San Pablo Avenue is a key multimodal arterial linking the Cities of Oakland, Emeryville, Berkeley, and Albany in Alameda County. San Pablo Ave is one of the streets with the most traffic injuries and collisions in all of Alameda County, is one of AC Transit’s major corridors, is a Caltrans state highway route, and traverses regionally and locally identified Equity Priority Communities and Priority Development Areas.
Alameda CTC is leading the development of three complementary projects in the San Pablo Avenue corridor to improve safety and multimodal mobility. These projects include:
- Safety Enhancements Project (Berkeley and Albany). This project will improve the safety for pedestrians and bicyclists crossing San Pablo Avenue and improve transit speed by installing high visibility crosswalks, flashing beacons, pedestrian signals, median refuge islands, upgraded lighting, accessible curb ramp upgrades, bulb outs at Rapid bus stops, and bus stop relocations. PROVIDE YOUR INPUT.
- Parallel Bike Improvements Project (Berkeley, Albany, and North Oakland). This project will implement improvements along bike boulevard/neighborhood bikeway routes that run along and connect to San Pablo Avenue, including traffic calming, crossing treatments at busy streets, and signage/wayfinding. PROVIDE YOUR INPUT.
- Bus and Bike Lanes Project (Oakland, Emeryville, and South Berkeley). This project will improve transit speed and reliability by converting one vehicle travel lane in each direction to a dedicated bus lane and provide new cycling connections by converting parking lanes to protected bike lanes. The project will also include intersection safety improvements, bus stop consolidation, and new loading zones.
The three projects were identified as part of an extensive Phase 1 corridor planning effort between 2017 and 2020, based on community preferences expressed within the different jurisdictions. See the Key Materials tab for fact sheets with more information on project schedule and the Project History tab for more information on past corridor planning efforts.
Project Fact Sheets
Safety Enhancements and Parallel Bike Interactive Map and Survey
Agency Board Presentations
- March 9, 2022, 5:00 p.m.: AC Transit
- March 14, 2022, 11:30 a.m.: Alameda CTC Planning, Policy and Legislation Committee (PPLC)
- March 15, 2022, 7:15 p.m.: Emeryville City Council
- June 28, 2022, 10:30 a.m.: Oakland Public Works Committee
- July 19, 2022: Oakland City Council
- TBD: Berkeley Committee and/or Council
Project Open House
Safety Enhancements and Parallel Bike Components
Please come to an open house to discuss roadway changes proposed to make it safer to walk and bike in the San Pablo Avenue Corridor in Albany, Berkeley and North Oakland. At this meeting, you'll be able to review proposed plans for these San Pablo Avenue safety projects and improvements to parallel bike routes. (Later this year, there will be several in-person and online opportunities to review plans for a related project: bus and bike lanes on San Pablo Avenue in Oakland, Emeryville and South Berkeley).
Thursday, March 30, 2023
Berkeley Adult School
1701 San Pablo Avenue
Between Virginia and Francisco Streets
Enter through San Pablo Avenue or Curtis Street parking lots.
Alameda CTC is currently conducting community outreach on the Safety Enhancements and Parallel Bike projects in Berkeley, Albany, and North Oakland. Please visit an interactive map
to view more details on proposed improvements and to leave comments.
Alameda CTC anticipates conducting additional community outreach on the Bus and Bike Lanes Project in Oakland, Emeryville, and South Berkeley in Spring 2023.
For questions on the project, or to be added to the project email list and learn about upcoming opportunities to provide input, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Phase 1 (2017-2020)
Phase 1 of the San Pablo Avenue Corridor Project began in 2017 and concluded in 2020. Phase 1 explored a long-term vision for the San Pablo Avenue corridor from Oakland to the Cities of Richmond and San Pablo, traversing seven cities in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. Phase 1 evaluated a wide variety of configurations for San Pablo Ave., exploring what transportation modes could be accommodated within the limited right-of-way and trade-offs between different concepts. Given the limited right-of-way, each alternative required tough trade-offs.
The in-depth public engagement process revealed that participants placed the highest priorities on making walking safer and the bus more reliable. There was also widespread support for safer bike facilities either on San Pablo Ave. or on nearby bike routes. The greatest support for significant changes to San Pablo Ave. was in Oakland and Emeryville, especially for a bus lane to make bus service faster and more reliable.
Phase 1 Summary Report
Phase 1 Public Outreach
Approximately 3,900 people participated in the Phase 1 outreach process, which ran from fall 2017 to summer 2019. That process identified and refined long-term concepts and alternatives for the corridor and included:
- A map-based online survey that collected information about hotspots needing improvement along the Corridor
- An online survey to understand business access needs distributed to merchants throughout the Corridor
- An online survey to get feedback on priorities that elicited more than 2,000 responses; distributed at events, workshops, via email, and on social media
- A shorter intercept survey, conducted at busy locations along San Pablo Avenue that also sought feedback about priorities
- Pop-up outreach at neighborhood events, at which people could view illustrated concepts and provide feedback
- Community workshops where participants were asked to provide input about priorities and visions for the corridor
- Focus Group meetings with key stakeholders where participants completed reference matrices and staff took detailed notes to record qualitative feedback
Phase 1 Existing Conditions Report
San Pablo Avenue is a key corridor that links the Alameda County cities of Oakland, Emeryville, Berkeley, and Albany, as well as cities in western Contra Costa County. There is an urgent need for safety improvements along the corridor, which has the third highest rate of injury collisions in Alameda County. San Pablo Avenue also serves as the second busiest corridor for AC Transit bus riders. However, due to traffic congestion, buses are often slow and unreliable. Rapid, reliable, attractive bus service is critical to efficiently move people along the corridor.
The San Pablo Avenue Corridor is also a key location for transportation improvements to advance equity and accommodate ongoing growth. The corridor connects diverse neighborhoods, including many communities with high concentrations of low-income residents, people of color, and other underserved populations. People in these communities are less likely to own vehicles and more likely to rely on transit, walking, and biking to get around than average in Alameda County. In addition, all four cities along the corridor are planning for continued growth of jobs and housing in the corridor, including affordable housing. The planned safety and transit improvements will help accommodate more people moving along the corridor efficiently and safely.
Alameda CTC is leading the development of three complementary projects in the San Pablo Avenue corridor to improve safety and multimodal mobility:
- Safety Enhancements Project (Albany and Berkeley north of Heinz Avenue). This project will improve the safety for pedestrians and bicyclists crossing San Pablo Avenue and improve transit speed by installing high visibility crosswalks, flashing beacons, pedestrian signals, median refuge islands, upgraded lighting, accessible curb ramp upgrades, bulb outs at Rapid bus stops, and bus stop relocations.
- Parallel Bike Improvements Project (Berkeley, Albany, and North Oakland). This project will implement improvements along bike boulevard/neighborhood bikeway routes that run along and connect to San Pablo Avenue, including traffic calming, crossing treatments at busy streets, and signage/wayfinding.
- Bus and Bike Lanes Project (Oakland, Emeryville, and Berkeley south of Heinz Avenue). This project will improve transit speed and reliability by converting one vehicle travel lane in each direction to a dedicated bus lane and provide new cycling connections by converting parking lanes to protected bike lanes. The project will also include intersection safety improvements, bus stop consolidation, and new loading zones.
See the subsections below for more details about these individual projects.
Between 2017 and 2020, Alameda CTC and partner agencies conducted extensive analysis and three major rounds of community outreach during a comprehensive planning effort that considered the entire San Pablo Avenue corridor within Alameda County and into Contra Costa County. Based on this study and input, three separate near-term projects within Alameda County were identified that improve safety and mobility and respond to local community preferences.
In March 2022, the Commission approved the three near-term project concepts for further project development. The approval included an extension of bus and bike lanes from Oakland into the southernmost portion of Berkeley (south of Heinz Avenue) at the request of Berkeley elected officials. The Oakland and Emeryville city councils also approved letters of support for the projects.
During the initial planning and scoping of this project, Alameda CTC and partner agencies led a multi-phase, three-year public outreach effort that resulted in approximately 4,900 individuals in Alameda and Contra Costa counties providing input on their vision for the corridor. Participants sharing their perspectives included residents, bicycle and pedestrian advocates, and business owners along San Pablo Avenue. Outreach methods included focus groups, pop-ups, surveys, door-to-door outreach to businesses and presentations at public meetings. Safety was a top priority across the corridor, while interest in major changes to the corridor (e.g. replacing traffic or parking lanes with bus or bike lanes) varied from city to city.
To read more about project outreach efforts and how input was used, please access the project’s outreach summary report available here
In 2019, Alameda CTC conducted a countywide study to identify pedestrian and bicycle High-Injury Networks (HINs), consisting of the streets with the highest rates of collision severity and frequency. Using that analysis, the agency found that the entire length of San Pablo Avenue is part of both the biking and walking HINs. To learn more about the study, please visit the report here
Please see the Project Fact Sheets under the Key Materials tab at www.alamedactc.org/sanpablo
for current information on project status and planned construction start dates.
Please email us at any time at email@example.com
with questions, comments, or requests to be added to our email list and get updates about the project and future input opportunities. Interested community members are also encouraged to visit the San Pablo Corridor project website’s “Key Materials” tab where we keep up to date fact sheets summarizing each project as well as additional resources and past presentations.
This project will improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists crossing San Pablo Avenue and improve transit speed by installing high visibility crosswalks, flashing beacons, pedestrian signals, median refuge islands, upgraded lighting, accessible curb ramp upgrades, bulb outs at Rapid bus stops, and bus stop relocations.
Based on community feedback, the project has planned for a variety of San Pablo Avenue improvements that will make it safer for pedestrians and bicyclists to cross the street and while improving bus speed and reliability including:
- New hybrid beacons and flashing beacons: These treatments improve safety for people walking and biking across the street in crosswalks. Hybrid beacons are a type of traffic signal, requiring traffic to stop when activated by someone crossing the street. Flashing beacons warn drivers that someone is crossing, improving driver yielding compliance.
- New median refuge islands: These are protected islands in the center of roads that enhance pedestrian and bicycle crossings.
- Upgrades to many current sidewalk ramps: These upgrades will improve access between crosswalks and the sidewalk. Where feasible, they will include directional curb ramps, which serve each individual crosswalk connecting to a corner.
- Bus bulbs at Rapid Bus stops: Curb extensions that make bus service faster by allowing buses to stop in the traffic lane instead of pulling over when picking up and dropping off passengers
- Protected bikeway connectors: Create continuous, safe bicycle connections across San Pablo Avenue for intersecting bike routes that do not currently connect due to offset street grids (e.g. at Clay/Brighton streets in Albany). To provide these connections, the project will convert the existing curbside parking spaces along these short blocks to bike lanes separated from traffic by raised curbs.
- High visibility crosswalk markings: Enhanced crosswalk patterns that are visible from farther away than traditional crosswalks.
- Bus stop relocations to improve sight lines to crossing pedestrians: Increasing safety for both buses and pedestrians
- Bicycle crossing pavement markings: Markings that indicate to drivers that the roadway is shared with bicyclists.
- Leading Pedestrian Intervals: Improve pedestrian visibility at signalized intersections by giving pedestrians a few seconds’ head start before vehicles get a green signal.
- Accessible Pedestrian Signal upgrades: Make pedestrian signals accessible to people with limited or no vision.
Specific traffic control devices to enhance crossings were selected based on a variety of factors including number of lanes to be crossed and whether the crossing serves a bike route. Bus bulb outs, or curb extensions for buses, were included at Rapid bus stops only to allow for possible bus/bike lane improvements in the future.
To improve safety, the project will relocate bus stops that are currently nearside (in advance of the intersection) to farside (after an intersection). Relocating bus stops to the farside will prevent scenarios where a bus blocks the line of sight between a pedestrian and oncoming traffic. The project team has provided notice of all proposed bus stop changes at the stops.
To improve safety, the project includes some relocation and removals of parking along San Pablo Avenue. In the locations where the project proposes to relocate bus stops from the nearside of an intersection (in advance of an intersection) to the farside (after an intersection), parking spaces would be relocated to the other side of the intersection where feasible. In two locations where bike lane connectors are provided along San Pablo Avenue, parking would be removed along those short blocks. The project team has visited storefronts where parking changes are proposed along San Pablo Avenue to review the proposed changes as part of outreach efforts. The project’s interactive webmap
shows all proposed parking changes.
To improve safety, the project includes some changes to local circulation. In 4 locations islands would be installed or medians modify to prohibit left turns from San Pablo onto the side street and from the side street out onto San Pablo. Prohibiting left turns reduces the number of conflicts between turning traffic and pedestrians and bicyclists crossing the street while also providing space for refuges for cyclists and pedestrians to cross in two stages.
The project’s interactive webmap
shows all proposed circulation changes.
No traffic lanes are proposed to be removed in Berkeley as part of the Safety Enhancements project, which extends from Oregon Street north to the Alameda County Line.
No. Based on community input during past corridor outreach, this near-term project does not include adding any continuous bicycle lanes on San Pablo Avenue in Albany or Berkeley north of Heinz Avenue. Well-established bicycle boulevard routes are available on neighborhood streets that parallel San Pablo Avenue, and these will be improved as part of the Parallel Bike Improvements Project.
Bike lanes are planned on San Pablo Avenue south from Heinz Ave. to Downtown Oakland as part of the separate Bus and Bike Lanes Project.
Future planning efforts, including the City of Berkeley’s San Pablo Avenue Specific Plan, may further consider additional improvements along the corridor north of Heinz Ave.
The Safety Enhancements project will have minimal overall effects on traffic in the corridor because San Pablo Avenue would remain two lanes in each direction. There could be some localized effects due to bus bulbs where buses that currently pull out of traffic will instead stop in the traffic lane.
Significant new growth and housing is anticipated to continue along the corridor, based on local land use planning efforts. The Safety Enhancements Project is planned to improve safety and transit service to accommodate increasing levels of walking, biking, and transit use that we expect in the future, while not changing traffic flow.
Yes, to improve safety conditions, the project will include some removal and/or relocation of crosswalks. Changes in crosswalk locations are generally proposed to ensure pedestrians cross at a location where a median refuge, or protected island, can be provided; where pedestrian crossings are not exposed to as many conflicts with side street turning movements; and/or where a new flashing beacon/pedestrian hybrid beacon (warning lights or signal that improve yielding or stop traffic) will be provided.
The project is coordinated with a variety of local projects and private development projects. These coordinated efforts will implement safety improvements at many locations that are not included as part of this project.
The project will include a variety of improvements to make it easier for people with disabilities to cross San Pablo Avenue. These include upgrading curb ramps to meet current ADA standards, including installing directional ramps (ramps that serve each individual crosswalk connecting to a corner) where feasible; upgrading traffic signal systems to include Accessible Pedestrian Signals with audible tones, and installing median refuges (protected center islands) that make it possible to cross the street in two stages.
No, paving is not within the scope of this project; it is focusing on improving safety and transit speed and reliability.
Yes, we will coordinate construction with utilities. The project does not propose major repaving work.
The project is not anticipated to remove any trees. Air and noise impacts are expected to be limited to the construction phase of the project and will be subject to industry best management practices (e.g., dust control, limited hours of construction, etc.). These and other environmental topics will be studied as part of project environmental analysis.
Project staff have been collecting input on this project since initial planning began in 2017 and we are currently in the design phase seeking input on design elements. A broad array of public outreach methods are being used including mailers to residents and property owners along the corridor, flyers at bus stops, an interactive project website, presentations to community-based organizations, a planned community open house event, and planned presentations to city transportation commissions. To ensure the local business community has had the opportunity to provide feedback, the project team also conducted direct outreach to all 48 storefronts along the corridor at locations of proposed parking changes.
Input can be provided via an interactive webmap
and via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
. Future presentations will be publicized via the project website at www.alamedactc.org/sanpablo
The project includes a variety of improvements to increase bike safety along existing and new bicycle boulevard/neighborhood bikeway routes that are parallel and connect to San Pablo Avenue. Specific improvement elements include:
- New traffic calming features (i.e., traffic circles, speed humps, and diverters) to control vehicle speeds and volumes;
- Improvements at busy street crossings, including median refuges (protected center islands), flashing beacons, and bulb outs (curb extensions); and
- Wayfinding (signage) and pavement markings (bicycle boulevard markings)
- Curb ramp upgrades and crosswalk striping
The project streets were identified through review of the cities’ Bicycle Master Plans, coordination with local jurisdictions, and coordination with the Active Transportation Working Group comprised of walking, biking, and transit advocacy organization representatives. The proposed improvements are intended to work together with other existing infrastructure and planned improvements to provide continuous, safe, and easily navigable bike routes parallel to San Pablo Avenue on both sides as well as crossing San Pablo Avenue at regular intervals.
Yes. To improve the ability of all road users to see intersecting traffic or crossing pedestrians, the project does include limited removal of parking. The changes typically consist of “daylighting” of intersections in which a red curb is painted at corners, removing one space per intersection approach. The project’s interactive webmap
shows all proposed parking changes.
The project does include some specific changes that will affect circulation at certain locations along San Pablo Avenue. They include:
- Two turning movement restrictions/reassignments and five diverters that restrict access onto certain streets, to reduce vehicle volumes along bike boulevard routes and to reduce conflicts between bikes and cars at major street crossings; and
- 12 locations that include STOP control modifications, which include changes such as installing new STOP control or reversing which street must stop so that bikes traveling along a bike boulevard need not stop as frequently.
The project’s interactive webmap
shows all proposed circulation changes.
Yes, to improve bike safety and comfort, the project does include repaving on streets that are in poor pavement condition and in locations where intersections will be reconfigured due to new traffic calming elements.
Specific traffic control devices were selected based on a variety of factors specific to the improvement’s location, including number of lanes, presence of median refuges (protected center islands), proximity to nearby signalized intersections, and crossing distance.
Coordination with emergency responders is ongoing as part of project design process. There are many precedents of traffic diverters that allow for emergency responders to get through, including within the City of Berkeley.