Caltrans Petition: Powell Street off-ramp Crosswalk Safety Improvements
The E’ville Eye is about more than just news stories, it’s about action and accountability. If residents and neighbors are being hurt and government agencies are being unresponsive, we want to utilize the platform we’ve built to incite change. If the City of Emeryville truly wants to make bike-ability a priority in our city, it will step in and help address the known safety nuisance that is the Powell/I-80 off-ramp crosswalks. Back in May, we successfully petitioned the city to act on a dog park project with your help and now we want to do the same for this intersection.
Please help Bike East Bay and The E’ville Eye provoke action by Caltrans and The City of Emeryville to remedy what most of us know as the most dangerous intersection for Bicyclists and Pedestrians in the city. The intersections at Powell and I-80 are known hazards to those that regularly traverse our city and are in fact segments of the 500 mile Bay Area Bay Trail. A segment that connects to Emeryville’s recently completed multi-million dollar Christie Avenue Bay Trail Gap. If you’ve used these crosswalks before, you’ve most certainly had at least one close call.
Caltrans is inexplicably stating that there were no reports of bike/ped collisions between 2010 & 2014 and we know this to be bogus. Bike East Bay has in fact received reports of at least three known car on bike collisions just in the past year, with at least one resulting in serious injuries. The May Emeryville Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee meeting that details one of these recent injuries is detailed in the above YouTube video [1:00]. The commenter described the incident to his friend that occurred back on March 22nd that resulted in “severe” injuries. As is typical, a distracted driver combined with overall poor visibility was to blame. Many on the committee considered the intersection a “design flaw” and even noted that an Emeryville Bicycle cop had been struck there before.
Bike East Bay is calling for three specific short-term upgrades to this crosswalk:
- Make bicyclists and pedestrians more visible by striping the crosswalk with alternate green and white paint to make it clear that this is a trail crossing, not just a regular crosswalk
- Stop drivers from entering the crosswalk when the walk signal is activated by installing electronic ‘no right turns on red’ signs
- Stop drivers from taking the off-ramp as a freeway shortcut by installing a temporary median extension in the center of Powell Street.
Please co-sign the petition below to be presented to Caltrans District 4 Pedestrian & Bicycle Coordinator Sergio Ruiz and our city to help make this a priority. For more information on Bike East Bay’s efforts, please read their blog post. A long-term plan to address the issues with the intersection are outlined in the Powell Street Urban Design Plan [PDF].