The Oakland City Council voted 8-0 to support making protected bike lanes on Telegraph Avenue permanent. The bike lanes are part of a complete streets treatment implemented earlier this year after extensive outreach to the KONO and Temescal communities. It also reduces general purpose lanes from 4 to 2, creates additional pedestrian crossings that are also safer, and reconfigures Shattuck Avenue Plaza.
As a longtime resident of this area, I’ve been seeing a big difference when I access Telegraph as a pedestrian, cyclist, and driver. Vehicle traffic moves at a slower but steadier pace because there is no longer a second lane for passing. As a pedestrian, I feel much safer now that there are few instances of unsafe passing at mid-block crossings. As a cyclist, I no longer feel intimidated sharing space with automobiles.
What do you think? Is the new configuration too confusing, or will it result in a safer and more effective Telegraph/Temescal corridor for everyone? See the below before and after photos that illustrate how things have changed.
How COVID is Changing Our Commute
Now that the vaccine roll-out has begun, it feels we are slowly inching closer to the end of COVID-19. The pandemic has had a huge impact on our work-life and commute. We’ll need to understand how our society has been transformed and how our transportation systems must adapt to better serve the people who use them.
Work from home (WFH) is here to stay.
Office professionals have become accustomed to the flexibility of a full-time work from home (WFH) schedule during the pandemic and employers have adapted to it by necessity. But even many high-tech companies have found that daily Zoom calls cannot offer the same collaborative environment and social interaction of the physical office. A hybrid WFH/WFO model will likely become the new normal.
The Continued Popularity of Active Transportation Modes
Walking, cycling, and other active modes of travel have become more popular during the pandemic, but while the initial shelter in place (SIP) reduced vehicle traffic, particularly during typical rush hour commutes, volumes have rebounded to nearly pre-COVID levels. Street calming measures will be vital to encourage the continued growth of human-powered forms of travel, including slow streets, flex streets, and complete street pilot programs.
The Need for More Transit Investment (Operations and Infrastructure)
Transit commute mode share has dropped significantly due to fears of COVID-19 transmission and key indicators such as increased personal vehicle purchases and reduced ridesharing also indicate a move away from trains and buses to single occupancy vehicles (SOVs). The American Public Transit Association has stated that transit can be used safely during the pandemic as long as passengers wear face coverings and contact tracing programs in many countries have not found clusters of cases linked to transit. Transit agencies are in need of immediate and long-term financial support to continue serving essential workers and re-establish regular commute service.
Driving alone is more popular than ever, so now what?
COVID-19 has made it even more difficult to disincentivize driving to work alone. As workers return to the office, an active management approach will be needed to reduce gridlock and minimize the growth of vehicle miles traveled (VMT), including congestion management and roadway pricing, transportation demand management (both carrots and sticks), and parking pricing strategies. It will be essential to financially support and promote the safety and benefits of transit and alternative modes.
CHS Consulting Group Welcomes Kevin Stankiewicz!
CHS Consulting Group is excited to welcome Kevin Stankiewicz to the team as Senior Transportation Engineer. Kevin brings 21 years of experience being the traffic task lead on large corridor studies including the I-205 & I-5 Corridor System Management Plan (CSMP) for Caltrans (CA), the Al Shindagha Corridor (R1013) for RTA (Dubai, UAE), the George Massey Tunnel Replacement for MOTI (BC, Canada), Highway 99 Sea-to-Sky Corridor Study for MOTI (BC, Canada), and the I-405 SR 522 Vicinity to SR 527 Express Toll Lane Improvement Project for WSDOT (WA). He led the large corridor microscopic traffic simulation modeling for all these projects.
Kevin has also been the traffic lead on large development traffic impact studies including the Folsom South of US 50 Specific Plan for Folsom (CA), the new city proposed for California (private) and the Dubai Heath Care City 2 for Dubai Heath Care City (Dubai, UAE). Prior to joining CHS Kevin worked for HDR in Bellevue, Washington. Kevin will lead CHS’s corridor traffic study and corridor microscopic traffic simulation modeling practice.