Jan Brovont, Livermore

There are two public schools, one shopping center, three churches, onecommunity center, at least four to five apartment buildings, senior housing, a fire station, two cemeteries, a busy mortuary and many houses all directly on East Avenue.

City Council wants to change East Avenue. The company the city hired to create these plans is TJKM.

Existing: Four travel lanes each between 10/13’, with a median/center turn lanes of 10 ft. bicycle lane 6-9’, bicycle buffer 0’, sidewalk width 5-8’, parking 215 spaces.

Alternative 1: Reduces street parking from 215 spaces to eight spaces for the entire length of East Avenue, making room for bike lanes; where will all the people who frequent those locations park?

Drive down the length of East Avenue and look at all the cars parked on the street.  Many of the apartments like the proposed Eden Housing, need two parking spaces per unit but only have one. The travel lanes would be 10/13’ with center turn lane of 10’; this lane would also be shared with emergency vehicles including large firetrucks.

Alternative 2: Has a six-foot bike lane on both sides of the street next to the curbs. TJKM, stated this is more likely to protect the bicyclist, as the parking lane will be to the left and closer to the middle of the street and traffic. Most passengers don’t check their blind spot before getting out of a car. A passenger in a parked car opening the door, could endanger bicyclists coming up from behind them. Also the driver would be getting out very close to the traffic lane. The bicyclists won’t ride very close to the curb, as about 10 inches next to the curb is concrete slightly more slopped with drainage drains, where the road portion of the “bike lane” will be asphalt. 

The shared left turn lane works at corners but could be a nightmare with so many driveways so close. You want to turn left a driveway past another car sitting head on to you in the center lane, wanting to turn left just past your car. One of you has to move back into the traffic lane to get around. This could happen too often. Not to mention this is the emergency vehicle lane. What if you are head-to-head with a car, and an emergency vehicle comes behind you the same lane?

To be continued next week.