Bicycle route priority map for the City and Alta

Bike Concord has developed a map of major routes and points of concern for bicycle traffic in Concord, using the Google Maps API. You can vote on any feature to indicate your desire for the City to prioritize it for bicycle improvements.  The URL is map.bikeconcord.org.  Please distribute it to anyone who may be interested.

Priority map screenshot

Bike Concord will provide the vote totals to the City and Alta Planning & Design on May 11 for consideration in development of the Bicycle, Pedestrian, and Safe Routes to Transit Master Plan. However, the map will remain available after that date.

This map is not endorsed by the City or Alta.

To request addition of a point or streetspan to this map, please leave a comment on this entry.

Advertisements

22 thoughts on “Bicycle route priority map for the City and Alta

  1. I would like to add a proposal to complete the “Galindo Creek Trail” that would link San Miguel Road and the Contra Costa Trail.

    Like

    • I think I’m going to hold off on adding a line for your proposed trail route, Brian, since we are just providing data to Alta and the City for their community needs assessment right now – that is, improvements needed on current facilities. Later on we’ll start using this map for proposed facilities too, which I’ll encode to be visually distinct.

      Like

  2. I find the intersection of the contra costa canal trail and Oak Grove (not sure if this is Concord or WC) very frustrating and interrupting on weekday mornings. Traffic is heavy and the wait time at the light to cross can be very long, and the traffic of pedestrians/bikers/runners crowds up. An overpass would be a dream here. I am sure the cars would be happy about that too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Stephanie, thanks for your comment. Do you mean west or east on Treat Blvd from Winton Dr? The westerly direction from that point falls in Walnut Creek city limits, so it’s unfortunately outside the scope of this map, which is focused only on Concord. Bancroft Rd likewise falls outside Concord city limits.

      If you mean east from Winton Dr, there is a line on that span of street which you can put your vote on if you’d like.

      In the longer term, there certainly is value in covering all of central Contra Costa County in a map like this, since transportation needs take little account of city limits. We are working in Bike Concord to strengthen our connections with Bike Walnut Creek and other safe streets groups across our central CCC cities so we can eventually realize the vision of safe, convenient bicycling and walking uninterrupted by city limits or high-volume roadways. It would be great to have your participation in that effort.

      Like

      • Sorry for the confusion – I do mean Treat on up the hill (already in red on the map) from Winton Dr. by DLS to Clayton.

        I mixed my words with what I meant on the Bancroft note. You’re right; that’s WC. I meant safe biking is needed to go from the Treat/ Oak Grove area to the Monument/ Oak Grove area. Either an overpass or a tunnel to get around BART for cyclist is needed – the one at Oak Grove Middle School is for pedestrians. There’s no ‘safe’ way to cross near the Minert/Oak Grove area without having to deal with very busy intersections.

        Thanks for organizing community feedback and for the fast response to clarify!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks for the specifics. I certainly see that need, as I commute to work from Treat & Oak Grove to Monument Blvd three days a week! There’s a point marker on the map for the BART undercrossing on Oak Grove Rd which you can vote for.

          Are there any other particular points on this route for which you’d like a marker?

          Like

          • I’m not sure how open the map is to adding lines, but I would put one along the creek bed by the fire department training center from Smith to Treat – to add a bike path there.

            I’d also put a pin on Bethany Lane on the gray ‘connector’ where it first breaks when you follow it up from Treat. Whilst you can navigate through on a bike, you can’t navigate with a bike trailer (hauling children) because of the distance for the poles that are installed.

            Another thing to consider, is to change the footings at the pedestrian BART overpass by Oak Gove MS. Not only would it become bike friendly, but also friendly for those with mobile impairments that can’t traverse stairs. Note: careful placement of any poles is needed so bike trailers can get through!

            Generally speaking, I’m still a fan of bike trails (vs. lanes on existing roads). I find them more pleasant, quieter, safer, and will continue riding in nearby Walnut Creek more because there’s not great access to ride into downtown Concord avoiding major roadways.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Thanks for those specifics. I’ll look into adding them later tonight. Could you explain more what you mean by “changing the footings” at the pedestrian overpass by Oak Grove Middle School?

              Like

                • Thanks, I understand now. I’ve added point markers for the Bethany Ln cut-through and the BART overpass. I’m holding off on your creek trail idea for now because we are in the community needs assessment phase of the Master Plan, which is focused on development needs on existing infrastructure. Later on we’ll start using this map for proposed facilities too, which I’ll encode to be visually distinct.

                  Liked by 1 person

                • By the way, I am not and Bike Concord is not opposed to alternative bicycle routes away from arterials (a.k.a. major streets). We understand that some people are just not going to feel comfortable or safe bicycling on the same streets with cars even with good bicycle infrastructure, and there need to be other routes for them.

                  We just don’t think these should be a substitute for bikeable arterials, because arterials are both full of high-frequency destinations and are usually the most direct route to high-frequency destinations. For bicycling to be a serious choice as primary transportation and not just a supplement, arterials have to be reasonably safe for it.

                  I am very interested in bike trailers and other accessories that let a person transport cargo or their children by bicycle, so I’m glad you’re bringing forward issues related to that. I and other Bike Concord members attended the Plan Bay Area 2040 public presentation tonight, and I put the comment in several places that in order for bicycling to become a major transportation choice in the Bay Area, we need to have secure parking for bicycles with trailers at high-frequency destinations. Otherwise parents of small children won’t feel safe or won’t be able to handle the burden of taking their families places by bicycle instead of in a car.

                  I spoke about this to a bike planner at MTC (Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the Bay Area transportation coordinating and policy body) named Kevin, who told me as far as he knew MTC had not thought about the issue of secure parking for bikes with trailers and cargo bikes, in spite of having a goal of encouraging people to shift from cars to bicycles for transportation. Said he would bring it up to his boss. I think they need to hear about this from more people.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Kenji,

                    I understand your interest in getting space on Treat, Clayton, Monument, Willow Pass, et al., but I don’t think that getting bike space on some of those roads — or more exactly, parts of those roads — is likely until there are more bicyclists out there demonstrating the need to provide that space. And to get more people out bicycling, we will need alternative, connected routes that parallel those more major routes. For example, to get to BART, I ride on West, Walnut and the Alameda. I’ve taken Chestnut and Clayton too. It’s a little faster but having F-150s pass you at 40 mph isn’t that comfortable. For me, anyway. And I’m not going to be riding on Clayton east of Treat anytime in the future. I’m just not.

                    There are parts of major arterials that are being used by bicyclists that the City should recognize. Treat over Lime RIdge (Cowell or maybe Turtle Creek to San Miguel) is one example. Bicyclists use it all the time. Concord Blvd. could be redesigned to add bicycle lanes along its entire length, even in front of the high school. With a bit more pavement (and shrub trimming) Cowell could also make a good bike route. What you do at Cowell and Galindo/Monument I don’t know.

                    There are three problems with the alternatives as they exist now. First, they’re not always well-connected. South from downtown is pretty bad even with the new trail north from Monument. Second, they’re not that well-marked. The bike route between Cowell and Clayton is pretty direct and is sort of well-marked for bicyclists but it needs better markings so that motorists know that they’re bike routes. The bike route I mentioned above isn’t marked really at all though the bike facilities map on the City webpage says it’s a Class III route. Finally, they’re not well-connected. Olive would be a good alternative route from Clayton (the city, not the road) but it needs a bridge over the creek east of Claycord. And getting across the major arterials is not easy either. Someone mentioned the example of the Canal Trail ending at Willow Pass with no direction for bicyclists on which way to go to bike safely. Or clear signals to motorists that bicyclists will be joining the traffic flow.

                    Intersections are another problem. They rarely have space for bicyclists — see the note on Cowell and Galindo/Monument above — and the loop detectors rarely seem sensitive to pick up bikes. And then there’s the fence on the Canal Trail at Treat!

                    My two cents worth. The bike and ped plan needs to encourage people of different needs, not just the “Strong and Fearless” and the “Enthused and Confident” but also the “Interested but Concerned”. And after having a car pull out in front of me last year, I’m definitely in the concerned category.

                    Thanks for the site. I for one appreciate it. And I’m happy that Concord staff are working to put together a plan that makes the city safer and more welcoming for bicyclists and pedestrians.

                    Like

                    • Thanks for commenting, Brad. You make good points, and I think we’re in agreement that there need to be good non-arterial routes for bicycle traffic to accommodate those who are never going to feel comfortable riding without a physical barrier between them and cars. We also seem to be in agreement that bikeable arterials are desirable.

                      Where I think we differ is on at what stage we should be calling for a city policy of bikeable arterials. I think that point is now.

                      The Master Plan being developed now is a policy document, not a concrete project with specific locations and scheduled implementations. Those will come later. The task for us now as a community in the Master Plan process is to set a vision. We are not going to get another chance at this for years to come. If we set an unambitious vision now, over the next few years we will get an even less ambitious outcome.

                      As for the political likelihood of including a policy of bikeable arterials in the Master Plan – albeit with different priorities for implementation on different sections of street – I think it’s entirely within our grasp. We have people speaking up for it already. There are, as far as I understand, just four gates to pass through in order to achieve this policy:

                      1. At least three out of the five Plan Advisory Committee members consistently indicate their support of a policy of bikeable arterials in the Master Plan. This will not be hard. At-large members Claire Linder and Sergio Huerta are entirely on board already, Planning Commission representative Carlyn Obringer is cautiously supportive, and I don’t think Parks & Rec Committee representative Mark Sinclair is against the idea either, although he has said little about it at meetings so far.

                      2. A majority of Planning Commission supports the policy. Carlyn Obringer is the chair, and will support the policy if reasonable arguments are made for it by members of the public. I don’t have much of a read on the other four Commissioners, but they did vote at a recent meeting to require that a developer (who was very friendly to the idea already) pay for sharrows on Treat Blvd at Clayton Rd in response to a public comment, after the City’s engineering and traffic managers declined in a meeting with Bike Concord to make any provisions for bicycle traffic in the upcoming work on that intersection. So I believe the Planning Commission takes bicycle traffic seriously. Bike Concord will attend and call for members of the public to attend any future Planning Commission meetings where the Master Plan is discussed, and will make cogent arguments to the Commission for bikeable arterials as a policy.

                      3. Planning Division (chiefly Andy Mogensen and Laura Simpson) and Alta Planning & Design (chiefly Jennifer Donlon-Wyant) include this policy in their draft of the Master Plan, which they will complete in January 2016. This will not be hard to achieve. They have been very open to the community’s input, and Alta has typically included policies for bikeable arterials in other Master Plans it has developed for other municipalities. If the PAC and Planning Commission likewise give majority assent, we will get this policy in the draft.

                      4. City Council approves the draft. If we do our job well up to this point by mobilizing many voices in support, it will be hard for Council to reject it. I can promise you that Bike Concord will turn out in force at the Council meeting where this decision is made.

                      Like

  3. First, thank you very much Kenji for such a great site and tool to gather community feedback. Well done.

    I’d love to see markings at a minimum (signage, or even better yet a protected bike lane) would be fantastic from the Concord City Limit on Ygnacio Valley Rd (at Walnut Creek border) to the Ygancio/Clayton Rd intersection. That’s a 2.6 Mi route.

    To make the route complete, Walnut Creek would continue down/up the hill to the west to Oak Grove Rd.

    Thanks again.

    Like

  4. Let me preface this reply with the acknowledgment that although it isn’t directly pertinent to the subject at hand, it is to the extent that we are actively working to encourage the City to adopt a forward-thinking approach to making our streets safer for everyone, especially those traveling on foot and by bicycle, so we would do well to monitor the progress taking place in nearby peer cities.

    (Note to Kenji or other BC Blog admin: might you consider creating a post in which we’re able to post links or blurbs concerning changes in bicycle and pedestrian policy and infrastructure in this and nearby cities as, say, a Bike Concord newsfeed of sorts?)

    From Streetsblog California comes this bit of inspirational news about a burgeoning bicycle-friendly Modesto, about as unlikely a candidate as we’d expect for people- and bike-friendly streets initiatives.

    The California central valley town of Modesto is not usually high on anyone’s list of cities embracing cutting-edge pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure. But that may change soon.

    In recent years, however, the city has been quietly applying Complete Streets principles on its roads. It has added buffered bike lanes when it repaved, built roundabouts at major intersections, added bike parking corrals in thoughtful ways, and created temporary plazas with the idea that once people experience them they will want to make them permanent.

    This may likely be the approach we can expect to see here in Concord: Incremental yet measurable progress to a brighter, bicyclist-abundant future.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s