September 6, 2007

Present:
Marcy Greenhut (Commissioner)
Eric McCaughrin (Commissioner)
Aaron Welch
Jan Collins
Phil Morton
Bryce Nesbitt
Jason Meggs

Chair: Marcy Greenhut

1.Meeting Administration
-Introductions
-Approval of agenda
-August 2007 Subcommittee Meeting Notes reviewed
-Announcements: TALC and the City of Berkeley are working on a travel choices program (house-to-house effort) to provide custom transit travel planning (Bryce). Presumably, this effort will include bicycling options.

2. Traffic Control at Traffic Circles (Phil Morton) – Traffic circle installations retained pre-existing stop sign configuration. Standard traffic circle treatment is to treat as 4-way "Yield". While there was a proposal to change the 4-way stops, this was never pursued. Phil Morton has brought it up with staff from time to time. One suggestion Peter Hillier had was to do an experiment where this treatment would be done.

Aaron asks if there is a published standard?
Bryce: 4-way stops are not used for traffic circles. Eric M notes that Berkeley traffic circles do not conform in a number of respects – landscaping obscures driver view, and the sidewalk treatment geometry is non-standard.

Bryce: Has controversy died down on traffic circles?
Eric M: Probably not.

Marcy: With departure of Peter Hillier, there is no leader to drive change right now.

Eric M: neighbors on Russell are very attached to the landscaping.

Bryce: Is it possible the landscaping and shrubbery makes it safer, because forces drivers to be more careful? Unfortunately, there is no study on this. Even the traffic control sign restricts view! Bryce suggests looking at other cities, as formal study on traffic circle visibility issues.

Aaron: why are yield signs important?
Phil: Eliminates the stop/start for bicycles, promotes slow, steady flow

Jason: The goal on bike boulevards is to eliminate stop signs to promote bike travel.

Bryce: Would removal of all stop signs be counterproductive? Probably want to only remove 2 of the stop signs, to give precedence to the bike boulevard.

Marcy: Suggests "stop-yield" sign (full red yield sign).

Bryce: States the Marin traffic circle has full-red yield sign

Aaron: Another approach is if it were simply legal for bikes to treat stop sign as yield. Jason notes other states have either implemented this solution, or tried passing such regulation.

Jan: Wants to get back to discussion of experiment. Believes if it was done in just one place, could cause even more confusion.
Bryce: We already have non-standard implementation, since some traffic circles have 2-way stop.
Aaron: This might be an opportunity to create a standard.

Bryce: What useful action to take on this issue at this time?
Marcy: City would have to hire a consultant and contract to do a study

Bryce: Never got changes to stop signs as promised along bike boulevards – can we implement this now, for traffic circles along the boulevards?
Eric: Some of these stop signs may have special issues (i.e. Russell has 4-way stop in front of Le Conte school).
Bryce: Remove as many as _practical_.
Jason: Identify subset of bike boulevard stop signs that are feasible, and do a campaign to build support. Also suggests adding "Bicycles Yield" under stop signs.
Bryce: Non-standard signage would violate uniform code, and there is a formal process for exceptions to the standard. Thus, to implement a non-standard stop sign, Berkeley would have to file an experimental permit.
Eric: Propose an inventory of candidate stop signs for removal along bike boulevards.

Action Item: Phil and Aaron to bring list of candidate stop signs for removal (not necessarily only at traffic circles). The list will be reviewed at upcoming meeting.

3. Joint East Bay BPAC mtg – Emeryville, Berkeley, Oakland (Bryce Nesbitt)
Bryce: Purpose is to discuss cross-border issues. Oakland has volunteered to host. Emeryville also volunteered. Oakland has a schedule conflict with Berkeley Transportation Commission monthly meeting.

Eric: Propose to collect agenda items

Bryce: Suggested agenda items:
-Bike boulevard network extensions (Emeryville has one, but goes through Oakland before hitting Berkeley).
-Colby connection.
-Adeline does not have consistent bike lane striping.

Eric: Claremont road diet.

Aaron: Agenda item should include presentation of current projects by cities.

Bryce: City processes, brief 10 minute review from each city at beginning of meeting.

Eric: Who will be the chair? This won't happen on its own without coordinator.

Bryce: Host city probably. And if this works, can also do a joint Albany/El Cerrito/Berkeley meeting.

Phil: Proposes Woolsey East/West bike route agenda item.

Marcy: "Signage consistency" agenda item.

4. "Staff" update: Community-Based Transportation Plan (Aaron) – Since Heath Maddox decided to attend the birth of his daughter at hospital rather than participate in the BAC meeting, Staff report was shortened. Aaron reports that the plan suggests a new signal at Virginia at Sacramento, and also San Pablo. Several other bike recommendations were in the plan (plan is on the city web site).

Eric M: Was the plan ever reviewed by the Transportation Commission?
Marcy: Transportation Commission had meeting workshop on the plan (study was funded by MTC). Focused mainly on access to public transportation hubs.

Berkeley Bikestation (Jason) – Need to expand aboveground and provide better visibility, provide café to improve economic viability. Need to also expand instation area, possibly unstaffed (use UCB scheme where you punch in code to access bike cage).

5. Safe Routes to Schools Update (Marcy) - TALC is implementing a program in Berkeley. There will be a National Walk-to-School Day (in October). Marcy invited TALC staffers to attend meeting, but did not hear back.

Phil: Cycles of Change type groups are doing after school bike maintenance programs. Kids are also taught riding skills.

Marcy: K-8 will be covered by this program.

6. Shattuck & Woolsey (Eric): Shattuck is a major barrier for bike/ped access to the Ashby BART station. Because there are no traffic controls at Shattuck/Woolsey, the constant stream of cars makes it difficult to cross Shattuck

Jason: A traffic signal might encourage additional car traffic on Woolsey.

Aaron: Can traffic signal be located further south (65th), just to create break in traffic?

Eric: Another possible location is near the Berkeley Bowl.

Marcy: Perhaps Oregon wouldn't work because signal too close to Ashby? Traffic is very fast on Shattuck.
Phil: Traffic is fast because there are no traffic lights!
Marcy: The stretch south of Ashby needs traffic calming.

Jan: A scramble signal on Ashby?
Eric: Ashby is state highway – Caltrans would not allow it.

Jason: Instead of full blown traffic light, a bike/ped activated light.
Eric: Proposes type of signal treatment found at Channing and MLK (only through traffic permitted is bicycles).

Phil: This would fit in with proposal for the East-West bike boulevard. Also notes that traffic moves much faster south of Ashby, whereas north of Ashby traffic is very slow.

Eric: There is considerable flexibility – the signal could be implemented at Russell, Oregon, or Woolsey; however, Woolsey is the preferred location.
Marcy: Any modifications added north of Ashby won't help south of Ashby. The stretch south of Ashby and north of Ashby on Shattuck should be evaluated separately.

Marcy: How to move this forward?
Eric: Heath needs to put together Safe Routes to Transit grant

Jan: Need a general study of access to BART station.

Aaron: Owner of building with Nomad café (Oakland) is interested in pedestrian improvements. Neighborhood would strongly support.

Eric: Next steps?

Marcy: Heath needs to report back on design options.

7. Next Meeting: November 29 5-:6:30pm