Major City, ACTC & Caltrans Projects Looking to Reshape Emeryville Roadways and Commutes

Published On June 11, 2019 | By Bobby Lee | News & Commentary, Transit

Drivers through Emeryville and the East Bay could see major changes if three proposed roadway projects come to fruition. Late last month, the City of Emeryville presented updated plans for the 40th Street Bus Hub and Caltrans showed off conceptual drawings of their upcoming I-80/Ashby interchange redesign. In addition, the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC) is in the process of developing a long-term vision for San Pablo Avenue to better accommodate an anticipated influx of residents and shifting modes of transportation.

40th and San Pablo Bus Hub Concept Design

City council chambers were packed as staff and consultants presented updated conceptual drawings of the Emeryville 40th Street Bus Hub on May 22.

A designated transit corridor, the 40th Street Bus Hub plan prioritizes multi-modal transportation options. Starting from Adeline Street and continuing to the IKEA entryway, plans call for a two-way cycle track, two-way transit-only lanes, and a reduction to a single mixed-flow traffic lane in each direction.

Cyclists would enjoy a separated Class IV bikeway, a northbound protected corner turn pocket along San Pablo Avenue for cyclist to turn onto westbound 40th Street, and a possible pathway from westbound 40th Street directly onto Halleck Street.

With the inclusion of a two-way cycletrack and removal of the eastbound bike lane, Emeryville Mayor Ally Medina expressed hope of reducing the high incidents of bicyclist versus auto accidents at the 40th street entrance to Target.

Emery Go-Round and AC Transit riders could see improvements to travel times along this corridor with two-way transit-only lanes, reducing a bus ride from a little over seven minutes to a projected five and a half minutes. Bus stops would abutt the transit-only lane, reducing the time needed for buses to pull into and out of bus stops.

Other improvements include new landscaping, lighting, curb extensions, and new signal phase timing.

Emeryville residents voiced their concerns with the reduction of general travel lanes from two to one lane, the impact on the loss of parking, whether this project is the best use of limited resources, and the consequences the design would have on the city’s typically-congested holiday shopping season.

City staff took the feedback and provide addressed many of the concerns. Notably, consultants who were responsible for the plans’ creation acknowledged that they did not specifically analyzed the project’s impact on holiday traffic. Officials also said that cars and trucks would only see an increase of travel times from slightly under three minutes to slightly over four minutes with only one general travel lane in place in each direction.

Additionally, city staff also noted that one Ford GoBike station would need to be relocated on Horton Street and that the City is working with The Watermark by the Way senior living facility to relocate their current loading zone on 40th Street.

The next phase of the project is for the City of Emeryville to apply for grant funding in the next phase of this project, as construction of this project is currently unfunded. Additionally, the city staff noted that plans may change as more details regarding ACTC & Caltrans’ San Pablo Avenue Corridor Project redesign comes to pass.

The plan will be presented to the Bicycle/Pedestrian Committee and the Art Committee in the coming weeks. Ending with a presentation to City Council on July 9.

Read more about the plan on Emeryville.org →.


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I-80/Ashby Interchange Improvement Project

Caltrans staff and area transportation officials were out en masse at the South Berkeley Senior Center on May 22, presenting various options for the I-80/Ashby (SR-13) interchange redesigned.

Described by one transportation official as an outdated auto-centric design that was built in anticipation of Ashby Avenue becoming a full highway, Caltrans and the Cities of Emeryville and Berkeley are looking to update this interchange for accessibility, congestion relief, and safety for vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

Preliminary Interchange Layout Concepts presented included a single loop (L), Roundabout (C), and Signal as Roundabout (R).

Various designs were presented in various diamond, loop, and roundabout formations. The project aims to connect Emeryville with the Bay Trail, Shellmound Street to and from westbound I-80, and Shellmound Street to the Frontage Road.

For bicyclists and pedestrians, many of the proposed designs would provide a connection to Point Emery or the Bay Trail from 65th and Shellmound Streets in Emeryville.

Staff with the Alameda County Transportation Commission and Caltrans continue to collect feedback on this project through their website. If constructed, the project will cost $52 million and be completed in early 2025.

Learn more on alamedactc.org →


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San Pablo Avenue Corridor Project

ACTC is exploring an extensive renovation of the 12-mile San Pablo Avenue corridor that would span seven cities, including Emeryville.

The scope of the project seeks to develop a ‘long-term vision’ for the state highway as well as near-term improvements that will allow it to function better for pedestrians, cyclists, drivers and users of transit.

The project is in the early stages of planning and is looking to present options to the public and capture the trade-offs between different types of improvements.

A public survey soliciting input for the project has concluded but there will be additional opportunities for input in future phases of the project.

Learn more on alamedactc.org →

About The Author

is a Bay Area native who’s lived in the Christie Core Neighborhood since 2010, Bobby enjoys exploring the far corners of our region, trying the newest restaurants in the area, or relaxing to 80's era television sitcoms and game shows. For the past six years, he's hosted a web video series called 2 Minute Finance teaching basic money management and consumer education.

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