Chapter 7 Implementation

Introduction

The numerous projects and programs recommended in this plan will take many years to implement given the funding limitations, and also the time required to work through the public process. The prioritization criteria explained below will be a useful tool to focus the City’s efforts and to develop a phased implementation program. Prioritizing the recommendations in the Bicycle Plan, along with establishing a bicycle coordinator position, will be the immediate next steps taken after the Plan is adopted. One already-funded project, bicycle boulevard design, will also take place soon after the adoption of the Bicycle Plan.

Implementation Steps

Many of the projects in the Bicycle Plan will require further study, more neighborhood input, and additional City Council approvals before being constructed. This is particularly true for projects that might affect traffic patterns and/or might require the removal of parking, such as new bike lanes and bicycle boulevards. As further evaluations are made of the projects in this Plan, the projects may be modified. The following steps will need to be taken before completion of significant bicycle projects:

Further Studies -More detailed traffic engineering studies will need to be done to determine the impact of the proposed bikeways. In some cases, such as for bicycle boulevards, the exact alignment and design details will need to be determined before final traffic engineering studies can be completed.

Neighborhood Input - When planning for a specific bikeway begins, neighboring businesses and residents will be contacted to solicit their input. Public workshops will be held to gather input from the public at large.

Identify Funding - Any significant project will most likely require outside funding. As the project is refined, costs will become clearer and staff can begin to apply for funding.

Further Approvals - Many simple changes to the roadways require City Council approval. Striping bike lanes, changing stop signs on major or collector streets, and altering angled parking all require Council approval. Major changes to the roadway, such as adding diverters or traffic circles, would also require Council approval.

Bikeway Costs

The cost to implement the projects presented in Chapter 4 were developed in conjunction with the City Public Works staff. They are based on the unit costs as presented in Appendix G. It should be recognized that unit costs vary considerably depending on the size of the job and the location. For example, the unit cost of striping only 1,000 linear feet can easily cost two to three times that of a 15,000 foot project. The cost estimate for each route segment is presented in the table in Appendix F.

Prioritization Criteria

The prioritization criteria in Table 4 will be used to determine the order in which the many projects contained in this Plan will be implemented. The criteria give priority to those projects that will serve the most people and will improve the safety of bicyclists. Staff will work with the Transportation Commission’s Bicycle Subcommittee, a Bicycle Advisory Committee, or some other equivalent group, to apply the criteria and also to adjust the criteria if they systematically leave out projects that are believed to be important.

It is very difficult to create prioritization criteria that can rank both capital projects and programs, such as safety education. The prioritization criteria in Table 4 are not intended for bicycle programs. Therefore, the group assigned responsibility for advising the City on bicycle issues will also make recommendations on which bicycle programs to implement first.

 

Table 4

PRIORITIZATION CRITERIA

Mobility and Access (total of 20 points)

1. Volume of existing or potential bicycle traffic 0 - 10

Rationale - All other things being equal, the route with the most or that would

have the most use by bicyclists should have priority.

2. Provides access to major traffic generators/attractors/transit stations or hubs 0 - 5

Rationale - Routes which connect major activity centers should be ranked higher.

3. Closes gap in significant route 0 - 5

Rationale - Routes that provide continuity and directness should be ranked higher.

Safety (total of 15 points)

4. Remedies or improves specific obstacles 0 - 5

Rationale - Projects that eliminate an existing obstacle or hazard should have

priority.

5. Improves locations where bicycle accidents have occurred 0 - 5

Rationale - Locations that have had higher than normal bike accident rates (either

bike-motor vehicle, single bike, bike-bike or bike-pedestrian) should have priority.

6. Improves routes with high vehicular traffic volumes 0 - 5

Rationale - Routes with high motor vehicle volumes have greater potential

safety conflicts and thus should have priority.

Ability to Implement (total of 10 points)

7. Route or project has full or partial funding, or is likely to be funded 0 - 5

Rationale - Routes that have the funds to be implemented should have priority.

8. Route or project is supported by a neighborhood group and/or is contained

in a neighborhood plan 0 - 5

Rationale – Routes that complement community plans and goals should have

priority.

MAXIMUM POSSIBLE SCORE 45

Note: After projects are rated, it will be important to look at all routes and their ratings one last time. Two routes may score within five points of each other, but one may cost $20,000 and one may cost $200,000. Thus the cost of each route should be a consideration. If all things are equal, the lower cost route should have priority. Thus, the routes should be placed in priority order, and costs should be compared. If two routes score within 5 points of each other, and there is a cost differential of more than 30 percent, the lower cost route can move ahead of the higher cost route.

Routes should be re-rated periodically to take into consideration new information, new funding sources, set-asides, updated accident statistics, etc. The ratings of most routes will not change but new circumstances may affect the ratings of some routes, and these should be taken into account.

Funding Sources

City Funding Source

In 1996, the City Council dedicated $350,000 over a five year period (1997-2001) to fund small-scale bicycle improvement projects that are unlikely to be funded from grant sources. This money is coming from the City’s General Fund. To date, the funds have been allocated for installing additional bicycle racks throughout the City, installing a stop sign at a busy bicycle intersection, and improving landscaped diverters to allow through bicycle access. The funds are programmed with the input of the Transportation Commission’s Bicycle Subcommittee.

Traditional Funding Sources

This section outlines the most probable funding sources to implement the recommended bikeway projects. While some funding sources are dedicated to the City, most are competitive. Although there are many grant sources, many are small pots of funds, are for specific types of projects, and/or are highly competitive.

The City also receives funding for roadway projects that could be used to implement some of the bikeway projects presented in this Plan. However, funds for street rehabilitation are extremely limited and given Berkeley’s large backlog of needed street repairs, it is unlikely that a large amount of funds will be diverted to strictly bike projects. On the other hand, almost all re-paving projects do benefit cyclists.

The following lists some of the most common funding sources that can be used to fund the projects in this Plan. Appendix H presents a more comprehensive list of the various local, regional, statewide, and federal funding sources that can be used for roadway, trail or traffic safety (including bicycle safety) projects. The most likely funding opportunities for the City of Berkeley are: 

The City receives an allocation each year of varying amounts.

A portion of these funds (40%) are distributed as an allocation to cities. The remaining 60% is allocated regionally on a competitive basis.

Senate Bill 1095, approved in 1993 and now section 891.2 of the Streets and Highways Code, requires that projects be included in bicycle transportation plans in order to be eligible for Bicycle Lane Account funds and that these plans contain specific elements. To be eligible, the local agency board must adopt the plan or certify that it has been updated. For Fiscal Year 1998/99, whose funds must be distributed by June 1999, the plan must have been adopted after July,1996.

This is used to fund stand alone bicycle projects as well as projects with bicycle components. In fact, bicycle facilities enable the project to score higher.

This funding source is often used for bicycle and pedestrian safety projects, and can be used for traffic calming programs as well.

Non-Traditional Funding Sources

In addition to the programs itemized in Appendix H, there are several non-traditional funding sources that might be available for the long-term implementation of project and program recommendations. The following paragraphs briefly describe several of the unusual and innovative ways that communities have found to fund parts of their bicycle program.

Grant and Foundation Opportunities - Private foundations provide excellent opportunities for funding specific capital projects or single event programs. To qualify for these types of funds, a Bicycle Advisory Committee or non-profit group must be established. It also might be possible to work with existing non-profit organizations. According to the 1994 "Foundation Directory", there are over 650 foundations within the State of California, many of them located in the Bay Area. The Directory only includes those organizations which held assets of $2 million or more, or gave $200,000 or more in grant awards in the previous year. In general, private foundations are initially established for specific purposes, e.g. children and youth needs, promotion of certain professional objectives, educational opportunities, the arts, and community development.

A description of several foundations that favor environmentally-related projects is presented in the report Guide to Bicycle Program Funding in California. (Payne, Gail, Planning and Conservation League Foundation, April, 1993.) In general, private foundations prefer to fund programs that are special in nature such as conferences or children's education events, rather than programs viewed as city responsibilities such as constructing and maintaining roadways.

Adopt-A-Trail/Path Programs - Modeled upon the Southern California program of highway maintenance contributions, this program would post signs to indicate which individual or group has contributed to either the development, installation or maintenance of a particular bike facility.

Memorial Funds - These programs are advertised as potential donor projects to be funded via on-going charitable contributions or funds left to a particular project through a will. Most memorial projects include the location of a memorial plaque at a location specific to the improvement or a scenic vista point.

Revenue Producing Operations - As part of the development of a trail or bike path, plans can specifically include the location of a revenue producing operation adjacent to the proposed improvement. For example, bicycle rental facilities, food and drink establishments, and/or bike storage facilities and equipment centers would be appropriate operations. The on-going lease revenues from these operations could then be used for trail/path maintenance.

Funding Strategy

Some funding sources do not provide more than one or two hundred thousand dollars per year. To fund a million dollar or more project with these sources would commit this one funding source for about ten years or more. This would be to the neglect of many other smaller projects in the city that may be as beneficial. Although the prioritization criteria take into account the cost-benefit ratio, it still does not make sense to commit one source of funds for many years to only one project. Rather, smaller sources of funding such as TDA Article 3 and TFCA should be used for funding the less costly projects and larger pools of funding should be sought for the more expensive projects.

Additional Implementation Actions

In addition to the bikeway network, and the education and promotion programs described in Chapters 5 and 6, there are numerous day-to-day or occasional actions that if incorporated into city staff routine or developed as policy, would improve bicycling safety and establish bicycling as a legitimate transportation mode. Many of these action steps will take staff time to evaluate and develop. Some will involve substantial costs. For this reason, these action steps will need to be prioritized for implementation, just as the bikeway network development will be prioritized. Some of these actions would ideally be implemented in the near future, while others would be developed in the long-term, depending on the prioritization they receive. The actions listed below are keyed to the goals listed in Chapter 2. Each numbered action step, however, does not coincide with its matching numbered policy in Chapter 2.

Planning Action Steps

1.1 Conduct regular counts of bicycle traffic, including when doing all turning movement counts. Incorporate counts of bicycle traffic into EIRs and traffic studies for development projects.

1.2 Collect comprehensive information about police- and hospital-reported bicycle accidents to identify causes and remedies.

1.3 Establish procedures for cooperating with adjacent cities, U.C. Berkeley, BART and AC Transit on bicycle-related issues.

1.4 Include bicycling criteria in the project check list used for reviewing proposed developments.

Network and Facilities Action Steps:

2.1 Establish local standards for intersection design and traffic barrier design and placement to accommodate bicycles.

2.2 Examine ways to limit the use of stop signs on bikeways without endangering pedestrian safety, such as: 

2.2.1 Using two-way rather than four-way stops.

2.2.2 Using one-way stops at T-intersections.

2.2.3 Where stop signs are used for traffic calming purposes, exploring alternatives.

2.3 Adjust traffic signals to accommodate bicyclists. 

2.3.1 Provide adequate minimum green time for side streets at actuated signals.

2.3.2 Provide adequate clearance time for bicyclists who enter intersection at end of green phase.

2.3.3 Ensure that traffic-actuated signals detect cyclists in a lawful position on the road. Identify sensitive points with a standard marking.

2.4 Sweep streets regularly, with priority given to designated bikeways and streets with higher bicycle traffic.

2.5 Trim overhanging and encroaching vegetation.

2.6 Repair surface defects such as potholes and ruts, giving priority to the right-hand portion of the outside lane.

2.7 Ensure that standards for new and replacement pavement quality meet the needs of bicyclists. Inspect work done by contractors, and have it replaced if defective. 

2.7.1 Asphalt pavement overlays should be flush with the concrete gutter.

2.7.2 Utility covers should be flush with the pavement.

2.8 Establish a spot improvement program for low-cost, small-scale improvements, such as pavement maintenance, hazard removal, or bike rack installation. 

2.8.1 Provide a postcard, voice-mail, or e-mail program for bicyclists to report hazards and suggest spot improvements.

2.9 Evaluate and revise the City’s Zoning Ordinance to require adequate bicycle parking for commercial and residential uses.

2.10 When temporary street repairs are made, ensure that provisions are made for maximum safety, comfort, and convenience to bicyclists.

Education/Safety Action Steps:

[Specific recommendations are included in Chapter 6.]

Promotion Action Steps:

[Specific recommendations are included in Chapter 5.]

Implementation Action Steps:

5.1 Maintain a local capital improvement program that provides regular funding for the bicycle program to construct new facilities, retrofit inadequate facilities, and refurbish older facilities.

5.2 Include funding for regular facility evaluation, maintenance, and repair, as well as funding to review development and zoning proposals for effect on bicycle mobility, in the annual staff, operations, and maintenance budgets.

5.3 Assign staff the responsibility and authority to carry out bicycle-related policies, and to coordinate the city’s planning, capital improvement programming, budgeting, and maintenance.