue. From a social media post by Bike Walk Alameda advocate Cyndy Johnsen:

Exciting update on the Central Avenue Safety Project: Caltrans has now signed off on everything, and once Council approves a construction contract (likely in September), this long-awaited project will finally break ground!
It will be a game-changer for Alameda! So grateful to everyone who has kept this project moving over so many years, starting back in 2010.

Streetsblog last wrote about the $15 million safety project a couple of years ago, when it got city approval. Unfortunately, a stretch of it required the state transportation agency's sign off as well. But, thankfully, that's finally in the bag too.

More details drop on water shuttle between Oakland and Western Alameda

Update: ferry shuttle service will launch Wednesday morning, July 17!

Work on Woodstock is complete and it's back in the Jack London marina awaiting start of service. Photo: Streetsblog/Rudick

A little more information dropped recently on the coming pedestrian and bicyclist water shuttle between Western Alameda and Oakland. Apparently, the boat is ready, and it all comes down to paperwork getting signed by the Coast Guard. The service pattern will be as such; the U.S.S. Woodstock will:

  • Run between Alameda Landing (at the Bohol Circle Immigrant Park dock, at the foot of 5th Street, behind Target) and Oakland's Jack London Square public dock (at the foot of Broadway). 
  • Operate 5 days per week, Wednesdays through Sundays, for about 12 hours per day. Service levels may change later depending on funding and season.
  • Leave each dock every 30 minutes, except during required breaks for re-fueling, crew transfers and crew rest breaks.

That last part is what's new. Disappointingly, it goes against an earlier editorial from Streetsblog suggesting service should be 'on demand' rather than on a schedule (the crossing is less than 900 feet, so it seems odd to make people wait up to 30 minutes and pay a crew to sit there doing nothing between runs—and then they still need a rest break?). Streetsblog requested information on how the city decided on this service pattern but received no reply. For reference, note that the J-Mack Ferry crosses Steamboat Slough in the Sacramento Delta on demand, 24/7. But that's primarily for drivers. As the Woodstock service is just starting a pilot phase, let's hope a more robust service will follow.

Meanwhile, Alameda wants people to join its Woodstock ferry contingent in its 4th of July parade. Click the city's page for more info.

A reminder that Streetsblog San Francisco will be off Wednesday, July 3 through Friday, July 5. Have a great Independence Day and we'll see you all next week

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