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Open Access Publications from the University of California

SafeTREC - UCTC Seminar: Post CEQA Traffic Analysis for New Bikeways

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As California works on new guidelines to address transportation projects and CEQA, cities will still need to address the issue aside from CEQA of what level of traffic delay is appropriate to study when designing new bikeways and making pedestrian improvements. If CEQA shifts to vehicle miles traveled or auto trips generated, bikeway projects will essentially be exempt. Yet more than an exemption will be needed to satisfy public concerns. Traffic engineers' responsibilities are changing from 'moving traffic' to designing complete streets, but the solutions are always a compromise, particularly in urban, built-out areas. Bike East Bay (formerly East Bay Bicycle Coalition) is proposing a switch to limiting traffic delay studies to an analysis of how to minimize potential delays on roadways with new proposed bikeways--i.e. no longer using an uncomfortable level of delay as an excuse to block implementation of safe bikeways. Cities in the East Bay such as Concord, Dublin, El Cerrito, Oakland and more are struggling with new regional policies to build walkable, bike able neighborhoods around transit and urban infill areas, while still respecting the reality of traffic congestion that is so familiar to Bay Area commuters. How closely should cities look at traffic delay moving forward? What exact questions should they ask? While eliminating all questions about traffic delay is a likely long-term solution, a phased approach or a modified approach may be needed in an effort to speed up bikeway implementation.

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Sound recording


Slides from the seminar