Active Transportation Program Quick-Build Project Recommendations Released
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California’s Active Transportation Program added a small pilot program this year to test the feasibility of supporting “quick-build” projects. These are durable but relatively inexpensive projects meant to allow a city to quickly redesign a street for safety, provide community members the opportunity try it out on the ground, collect data and public input, and make adjustments before committing to permanent construction.
The California Transportation Commission added the pilot program to test whether these kinds of projects should be part of future ATP funding cycles, and to identify challenges that come up. The CTC received 22 applications on a tight turnaround time – the applications were due in July, after being announced in late April – and staff just released recommendations to fund eight of them, for a total of $4.4 million. This is less than the potential $7 million that had been floated as an upper limit in the ATP guidelines.
This list of projects will be discussed and evaluated by the full commission, and a finalized list of projects will be adopted at their October meeting.
The rest of the ATP Cycle 5 application process is ongoing, with the application deadline just passed – after a delay due to COVID – and new grants expected to be announced in spring of next year.
The quick-build projects that staff recommends for funding are:
- Fresno: $1.4m to build a Class IV parking-protected bikeway, with a road diet, along Belmont and Palm. Construction would entail a “slurry” pavement treatment, restriping, and soft-hit posts and a buffer protecting the bike lanes. These two roads serve local schools.
- Berkeley: $600,000 to complete a quick-build safety project along Martin Luther King Jr. Way, one of its main streets which has a high pedestrian injury rate. The project would include newly painted curbs and crosswalks, median refuge islands, flashing pedestrian beacons, and enhanced pedestrian lighting.
- Richmond: $725,000 to build a bidirectional protected bikeway, changing the bikeway orientation at two railroad crossings, and a multi-use trail where no sidewalk currently exists. This quick-build project is part of a larger project to improve bike and pedestrian connections along the San Francisco Bay Trail through Richmond.
- Culver City: $157,000 for a redesign of an excessively wide intersection at Overland, Kelmore, and Ranch, which is close to an elementary school and a college. The quick-build project would create a pedestrian refuge and landscaped mini-park to reduce the size of the intersection and the travel distance for pedestrians (see graphic, above)
- Los Angeles: $250,000 to fix a school zone crossing at Shatto Place, including temporary curb extensions, a raised center lane median, speed cushions, a street mural, and a parklet (see image from fact sheet, below).
- Palmdale: $412,000 to create a system of bike lanes in Domenic Massari Park. Phase I, the quick-build portion, will include several road diets with painted buffered bike lanes that will use traffic cones as vertical delineators. The city plans to upgrade the project with raised curbs and thermoplastic during Phase II, which would be implemented after data is collected from this first quick-build.
- San Jose: $622,000 to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety at Edenvale and Sylvandale schools, which are near each other. The quick-build project will add pedestrian median refuges, parking-protected bike lanes, and high-visibility crosswalks.
- San Carlos: $274,000 to upgrade existing bike lanes to protected bikeways, increase pedestrian space, and add high-visibility crosswalks and bike boxes along San Carlos Avenue between downtown San Carlos and the nearby Caltrain station.
Ten other projects were not recommended for funding, in the cities of Palmdale, Santa Clarita, Costa Mesa, Millbrae, San Mateo, Emeryville, Lancaster, San Luis Obispo, Daly City, and a regional project proposed by the Southern California Association of Governments. Four other projects were deemed ineligible for the funding.
The projects, for the most part, stem from the cities’ Active Transportation, Vision Zero, or Bicycle Plans. They are still somewhat in flux, and the grants will not be confirmed until October. It will be later, after the projects have been built and data has been collected, that a real assessment of the success of this pilot funding can be made.