In Fall 2021, OakDOT will begin construction of a pedestrian and bicyclist safety improvement project called Crossing to Safety. The improvements are along Park Blvd at its intersections with 1) Excelsior/Alma Pl/Grosvenor Pl, and 2) 13th Ave/East 38th St within walking vicinity of Edna Brewer Middle School. Crossing to Safety is jointly funded by the Measure KK Infrastructure Bond and the Active Transportation Program (ATP) Grant administered by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). Both these funding sources include large portions that prioritize school safety from which the funding for this project is awarded.
Crossing to Safety was developed for the purpose of improving safety for students who walk or bike to Edna Brewer. The concept was developed with input from stakeholders including neighborhood associations, nearby schools, and bicycle and pedestrian advocates. Along with the construction of the Lower Park Blvd Complete Streets Project which is underway, OakDOT will be constructing the Crossing to Safety Project to implement safety improvements that have been a part of the overall Park Blvd Corridor discussion.
For the intersection of Park/Excelsior/Grosvenor/Alma, the project will:
- Expand the sidewalk on the southeast corner of the intersection (in front of the Canyon Design Build office) so that crossing Park Blvd on foot from this corner becomes shorter in distance and safer from a two-stage crossing to a one-stage crossing, i.e., pedestrians will no longer be required to wait in the median island for the signal to change.
- The expansion of this corner will also close the southeast leg of Excelsior to auto traffic to and from the intersection. This leg will be converted to two-way travel accessible from Kingsley St but not from the intersection.
- Bicyclists can still use the southeast leg of Excelsior to and from the intersection. One path will take bicyclists left onto Park Blvd to head south and another path heads straight onto Grosvenor. Bicyclists turning left onto southbound Park will activate a green light which will trigger an exclusive bike interval, i.e. no auto traffic will go at the same time.
- Install a Leading Pedestrian Interval (LPI) for the pedestrian crossing of the north leg of Park Blvd, i.e., the concurrent green interval for left turns coming from Grosvenor onto Park Blvd will be delayed by seconds to allow pedestrians to establish their presence in the crosswalk first.
- Add a flashing yellow arrow for left turns from Grosvenor onto Park Blvd to emphasize the need to yield to pedestrians and bicyclists. The flashing yellow arrow will be activated when a pedestrian pushes a button or when a bicycle is picked up by video or loop detection.
- Add a left-turn pocket on the Grosvenor approach to accommodate the new flashing yellow arrow which will require eliminating one parking space on the residence side of Grosvenor and four spaces on the PG&E substation side.
- Introduce an exclusive green interval for Alma place when a vehicle triggers the detector for a green light.
- Add bicycle detector indication on the southeast corner so bicyclists will be able to tell if they have been picked up by either the video or the loop detector.
- Install a new crosswalk crossing the south leg of Park Blvd.
- Add green arrows for left turns coming from the west leg of Excelsior to head north onto Park Blvd or west onto Grosvenor.
For the intersection of Park/13th Ave/East 38th St, the project will:
- Consolidate the multiple entry/exit points on both sides of Park Blvd on both sides of the intersection to create a simplified, four-legged, right-angle intersection.
- This reconfiguration will improve visibility, reduce conflict movements, shorten pedestrian crossings, and lower traffic speeds.
- Add a new traffic signal that includes pedestrian count-down indication, video detection, a left-turn protected phase from Park Blvd onto 13th Ave, and marked crosswalks on all the legs.
- Extend the existing median island on Park Blvd, closing the opening in front of Greenwood Ave to eliminate unprotected left turns.
- Widen the existing median island on Park Blvd, making the pedestrian refuge zone safer.
- Significantly increase sidewalk space including future opportunities for landscaping and placemaking.
- Add high-visibility signage and pavement markings to enhance awareness of school and pedestrian presence.