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City Seeks Residents to Help Develop Streets Concept Plan

Albany received a Caltrans grant to develop a Complete Streets concept plan for San Pablo Avenue and Buchanan Street. It is currently seeking focus group participants.

The City of Albany is looking for residents to participate in public meetings to help develop a Complete Streets concept plan for San Pablo Avenue and Buchanan Street.

The meetings are scheduled to meet early and mid-December at an undetermined location (more details to come).

"Complete Streets is a movement that elevates safety and awareness of non-motorized forms of travel on a particular street and brings its environment to a more human scale," said a news release by the city.

Ocean View Elementary School would be the most affected by the design due to of its proximity to the project, "but these major arterials affect the entire community, especially since many students cross San Pablo Avenue to walk to school," according to the release.

For more information, please contact Aleida Andrino-Chavez at achavez@albanyca.org or (510) 528-5759.

*Correction: When first published, this story said the city was looking to form focus groups to meet at City Hall. In fact, the city is to hold public meetings, and the meeting location has yet to be determined.

Peggy McQuaid October 25, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Could you please explain the panel mentioned in the final sentence of this article?
Brian Parsley October 25, 2012 at 03:12 PM
I'm missing something. Why would someone go to Albany Middle School and talk to a secretaries for a City meeting? Is this a focus groups or panel?
lubov mazur October 25, 2012 at 03:23 PM
For those who wonder how such a thing as complete streets is possible after the automobile has taken precedence please see the video and read at: http://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/2011/10/20/how-the-dutch-got-their-cycling-infrastructure/
Peggy McQuaid October 25, 2012 at 03:27 PM
From the city web site: The City of Albany, in partnership with the Local Government Commission, will be hosting several community workshops and design activities to explore ways to make it easier and safer to walk, bike, ride the bus, and drive along San Pablo Avenue and Buchanan Street. Please join us in December to help shape this exciting “Complete Streets” plan. Public workshops will be held in the evening on Thursday, December 6th and Wednesday, December 12th. A daytime workshop will be held on Saturday, December 8th. Check our website in November for event locations. Renowned walkable communities expert Dan Burden will lead these public events. A multidisciplinary team will help translate your input into detailed designs that balance the needs of all modes and users of all ages and abilities. For more information, please contact Aleida Andrino-Chavez at achavez@albanyca.org or (510) 528-5759.
Diane October 25, 2012 at 05:04 PM
I called Aleida, and she is going to clarify info for this event. The Patch info above is not correct, and the City of Albany info could be clearer.
Alan Eckert October 25, 2012 at 05:43 PM
I'm interested, but correct info would be great. Waiting for confirmation.
Alan Eckert October 25, 2012 at 06:03 PM
Also, a photo of San Pablo or Buchanan would be great. This site is local enough that it should be feasible to even snap a quick picture.
Amy Smolens October 25, 2012 at 08:01 PM
@Alan and others, I've added a few photos of other intersections on San Pablo Avenue in the cities of El Cerrito and San Pablo. These are improvements that help all users safely navigate San Pablo and I-80 arterials such as Buchanan. The photos show a configuration that would greatly increase the safety at eastbound Buchanan and San Pablo. This is especially important since Buchanan will be a bike route featuring a westbound bike lane, a two-way bike path on the south side used by many school kids and eastbound Sharrows.
Senior A. Titude October 25, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Can't wait for the improved bike route as I currently am more comfortable riding over to Gilman and down to the Bay Trail, then traversing the racetrack. Buchanan is dangerous in the current incarnation. Please post more on the meetings!
Senior A. Titude October 26, 2012 at 11:16 PM
Sigh. I always thought Berkeley was more convoluted and difficult but somehow they have managed to develop decent bike lanes. I really enjoy riding in Berkeley and do most of my shopping there as a result since I refuse to use my car for local stuff. As for voting, there are so many issues of concern to me that I have had to create a spreadsheet for candidate positions, lol. The ones with the most points get my vote. Unfortunately, no one is perfect ;-)
Peggy McQuaid October 27, 2012 at 02:11 AM
@Tater, it is not necessary to refer to council candidates who hold opinions that differ from your in such a disrespectful manner. Also, I would like to see a specific reference showing that Peter Maass supports "bolt cutter philosophy". I have endorsed 3 other candidates and believe nothing is gained by such negative comments. There are very real differences among all of the candidates so let them stand on their individual records and ideas. There is no need for name calling or distortions.
Peggy McQuaid October 27, 2012 at 02:34 AM
@Tatter, both USDA and UC have already agreed to partner in the Buchanan/Marin Bikeway. The City is inviting folks to “join us for the upcoming ground breaking ceremony for the Albany Bay Trail Connector Project (Buchanan/Marin Bikeway). The project involves development of a pathway along Marin and Buchanan Street which will provide a vital connection the Regional Bay Trail, and a safer pathway for pedestrians, bicyclists and other non-motorized transportation users. The project is funded by multiple agencies, and includes multiple partners including the USDA, AUSD, and the University of California. Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Assembly member Nancy Skinner will be in attendance to help commemorate this special event. October 30, 2012 - 10am, City of Albany Ocean View Park Entrance 900 Buchanan Street.”
Tatter Salad October 27, 2012 at 04:38 AM
I've ridden the area between the' tracks' and the Track on Gilman, and frankly, I don't see any 'safe passage' there at all. I do know that Bezerkely was considering putting in 'round abouts' at the freeway exits. (I love the idea, but I don't think american drivers would know how to behave). Any improvements regarding Buchanan area require a marked State Property (U.C.; Ag-department) relinquishment of property. Also, the narrow Buchanan Overpass, and poor connection to Target will NOT be resolved in our lifetime. Mixing business with railroad track has that result everywhere!) The Occupy the Farms events, and the lawsuits (against the WholeFoods project) are all issues that leave a bad taste in U.C.'s dealing with their Albany properties. Be careful who you vote for, because those running for Council don't tout their Bolt Cutter diplomacy philosophy (Spellwoman, Ulan McNutt), or lawsuits ( Nick Pilch) against U.C. endeavors. Maas's record seems to be voting at the end of any P&Z's meetings, and going with the Majority. Up to that point, he contributes nothing. He did put a coffin nail regarding the phone tower vote; the issues were muddy, but the actual author of the height ordinace was present, and he said it DID NOT apply. Now, Maass wants to reconsider the tower disapproval. He seems to go with the Sierra Club party line: NO development. U.C. is not about to work with a City Council tht shows disrespect at every turn, as would McNutt and Spellwoman!
Tatter Salad October 27, 2012 at 08:01 AM
Yo Peggy! I would like fellow Albany citizens to vote for those that have that peculiar amalgam of intellect, values, morals, and ethics we call 'character.' Voter's cannot estimate those characteristics among our Council asspirants based on engmatic photograph's and grandiose statements. 'We the people' must scrutinize their past behaviors, and take some responsibility for their election, -for ill or for good. Regarding Nick Pilch, with a quote from Council' Secretary's Minutes concerning his threat regarding the WholeFoods project : “ He says that based on the way things are, Albany Rollers and Strollers may need to take some drastic measures and initiatives that they have never taken before.” Subsequently Rollers and Strollers filed a lawsuit against the City of Albany (with the same 'Occupy Oakland Attorney: Dan Siegel) to stop the project. Roller and Strollers was founded by Pilch, and the lead spokesperson for his group Eric Larsen? (Lawsen?, Larson?), and not supriseingly, was also was named by U.C. regarding the Occupy the Farm/Trespass suit, along with Ulan McKnight.  The common thread to Pilch, Spellwoman and McNight's actions is simply to be a thorn in the side of the University of California. As Todd Abbott describes the problem: “What must be guarded against are decisions made from ideology rather than inquiry”.
Peggy McQuaid October 27, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Tatter, I agree with you that voters are responsible for doing their homework and scrutinizing the past behaviors of candidates rather than just reading the sound bites. I appreciate your factual post with no name calling - it is so much more effective in educating the electorate.
Amy Smolens November 01, 2012 at 09:26 PM
Here are some photos and a further explanation of what Peggy was referring to: http://albany.patch.com/articles/ground-breaking-ceremony-for-the-albany-bay-trail-connector-to-include-congresswoman-lee-and-assemblymember-skinner

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