Bike, Pedestrian, and Transit Projects Garner Top Engineering Awards

As do a fish rescue facility, a water treatment plant, seismic retrofits, a power transmission line...and a parking plaza

This short stretch of two-way protected bike lane in Albany won recognition from the American Council of Engineering Companies. Photo: Melanie Curry/Streetsblog
This short stretch of two-way protected bike lane in Albany won recognition from the American Council of Engineering Companies. Photo: Melanie Curry/Streetsblog

The San Pablo Avenue Bike and Pedestrian improvements in Albany, a short two-way protected bike lane on this busy stretch of road, won top honors from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), California. The project is one of fourteen recipients of the ACEC’s 2019 Engineering Excellence Awards.

The awards strive to recognize “outstanding achievements in engineering and land surveying projects completed by California firms” and cover a range of engineering categories.

Few details about the projects are included in the announcement, but Streetsblog ran a photo of the Albany bike lanes when they were completed. Other projects recognized by ACEC California include the Daisy-Myrtle Bike Boulevard in Long Beach, a 9.5-mile loop connecting North Long Beach to downtown, highly anticipated in the Long Beach Post.

The engineering efforts to preserve the Georgia Street Bridge in San Diego, which incorporated unspecified “bike and pedestrian improvements,” got a nod, as did the eBART extension to Antioch in Contra Costa County.

Also awarded was the San Diego County Regional Airport Terminal 2 Parking Plaza. Okay, maybe the engineering was outstanding, but parking? Really?

Other projects received “merit awards” in the 2019 competition, and those that incorporated bike and ped facilities include:

  • Melanie Curry

    Agreed. It’s not perfect, but the anticipated dangers have not been my experience of this path in the least. If anything, drivers are more aware of bicyclists here–as opposed to the rest of San P.

  • Prinzrob

    I ride this “”protected” bi-directional “cycletrack”” in Albany all the time. It’s fine. Drivers don’t block the bike crossing, bike riders don’t run collide with each other. The biggest problem is that it is far too short, and isn’t useful for much yet. This ‘bicycle activist’ looks forward to it being expanded all the way up and down San Pablo Ave.

  • Stephen Simac

    Giving a design award for this “protected” bi-directional “cycletrack” may have been politically correct, but it increases the most frequent traffic hazards bicyclists experience daily. Most motor vehicle/cycle collisions happen at intersections, not being hit from behind, so removing bicyclists from motorists visual focus on traffic lanes throws an additional cloak of invisibility over them. Cyclists are also going to collide with each other. It’s obvious from this photo that drivers will pull up to the traffic intersection to enter the roadway, blocking the crosswalk. They may look for bicyclists riding with the flow of separated traffic, but are much less likely to see those riding against it (salmon cyclists are the most at risk of collisions). Riding against traffic is a practice that bicycle activists have been trying to eradicate for 40 years, but this track undoes that, providing only the illusion of safety.

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