Pushback against the partially-installed protected bike lanes on Patrick Avenue has reached fever pitch. In response, staff paused completing the project and now want to replace the protected bike lanes with buffered bike lanes, not unlike what Oakland staff attempted to do on Telegraph Avenue. The main point of contention is the uncomfortable feeling homeowners have parking away from the curb and pulling out of their driveways. While the planned upgraded protected bike lanes address these concerns, a 2-way cycle track does a better job. Bike East Bay detailed these advantages in a letter to City Council last week and is asking for a full consideration. Here is our July 21 letter.
The advantages are detailed below as well and are why we are now asking Hayward City Council to support a 2-way cycle track on Patrick Avenue on the east side of the street, rather than switch to buffered bike lanes. The project extends from Tennyson Road to Schafer. A 2-way cycle track has many advantages, most important is that it maintains a separated, protected bike lane while returning to the curb approximately 90% of the residential homeowner on-street parking on the west side of the street–the main source of frustration for homeowners to the “floating” protected bike lanes on each side of the street currently. It achieves this because there are far fewer driveways and homes on the east side of Patrick Avenue.
Please add your voice of support for a 2-way cycle track by emailing one of the three Hayward Councilmembers on the Council Infrastructure Committee before their July 28 meeting to decide this issue:
Our proposed preferred solution: 2-way cycle track:
Hayward staff new recommendation: buffered bike lanes:
Some drivers are like delicate flowers, they wilt when conditions change. For them, parking away from the curb and “out in the street” is a strange thing; they feel they are in the middle of the street, and they feel vulnerable–you know, like you already feel everyday bicycling with traffic in the same spot on the street. The way we design to address this concern is to create a second curb, a vertical separator, away from the sidewalk and between the separated bike lane and the on-street parking. The better the new curb, the greater the comfort of drivers parking adjacent to it. The new curb can be cement and look a lot like a curb, but often with repaving projects or temporary demonstration projects, like Patrick Avenue, flex posts are used. The problem we have in Hayward is that staff decided not to install the flex posts since community pushback to the project was so swift, and happened before the contractor could deploy a team to Patrick Avenue to install the posts. Thus, the street has no “new curb” and is not making anyone happy.
Advantages of a 2-way cycle track:
- Driveways: On the east side of Patrick Avenue there are only about six homes with driveways facing on to Patrick Avenue. Most of the east side of the street is the park, schools and faith organizations. The six homes with driveways on Patrick Avenue are all down near Tennyson. By placing a 2-way cycle track on the east side, you return to the curb over 90% of all the residential on-street parking within the project limits, almost all of this being on the west side of the street. On the east side, floating parking remains but it is mostly visitors to the various business and destinations on the east side, not homeowners;
- Wider travel lanes: With a 2-way cycle track, vehicle travel lanes can be widened by several feet, which will further reduce the sense drivers have of being “close” to traffic when they park and if helpful an additional foot still can be provided for the NB travel lane adjacent the cycle track, narrowing the cycle track if necessary;
- Intersections: At the signalized intersections of Tennyson and Schafer, bikes in the cycle track can utilize the pedestrian phase of the adjacent crosswalk when it is their turn to cross;
- Separation: A 2-way cycle track can better define the bikeway, and thereby makes its function more intuitive, by allowing the city to put all of the project resources into more stanchions, more green paint and more vertical elements to define the beginning and end points the cycle track on the east side. None of these resources will be necessary on the west side of the street;
- Street sweepers: The city’s existing large street sweepers can easily fit in a 2-way cycle track;
- Freeway traffic: The current design and the buffered bike lane design proposed by staff do not adequately address the dangerous high-volume of traffic turning on to and off of Tennyson. There are both double right turn lanes on to Tennyson and double left turn lanes from Tennyson. People bicycling have to deal with this traffic with both the current design and with buffered bike lanes. A 2-way cycle track on the east side, which extends all the way to Tennyson, avoids this by placing bicyclists safety east of all this freeway traffic;
- Food giveaways: A 2-way cycle track avoids the traffic back ups into the food pick up at South Hayward Parish on the west side of Patrick Avenue;
- Shorter pedestrian crossings: A 2-way cycle track also allows the project to maintain shorter pedestrian crossings, and thus safer pedestrian crossings. With protected bike lanes, both the upgraded current design and a 2-way cycle track, pedestrians in crosswalks have 36ft to cross where they are exposed to traffic. With buffered bike lanes, this distance increases to 58ft, the width of two buffered bike lanes, which exposes pedestrians to traffic much longer, and exposes them to higher speed traffic.
If you live on or near Patrick Avenue in Hayward and want to get involved, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.