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Friday, December 12, 2014

45th Street Bike Blvd Violation: City Council Hasn't a Clue

Broken Government
Time for an Audit at City Hall

If We're Going to Make Public Policy, We've Got to Keep Proper Track of It

Emeryville's Director of Public Works, Maurice Kaufman, revealed to the Tattler today that 45th Street east of San Pablo Avenue now has and for years has had more than 3000 vehicle trips per day, a condition not allowed according to the City's Bike Plan.  The Director has known the street is in violation of the Bike Plan "for years" he says ever since there was a traffic count conducted after the 'Triangle Neighborhood traffic calming' program a few years back.
45th Street was designated as a Bike Boulevard by the Bike Plan after the Triangle traffic calming program and the vehicle count conducted by Mr Kaufman's Department is necessary information for the City Council because that street is not allowed to have more than 1500 vehicle trips per day according to the Bike Plan.  After that number is reached, a series of ever more restrictive traffic calming measures is identified and called for by the Bike Plan.
Had the Council members known the street was in violation years ago, presumably they would have started the program of traffic calming that the Bike Plan calls for to remedy the violation.
The Triangle Neighborhood traffic calming plan has been completed and it's tangential to the Bike Plan and its provisions for 45th Street.  It should be noted the Bike Plan traffic calming metrics for 45th Street are more onerous than the Triangle traffic calming goals were.

In his defense, the Public Works Director stated he doesn't feel it's appropriate for Bike Plan traffic calming on 45th Street, "We've already done traffic calming there.  The neighbors don't want more" he said referring to the former Triangle traffic calming.
To that we say: It's not up to you, Maurice...nobody voted for you.  Your job is to provide objective analysis to the City Council.  If you have information the decision makers need to know to not be in violation of their public policy, you need to volunteer that information.

Which brings us to our greater point here: We don't want the Emeryville Tattler to be the entity to keep the City of Emeryville on track.  We're just here to report to the people.  We don't want this responsibility.  We want this city to stay on track itself.  We don't want the City to let its infrastructure fall into disrepair because there's no accounting going on.  We expect there should be somebody at City Hall keeping track of this stuff, not just a bunch of groping around in the dark.
If the City isn't aware of the violations with the Bike Plan, they probably are dropping the ball in other areas.  Obviously there needs to be an audit at City Hall to get a handle on this and to ensure there's a process moving forward to make sure we're not going off the rails.  The idea of planning to make it so we don't careen from crisis to crisis.  Let's hope the new Council majority gets it.


  1. Heck, I'm a "neighbor" of 45th Street and I'd LOVE more traffic calming in the triangle! Way too many cars still come racing through 45th and 43rd Streets. It's even scarier on 43rd because that's the back of Anna Yates Elementary and the Rec Center on the corner, so there are often kids on 43rd, yet cars cutting to and from San Pablo love to race down these streets. I'd be open to anything that would discourage these people. What's the next step on the bike plan? I'm ready for it!

    1. The next step to make this bike facility conform to the Bike Plan would be to determine what "level" the street is at now and then raise the street to the next higher level with temporary traffic calming in the form of rubber bollards.
      Ultimately, 45th Street like all bike boulevards in Emeryville, will have to conform to the Bike Plan and that means, in the case of 45th Street, no more than 1500 vehicles per day; less than half of the traffic there now. The only way out of this is if the City Council amends the Plan to allow for more than 1500 vehicles per day or amend the Plan to get rid of the 45th Street Bike Blvd altogether. Otherwise, it's probably going to mean traffic diverters for 45th. If you find any of these solutions objectionable, you should contact the City Council members and let them know.

    2. Amending the plan to remove or move designated bike blvd's such as Horton and 45th Streets would be a slap in the face for those who do not want their neighborhoods to be a commuting shortcut for autos. I Live on 45th and I know for sure, every resident on this street would like to see less auto traffic and more bikes on this street. So why not more traffic calming? Does the city need us to provide a petition or something? Before traffic calming on 45th St the traffic counts were 850 per day, now after all that expense, there is now 3000 trips per day. This is not only a Bicycle Blvd., it is also a residential street, Lets fix this.