Frequently Asked Questions
What is Tactical East Avenue?
Tactical East Avenue is a partially grant-funded, six-month pilot project that will use removable materials to test future improvements to East Avenue, like bike lanes, intersection treatments, and traffic calming interventions, informed by a community corridor visioning process. The pilot project will take place somewhere between Livermore Avenue and Madison Avenue. This method of project delivery is based on Tactical Urbanism, a methodology of city building that uses temporary, low-cost materials to catalyze long-term change. This means that before millions of dollars are invested in a capital project, the City and community have the opportunity to evaluate how it functions with little relative investment.
How did this project start?
East Avenue is identified in the City’s Active Transportation Plan, adopted in 2018, as a priority corridor for multimodal (biking, walking, driving, and riding transit) improvements. The planning process found that a significant gap in the city’s existing bicycle network between Madison Avenue and Maple Street, a moderate collision rate, and high travel speeds make it challenging for people to comfortably travel along the street on foot, on bike, and in their vehicles. In 2020, the City set out to solicit feedback on potential improvements to East Avenue through Phase I of the East Avenue Corridor Study in order to advance the Active Transportation Plan. After three public meetings, the City produced conceptual striping plans for how bike lanes and intersection improvements could be implemented on East Avenue between Livermore Avenue and Vasco Road.
Tactical East Avenue, Phase II of the Corridor Study, will continue the process of community visioning for permanent improvements to East Avenue, as well as create a pilot project to vet some of these improvements in real-time.
Why focus on East Avenue between Livermore and Madison Avenues?
The project team collected updated baseline data to help inform the pilot project. On the following page is a summary of the data collected.
Since January 1st, 2019, there have been a total of 68 collisions on East Avenue between Livermore Avenue and Vasco Road. Key data takeaways include:
42 of those collisions (62%) have been within the pilot project extents, with the worst intersection for crashes being East Avenue at Jensen Street.
East Avenue at Estates Street, where children cross the street to access East Avenue Middle School, had the second highest concentration of crashes within the project extents.
The single fatality as a result of a traffic collision was a pedestrian, and occurred at Jensen St. and East Ave.
*The majority of the collisions between vehicles and bicyclists since 2019 were the result of bicyclists traveling the wrong way in the road, something that could be mitigated with designated spaces for bicyclists to ride in both directions!
Speed data was collected on East Avenue between Jensen and Estates Streets from Thursday, June 2nd - Wednesday, June 8th. The mean speed detected on the street over the course of those seven days was 33.5mph, with maximum speeds recorded between 70 and 75mph, and almost 30% of cars traveling between 35 and 40mph. With a speed limit of 30mph, this means that most cars are regularly exceeding the speed limit along East Avenue! Higher travel speeds further endanger drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians, increasing the severity of collisions and leading to unsafe driving behavior.
Pedestrian, bicycle, scooter, and wheelchair counts will be collected in the Fall at Dolores Street, Estates Street, and Nielsen Lane during AM and PM peak hours, as well as during the school pick-up periods. This data will establish a baseline within the pilot project extents, and will be compared to similar data collected after the project is installed.
The average daily (vehicle) traffic as of June 2022, collected between Jensen and Estates Streets, was 15,089. This is less than that detected in 2020, and is still well within the capacity for a road diet (20,000 ADT).
How is the project funded?
The project is partially funded by a grant to the City of Livermore from Caltrans, the State’s transportation authority. Caltrans has funded other transportation Tactical Urbanism projects, and recognizes the project methodology as a valuable step for cities to take when considering changes to their streets.
What is the project timeline?
The public engagement process kicked off earlier this year with an online survey and the first public workshop on March 23rd, 2022. Public engagement will continue through the summer, with the goal of installing the pilot project in winter 2023. The next step in the public engagement process is to reconvene the community for a series of corridor visioning activities, and brainstorm how the pilot project can help advance the desired community vision for the street.
Who is involved in the project?
The project is being led by consultant Street Plans and the City’s Community Development Department. The project team meets regularly with the Technical Advisory Committee, comprised of representatives from the City of Livermore Police and Fire Departments, Caltrans, additional City departments, the School District, and the Lab. This Committee will review pilot project designs closely to ensure that the pilot project will not interfere with emergency access or access to the schools along the corridor. Finally, the community will greatly inform what the pilot project will be, and how it will look.
What could the pilot project include?
Based on community workshops and the input of the Technical Advisory Committee, the pilot project could include design elements like bike lanes, curb extensions, high visibility crosswalk markings, additional bike lane markings, sidewalk extensions, pedestrian refuges, asphalt art, and other traffic calming interventions.
How will the project's success be measured?
Success of the project will be based on what elements are chosen to be tested. Data like vehicle speeds and volumes, collisions, bicycle and pedestrian counts, and cut-through traffic will help give the project team an accurate picture of how the project is functioning. The project team will be collecting baseline and “before” data for all the metrics above to be able to have an ‘apples to apples’ comparison once the pilot project is installed. The baseline data may also help inform what elements get selected to make up the pilot project.
What kinds of materials will be used for the project?
A variety of different material types could be used for the pilot project. Traffic paint or tape, a variety of vertical barriers like delineator posts, and planters could all be a part of the pilot project. Materials will be selected based on constraints like budget and the existing conditions of the street. All project elements will be installed within the existing right of way, and will not involve excavation of the pouring of new concrete. All materials used will be intended and safe for volunteers to help the project team install the project!
How can I get involved?
The project team will be hosting a Visioning Week for the corridor following the start of the Fall school session, which will be posted on the project website and communicated via mailers and the City’s Facebook page. The project team will also be seeking volunteers to help with project installation, so keep an eye out for ways to join us! Sign up to receive email updates and more information about events on the project website