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North County Measure B Grant News

AC Transit, Alameda, Albany, BART, Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland, Piedmont

Local transit agencies including paratransit providers, jurisdictions and Alameda County receive monthly Measure B and Vehicle Registration Fee pass-through payments to meet regional transportation priorities for several programs: Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety, Local Streets and Roads, Local Transportation Technology, Mass Transit, Paratransit and Transit for Congestion Relief. Below are fund recipients' recent reports on the delivery of these projects.


Berkeley’s West Street Pathway serves bicyclists, pedestrians and commuters

   Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates and others ride the new West Berkeley Pathway.
Photo Credit: Sean Co


On Earth Day, April 20, 2013, the City of Berkeley held a ribbon-cutting celebration to officially open the West Street Pathway, a multiuse pedestrian and bicycle pathway along the former Santa Fe Railroad Right-of-Way between Cedar-Rose Park and Strawberry Creek Park. The West Street Pathway is a hub of county and regional bicycle routes and connects the existing Ohlone Greenway and the North Berkeley BART Station to parks, neighborhoods, shopping, schools and other community destinations. Speakers included Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, City Councilmember Linda Maio, Lee Taubeneck of Caltrans, Rochelle Wheeler from Alameda CTC and Renee Rivera of the East Bay Bicycle Coalition. This long-awaited project was funded by Measure B Local Street and Roads and Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety funds and a Caltrans Bicycle Transportation Account grant.

The project completes a publicly-owned Class I path on the former Santa Fe Railroad Right-of-Way. Berkeley first adopted a plan for this path in 1977 and included it in the City Bicycle Plan in 2000. The first segments of the path were completed in 2006. This new facility is serving local residents, commuters and transit riders. Since 5 percent of North Berkeley BART patrons use bicycles and several schools are in the area, the West Street Path also provides a safe route to schools and transit.


City of Berkeley's pavement rehabilitation

As part of its ongoing efforts to improve road pavements, the City of Berkeley applied over $830,000 of Measure B Local Streets and Roads funding toward pavement rehabilitation. A few of the streets the city included were Fourth Street in the shopping district, Adeline Street near Ashby BART and Ed Roberts Campus, and Sacramento Street. Curb ramps were also installed or upgraded for Americans with Disabilities Act compliance. Construction on the FY12-13 paving projects that include 9th Street, Dwight Way and Woolsey Street began in late March 2013.

 
East Bay Bus Rapid Transit project construction begins in 2014

   

The East Bay Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project will provide BRT service along an approximately 9.5-mile line connecting downtown Oakland and San Leandro. This project will increase bus speeds and help keep vehicles on schedule in the corridor through improvements such as dedicated bus lanes and light-rail-like stations with passenger amenities.

To date, Measure B has provided $11.5 million in funding to support planning and design for the project, which has made good progress in the past year. It moved from planning into engineering design after receiving environmental approval by the Federal Transit Administration in June of 2012 and received subsequent project approvals by the Oakland and San Leandro City Councils.

The preliminary engineering phase of the project is nearing completion, and the project is transitioning into final design activities. The real estate acquisition process has begun for parking and traffic mitigations identified in the environmental document, and the acquisitions are scheduled to complete by the end of 2013. Advance construction for utility relocations is scheduled to start in late 2013, and the main project construction will commence mid-2014. Construction is anticipated to be complete and full service to begin in spring of 2016. 


East Bay Paratransit moves to centralized dispatch

    Over the past 10 years, the City of Oakland has been working to install and upgrade an Intelligent Transportation System (ITS), which takes advantage of the latest advances in wireless and fiber-optic technology to improve vehicle and public transportation transport times; improve the safety and security of motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians; and improve emergency response times.


Improving traffic management in Oakland

Recently, the Public Works Department used Measure B funds to increase the number of traffic signals connected to the city’s Traffic Management Center, an important part of the ITS Strategic Plan. Signals connected to the Traffic Management Center share data in real time, allowing traffic engineers to re-set the timing on signals remotely to improve the traffic flow and immediate reporting of signal problems to the center. Problems reported to the Traffic Management Center can often be diagnosed or even repaired remotely, which saves staff time and money.

Measure B funds are being used to connect all the signals on Broadway between 5th Street and 27th Street with a fiber-optic cable, increasing the number of signals connected within the city by more than a quarter. This will improve traffic conditions and safety on one of Oakland’s busiest corridors. The project is scheduled to be completed in fall 2013.


City of Oakland's Paratransit for the Elderly & Disabled (OPED) Services
 

Since 1978, OPED has provided supplemental paratransit services. OPED continues to be an integral part of an important community network of transportation options for Oakland and Piedmont residents. OPED’s Measure B-subsidized taxi scrip service and limited accessible van transports continue daily for adult persons with disabilities and seniors age 70 and older to supplement East Bay Paratransit (EBP).

Oakland’s Measure B Paratransit Gap Grant Program, the Grocery Return Improvement Program Plus (GRIP+), is still in operation. The grant allows for $5 tips for taxi drivers who assist with grocery bags, rides for residents outside of EBP’s service area and 21-day interim service for those awaiting certification with EBP.

For more information about OPED’s services, call (510) 238-3036 or visit the City of Oakland’s Department of Human Services webpage at www.oaklandhumanservices.org and select "Aging and Adult Services."