Below you'll find answers to the most frequently asked questions during Phase 1.
1. Why do we need a bicycle and pedestrian improvements on East Ave? Can the bicyclists and pedestrians, walk or bike somewhere else?
It is important to understand that walking and biking are not just recreational activities but are done for commuting to major destinations too. East Ave has a mix of land uses that makes it a preferred location for people working and living close by to commute via walking and biking. The Livermore Bicycle, Pedestrian & Trails Active Transportation Plan (ATP) identified East Ave as a priority corridor and an area with high demand for walking and bicycling, ATP Appendices, pg. F-12. Additionally, our survey has shown that more than 75 percent of the respondents would consider walking and biking if the conditions on East Ave are improved. Furthermore, the City’s General Plan Objective CIR 1.1 encourages us to plan inclusively for all users including pedestrians, bicyclists, persons with disabilities, motorists, movers of commercial goods, users and operators of public transportation, emergency responders, seniors, children, youth, and families.
2. What measures were taken to ensure the participation of everyone affected by this study?
During the initial stage of the project, almost 5000 informative postcards were mailed to all residents along East Ave and within a quarter-mile radius of East Ave. The community needs survey received 880 residents' input along with both workshops having good attendance. The City’s social media handles on Facebook, Instagram and Nextdoor have been frequently updating about the project. Additionally, more than 400 people have subscribed to the email updates and have received all the major updates. Furthermore, if you come across a person that isn’t aware of this project, we would appreciate it if you could spread the word out and ask them to visit the project website: www.eastavecorridorstudy.com.
3. How and when were the traffic volumes collected for this study?
As the COVID-19 pandemic limited our ability to collect new traffic counts, the study developed a traffic volume methodology to obtain traffic volumes for pre-pandemic conditions. The study uses traffic counts that were available from the previous projects (2018 and 2019) for most signalized intersections. New a.m. and p.m. peak hour traffic movement counts were also collected at all the intersections on the corridor during September 2020. These counts were then factored in to bring them to pre-pandemic levels. Additionally, Big Data (Streetlight Data) was referenced for both current and historical counts. Finally, minor adjustments were done to the traffic volumes to address any discrepancies between adjacent locations.
4. What is a Road Diet, and how is it safer and efficient?
Please watch this video from NJDOT to learn more about the road diet.
4. Would a lane reduction be able to address the pre-pandemic traffic volumes?
All the proposed alternatives including road diet alternatives are developed to address the worst traffic conditions. The vehicle movement analysis will be conducted for both pre-pandemic conditions and future conditions (2040). The future conditions (2040) traffic growth was calculated by referring to Alameda County Travel Forecasting, surrounding land use growth, and historic volume growth trend.
Our analysis currently suggests that East Ave can function reasonably well with one lane in each direction with pre-pandemic volumes. Further analysis/simulation will be conducted near schools. We will publish the analysis results on the website and notify you via email as soon as they are ready.
5. What is the current corridor capacity vs traffic volumes?
Typically a four-lane road with left-turn lanes can carry up to 36,800 vehicles per day. With proper signal coordination and optimization, that carrying capacity can be increased up to 40,000 vehicles per day. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) advises that roadways with Average Daily Traffic (ADT) of 20,000 vpd or less may be good candidates for a Road Diet and should be evaluated for feasibility. However, many agencies throughout the nation have considered road diet for roadways with ADTs equivalent to 25,000 vpd. Additional information regarding the road diet implementation threshold is available on page 17 of this FHWA guide: https://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/road_diets/guidance/info_guide/rdig.pdf
The graph below shows the average daily traffic trend and forecasting for East Ave at various locations. This data was collected using the historical traffic volumes available with the City and Streetlight Data. The traffic volumes were conservatively forecasted to 30 percent increase by 2040.
6. Would a lane reduction result in the spilling of traffic to residential streets?
As mentioned in question 2 that East Ave can function reasonably well with one lane in each direction and will not require any alternative route. The City staff, as also mentioned in the City's General Plan CIR 3.3 P1, would strongly discourage moving of traffic on alternate route or residential neighborhood but would also like to minimize the adverse impact of regional cut-through traffic from I-580 and SR -84.
7. Would a lane reduction affect emergency responders?
The Police Department, Fire Department, Wheels bus (LAVTA), Streets and Sanitation Department, and Livermore Area Recreation and Park District are part of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) in this project. They have been informed of the development of this study and have seen the proposed alternatives. Any comments they may have had been or will; be addressed. Additionally, the FHWA has found that the Road Diet (proposed alternative 2 and 3) with a two-way left-turn lane improves response times. Since the center turn lane already exists, we anticipate no significant impact on response time. Here is the link to the article: https://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/road_diets/resources/pdf/fhwasa17020.pdf
Please let us know if you have any additional questions using the feedback form available on the website. We encourage you to leave your contact information on the project website for future notifications.