Archive for December, 2019

After months of construction, the new 2-block $10 million Shattuck “reconfiguration” project is now operating in downtown Berkeley. Whereas Shattuck used to split into a northbound and southbound leg, the road now makes the old southbound section two-way. The northbound leg is turned into a giant turn pocket:

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If you find the above diagram confusing, the red arrow indicates the old travel path for northbound traffic (Shattuck West used to be one-way). So $10 million was spent just to streamline northbound car traffic at the Shattuck/University intersection.

The reconfigured Shattuck is now more of a traffic sewer (even the left-turns were eliminated). For drivers, this is really great because they can blast through downtown. For bicyclists though, the new road is stressful. To fit 4 lanes in this section, the traffic lanes were narrowed. While narrow lanes can sometimes serve to calm traffic, in this case the result is impatient motorists passing bicyclists with mere inches to spare.

The Shattuck reconfiguration project is one piece of a package of projects to increase automobile access to the downtown, including a new $40 million parking garage (LEED Certified of course), and additional “back-in” parking spaces along Shattuck East. While other cities are creating cycletracks and even eliminating car traffic in their downtowns, Berkeley is moving in the opposite direction.

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Mayor Arreguin at the ribbon cutting for the new Center St. parking garage


Shattuck construction


Four car lanes, wider sidewalks — but no bike lanes or cycletracks

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City of Fremont will spend another $150,000 on radar speed feedback signs:

Veloso said the new signs — which flash car’s mph back to drivers and display a white strobe when speeding is detected — will be installed on “high-speed” arterial streets where the city has seen the highest numbers of “severe injury and fatal collisions.”

A staff report indicates some of those streets will include Niles Boulevard, near where a woman was killed in a hit-and-run in late November, as well as other spots on Fremont Boulevard, Paseo Padre Parkway, where a couple of signs are already posted, and Thornton Avenue, among others.

Since the city began implementing its Vision Zero plan in 2016, staff says major crashes through November 2019 are down 46 percent on roads with speed limits above 40 mph compared to 2013 to 2015 numbers. However, the numbers of fatalities from collisions are mixed, hitting a low of four deaths each in 2016 and 2018 to a high of 10 in 2017 and seven in 2019.

The problem in Fremont is that the posted speed limit on major arterials is 35 mph and higher. So even if all drivers were to comply with the speed limit, the road would still be too dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians.

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Fremont Blvd near the Warm Springs BART station, where a cyclist was killed. Posted speed limit is 45 mph.


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Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown at a rave

Scene from a late night rave under I880 in Oakland, where then-Mayor Jerry Brown makes an appearance (jump to 16:52). Would Joe Biden want Jerry Brown jailed?

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Biden wanted to ban disco

Hillary Clinton wanted to ban video games. Biden wanted to ban raves. Can’t imagine why more young people don’t come out to vote…

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How we celebrate Christmas in America:

Thoroughbred Street will again welcome thousands in search of a little yuletide cheer. Residents have been decorating their homes with lights, yard figurines and more to delight visitors from across Southern California.

Rancho Cucamonga police will once again limit pedestrian access on what they expect to be the busiest nights of the season. According to the city’s website, portions of Thoroughbred and Jennet streets and Turquoise Avenue will be open to motorists only from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday-Sunday, Dec. 6-8, and Dec. 13-24, to emphasize pedestrian and vehicle safety.

The limits on pedestrian access are an expansion of an ordinance approved by the city in 2017 that police said improved traffic and cut wait times for motorists the final two weeks of the lights display.

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Ok boomer

Man, if you thought your local city council had some nutcases…

This was from a 2017 meeting in Tampere, Finland. Incidentally, the Mayor presiding over the meeting went on to become Transport Minister, and will be the country’s next Prime Minister .

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