The Barron Park Association

Jun 302014
The Matadero Bicycle Boulevard plan is moving ahead. The recent June 19th meeting with consultants and Jaime Rodriguez and other staff was devoted to creating / enabling / enhancing other routes (not boulevards) for bicycling in Barron Park, but Jaime provided some information afterward on the status of the plan for the Matadero (Margarita) Bicycle Boulevard.

The proposal for the bicycle boulevard followed two Barron Park community meetings, in May and September of 2013. Images of the design concept were previously posted on the Barron Park Association website, Initial Concept Plan for Matadero – Margarita Bike Boulevard » The Barron Park Association   To reduce automobile speeds, and enhance bicycle and pedestrian safety, Matadero will have a number of speed humps and also a speed table (raised cross walk across Matadero from Tippawingo to Josina) .

The current plan provided by Jaime Rodriguez can be downloaded here. Basemap – Matadero Bike Blvd – Final Speed Hump Sites – 053014 The locations for the speed humps have been finalized [look at the orange outlined rectangles with single chevron in the attached pdf]. What’s not certain is the date for when the work will be begin.

Currently, as you are all too well aware, the Matadero Ave roadway is a real mess, most recently a consequence of the Utilities Department’s gas line replacement program. This work was supposed to have been completed by end of June, but there are still quite a number of steel plates covering holes. Hopefully, this work will be completed within the next few weeks. In addition to the the gas line work, the sewer line replacement repairs have left many scars on the roadway. Because of the present roadway condition, Jaime said that the Public Works will apply a ‘slurry seal’ to the entire length of Matadero, from El Camino to Laguna.

The slurry seal will cover the painted roadway markers, including the yellow center line. The initial Bicycle Boulevard plan had been to leave the yellow line in place. But, as discussed in the June 19th meeting, there are two schools of thought about the yellow line – one is that it keeps the lanes of traffic clearly marked and makes people slow down; the other is that by keeping traffic in the lane, cars are less willing to cross it and instead pass too closely to bicyclists and pedestrians. Jaime said that he is open to repainting the yellow lines if eliminating it turns out to cause issues and the community is not happy with the situation.

One further issue – Jaime acknowledged the many concerns voiced by residents about pedestrian safety along Matadero, especially near the Matadero Creek bridge, just past the Tippawingo intersection.  Here is an image from the file of the plan proposed for that location (click on the image to bring up a full size, clear image – then on your back button on your browser to return to the message):
One possible improvement for pedestrian safety, which Jaime is discussing with  Matt Brunnings (Public Works), would result from the removal of a storm water drain on Matadero near the bridge. Removal of the storm water drain would permit the city to move the metal guard rail in, towards the Creek and away from the roadway, and provide additional room for pedestrians to walk safely in that area. But removal of the drain entails a series of steps that have to happen and all pieces have to fall into place before this proposal becomes a reality. Look for work “By Others” on this figure (2nd panel in the pdf if you download it).  This storm drain receives water from the valley gutter that runs along Matadero and crosses the end of Tippawingo. So removing the storm drain, and the valley gutter leading to it that crosses Tippawingo, would require an alternate path for the runoff – one possibility would be a new section of valley gutter that would wrap around the Matadero-Tippawingo corner, joining with one on Tippawingo that leads to a storm drain at the corner of Tippawingo and Chimalus. This part of the plan is still in the discussion phase between the Transportation Division and Public Works.
Art Liberman

  4 Responses to “Matadero Bicycle Boulevard Update”

  1. From Shirley Frinfrock – I’m sorry to hear they are only going to slurry Matadero. It does nothing for the road surface, only covers the many marks the city has applied to the streets for many years. The City has only slurry sealed Ilima Court through the years and its a mess.
    They promise to resurface the Barron Park streets, it never seems to happen but go to any street between Oregon to Palo Alto Avenue and the streets are always being worked on and in very good condition. They presently are completely resurfacing I believe Santa Rita between Alma up to Middlefield.

  2. From Dick Placone
    These city people are so dense. If the yellow line is a problem because drivers are afraid to cross over it and thus endanger bicyclists, then paint the darn line white. And for this we are paying six figure salaries?

  3. From Bob Hesser
    Frankly, while I respect the good intentions behind this project, I think the implementation will face inherent problems. First, as a reference point, consider the Bryant Blvd bikeway. Key enabling criteria for Bryant Blvd are 1) reasonably wide street, 2) neighboring streets that provide acceptable auto transit alternatives and 3) not a primary ingress/egress artery for an entire neighborhood. Frankly, this section of Matadero satisfies none of these enabling criteria. Second, some of the disparate objectives associated with this plan may mutually-conflict – specifically at the Josina/Matadero intersection. For example, narrowing the Josina/Matadero intersection may assist pedestrian mobility but probably will diminish the potential for bikeway and motorway separation. Also, the right turn onto Matadero from Josina is a somewhat blind intersection – resulting from the curve on Matadero plus the extensive growth of non-native plants west of Josina along the creek bank. What might be the vehicular consequence of narrowing this intersection?

  4. From Art Liberman
    I agree with Bob Hesser that there certainly will be problems – another ‘problem’ is Whitsell and Matadero, also a blind intersection for someone entering Matadero from Whitsell. A bicycle rider on Matadero headed to El Camino may not be seen limited by drivers at that intersection who pulls out onto Matadero and that could result in a serious accident.
    I’ve heard folks express views on the other side. The bicycle community is behind this, including quite a few folks in Barron Park. And those who live along Matadero or walk there are relieved to finally have traffic calming measures that will limit excessive speeding.
    Time will tell if this Bike Boulevard on a narrow, collector street in Barron Park works out well or not. All of the negatives have been relayed to the City staff by many people on several occasions. But Jaime Rodriguez feels that City Transportation has a overriding mandate from the Council to move forward. They treat the Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan (approved in 2012 by Council) as a template, and not just a guide and they are intent on implementing it.
    The message to those opposed to this Bike Boulevard is to pay attention to city proposals and speak up and voice opinions when the plans are being vetted,

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