Success at I&F meeting on green paint for Detroit Ave!

Bike Concord is pleased to report that both members of the Infrastructure & Franchise Committee (Vice-Mayor Laura Hoffmeister and Councilmember Edi Birsan) supported retaining green paint treatments in conflict zones in the upcoming work on Detroit Ave, and gave staff their approval to bring a recommendation to that effect to the full City Council on July 28.

There was a real possibility that this important element could have been dropped from the final project, but Bike Concord’s rapid response and strong turnout with support from our partners Monument Impact and Bike East Bay were sufficient to save it.

This is a victory for our community.

The City’s official agenda and staff report are available online. Minutes of the meeting follow. 

The meeting had to be moved from the Garden Center Conference Room to Council chambers to accommodate attendance by the public.

Meeting called to order at 5:38pm by Vice-Mayor Laura Hoffmeister, chair of Infrastructure & Franchise.

Members of Council present:

  • Vice-Mayor Laura Hoffmeister.
  • Councilmember Edi Birsan.

Members of staff present:

  • Deputy City Manager Jovan Grogan.
  • Community and Economic Development Director Victoria Walker.
  • City Engineer Robert Ovadia.
  • Transportation Manager Ray Kuzbari.
  • Civil Engineer Mark Migliore.
  • Project Manager Jeff Rogers.

Members of the public:

  • Joseph Partansky.
  • David Pitman.
  • Ray Barbour.
  • Nati Flores (Monument Impact).
  • Brian Cory (Bike Concord).
  • Smitty Ardrey (Bike Concord).
  • Micah Pearce (Bike Concord).
  • Yelena Myakisheva (Bike Concord).
  • Kenji Yamada (Bike Concord).
  • Claire Linder (Bike Concord).
  • Aaron McHugh (Bike Concord).
  • Sergio Huerta (Bike Concord).

Comments were invited from members of the public on non-agenda items.

Joe Partansky noted that the agenda for this meeting was not available online until today.  It was also not posted on the outdoor agenda board at the City offices.  Laura Hoffmeister said she was able to find the packet online on Friday, so it may have disappeared since.  Edi Birsan said he had been informed by staff that the link disappeared due to an error.  The law does not require that public meeting agendas be posted online, although it has been Concord’s practice to do so.

Jovan Grogan (Deputy City Manager) said the disappearance of the meeting packet online was an error and apologized on behalf of staff.  Practice has been that the City Clerk only stamps Council meeting agendas, but this will be done for committee meetings too henceforth.

David Pitman:  Formerly of Monument Community Partnership.  Had a question about a project for a shuttle service.

Ray Kuzbari:  Staff has agreed with CCTA to fund the shuttle project with Measure J funds.  Staff was able to work with MTC and County Connection to swap federal funds to cover this project.

LH:  What are next steps?

Ray Kuzbari:  Monument Impact and City form a working group in October or September to define parameters and strategy for marketing and outreach.

Due to the number of attendees for the green paint item, LH moved it to the top of the agenda.

Green paint on Detroit Ave

Robert Ovadia gave a summary of the item.  Detroit Ave project went through a community input process in which great public interest was expressed in green paint treatments.  Staff had promised only to consider green paint as a bid alternate, i.e. for contractors to price, but not necessarily to be included in the final contract.

Mark Migliore:  Bids were last month, and came in at high amounts.  Staff seeks guidance on whether to include green paint and if so, how to pay for it.

LH:  What are funding options?  General fund or Measure Q?

Jovan Grogan:  Council would have to direct staff 2015/2016 fiscal year or from general fund reserves.

Victoria Walker:  (Something about $22.4 million slated for roadway repairs.)  Staff wants to start with I&F’s direction to figure out how to fund green paint, if it is to be included.

LH:  City tried to find Measure J funds and was unsuccessful.

Robert Ovadia:  Measure J funds were enough for everything in the project as estimated, but bids came in $150k above that.  CCTA is in favor of green paint treatments, and has suggested they might chip in money.  But when staff asked for this money, CCTA declined to contribute.  Staff spoke with Concord Public Works about doing the job in-house, but Public Works said they do not have the capacity to do so.

LH:  Any funds available from other projects, e.g. Commerce Ave bridge extension?

Ray Kuzbari:  This money has already been allocated to three other projects.

LH:  On streets that are repaved, is striping also repainted.

Robert Ovadia:  Yes.

Edi Birsan:  Any more to the staff report before public comment?

Robert Ovadia:  Only that a letter was received from Monument Impact, Bike Concord, and Bike East Bay on this subject.  It is a “benched item”.

LH:  Notes that the letter is from all three organizations together.  Has staff reviewed the proposal in the letter to reduce green paint to conflict zones only?

Robert Ovadia:  Staff has reviewed the letter.  The existing project bid had a quantity in the specification.  Changes cannot be made until a contract is signed.

LH:  First bullet item in the letter is to remove green paint in front of single-family homes.

Robert Ovadia:  Can do, but this is only a small savings.

LH:  Can the change be made easily through an instruction to the contractor?

Robert:  Yes.

EB:  How much will the proposed compromise save?

Robert:  Eliminating green paint in front of all driveways (as opposed to single-family only) could save…

Mark Migliore:  At least 40% of the cost [of green paint].

Robert Ovadia:  Change could be made by changing the contract before award or making a change order after award.

EB:  Does staff think green paint but not in front of driveways serve safety well?

Robert Ovadia:  Feedback from the public is that this would be a good pilot project.  Staff would like to do it if money is available.

LH:  Cost for installation is identified in the report.  What about maintenance?

Robert Ovadia:  5-7 years is the expected lifespan of the treatment specified.  It has a coarse surface [good!].

LH:  Where will maintenance money come from?

RO:  Might not be able to resurface within 5-7 years within current resources.

EB:  How long does a normal crosswalk last?

RO:  Depends on traffic.  Probably 5-7 years.  There is striping already in the city which is faded and has not been restriped due to limited resources.

Comment by Kenji Yamada of Bike Concord.  Answered several questions from LH and EB to clarify what we are asking for and to staff to understand how much different scenarios will cost.

Nati Flores of Monument Impact:  The green paint is an important element.  Detroit Ave is heavily used.  Lots of kids walking, bikes, and cars.  Recently saw a car run through the stop sign at Laguna and Detroit.  MI will provide any support needed to help the City find funding.  MI is also ready to help educate the community on the meaning and use of the new markings.

Smitty Ardrey, Bike Concord:  The green paint here will be an important precedent.  We should go to great lengths to fund the full project on Detroit Ave so it will be a good prototype.  Felt great about the Detroit Ave during the community workshop in January.  Notes that LH had suggested aiming to get a gold rating for Concord from the League of American Bicyclists at a recent PAC meeting.

Yelena Myakisheva, Bike Concord:  Heard on Science Friday recently that a greater volume of bicyclists makes bicyclists safer.  Green striping on Detroit would improve interactions between cars and bikes.  Paint ridden on by bicyclists can be expected to last longer than paint driven on by cars.

Brian Cory, Bike Concord:  San Jose Mercury-News published a recent article about Portland with statistics.  92% correct yielding to bicycles with green paint, compared to 70% without.  Even though more people are bicycling in the US, motor-bicycle conflicts have decreased.  But injuries have increased, especially at schools, high-use intersections, and in commercial areas.  Oak Grove Rd project involved sharrows in 35 mph + traffic, and this money would be better spent on fully implementing the Detroit Ave project.

Aaron McHugh, Bike Concord:  Bicyclists will shop locally and increase tax revenue.

Sergio Huerta, Bike Concord:  13-year Concord resident with kids in local schools.  The plan should be put through with all elements, and funding should be found.  Visited Manhattan a few years ago and saw families with young children bicycling through this crowded city.  Due to green paint treatments, they moved through safely.  These designs are being proven in communities around the country.  Concord would be an example to other cities in the county if we moved ahead with this kind of infrastructure.  Saving injuries and deaths for children in school zones should be first priority in funding.  Also has question.  How many companies have bid on the project?  Would it be possible to change the project and rebid?

RO:  2 bids.  $2 million + project.  $8.60 to $12+ per square foot.  Staff estimated $6/sqft as in BEB/BC/MI’s letter, so was surprised by this.  Contractors are currently in high demand and can command high prices.  So rebidding may not get a lower bid.

EB:  Is it legal or reasonable to have a bid just for the green paint?

RO:  We have a contractor for the whole street.  It would be inappropriate to carve out part of the project for a different contract.

Smitty Ardrey:  Is the green paint in the original contract for bid?

RO:  Yes, as an alternate item (i.e. can be removed, but contractors are asked to price it).  Public contract code does not allow negotiations.

LH:  What does $150k price estimate include?

RO:  This includes green striping at all points in the original project (i.e. including in front of single-family homes), plus inspection and contingencies.

EB:  This is a pilot program.  Pilot programs are expensive.  They should be comprehensive so lessons can be learned.  The $150k should be spent if necessary to implement the full treatment, in order to maximize the testing benefit.  Technical and financial details can be left to staff within this envelope, and they can come to Council with any constraints found.

LH:  Supports some green paint.  Thinks Measure Q should be the funding source rather than General Fund reserves.  Agrees with Edi that this is a pilot project and should be implemented fully for maximum learning value.  Would like to see the white paint inlays.

Victoria Walker:  If staff is directed to go on July 28 to Council with recommendation to award the contract with green paint, changes could be priced later for a change order.

LH:  Recommends that Measure Q debt financing funds be used to fund the full $150k for green paint, and that staff contact the few single-family home owners on the street about any concerns.

EB:  Agreed, and if Council doesn’t agree to Measure Q funding, consider General Fund.

Jovan Grogan:  Monday 07-20 will be another meeting of I&F about allocation of the $22.4 million.  July 28 is the Council meeting when the Detroit Ave project will be decided.

Bike Concord left the meeting at this point. Two further agenda items were covered, regarding bus shelter designs and curb ramp designs.

2 thoughts on “Success at I&F meeting on green paint for Detroit Ave!

  1. This is good news! But please clarify. Is the full green treatment being recommended to the council?Thanks for the great advocacy by all involved.


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