City Manager's Updates

Monthly updates from El Cerrito City Manager Karen Pinkos.

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Jun 11

Public Works Dept Update- May 23, 2012

Posted on June 11, 2012 at 3:21 PM by Suzanne Iarla

Upcoming Trail Work at Motorcycle Hill (Blake and Navellier)
The El Cerrito Trail Trekkers, a local volunteer group, plans to restore the Motorcycle Hill trail in the northern segment of the Hillside Natural Area above Blake and Navellier this month. Work parties are planned on May 19, 27 and June 2, National Trails Day. Public Works is reviewing their plans to accomplish the following:
• Construct a trail that links the bottom of the hill with the trails above.
• Install trail markers.
• Pull Scotch Broom from the hillside; get guidance from ECFD regarding the placement of piles for burning or disposal.
• Install steps at the bottom of the hill from the public sidewalk to the trail base in order to bridge a 24” retaining wall.

Restoring the trail will increase the length of an existing route which currently ends at a promontory above Motorcycle Hill Trail. Once the trail is improved, people will be able to continue on down the hill safely using a series of easy switchbacks. In addition, the trail will provide a new access to the Hillside Natural Area, from Blake Street. East Bay Trail Dogs, a local nonprofit, has supplied valuable expertise and helped map the route.

The trail, which was widely used in the 1970s, is now overgrown with Scotch broom and poison oak and its route has become unclear. In the 1920s, motorcycle climbs on this hill attracted thousands. Trail Trekkers seeks a prohibition on future motorcycle use here. They plan this trail restoration to be the first of many efforts to improve El Cerrito's trail and path system.

Fairmount Avenue & Ashbury Avenue Intersection Safety Improvements

Over that last several months, construction of the safety improvements at the intersection of Fairmount and Ashbury Avenues has slowly, but surely progressed. During this time, the traffic signal had been set to provide a fixed amount of time for every intersection approach regardless of the vehicle and pedestrian demand. Last week, all vehicle detection and pedestrian push button systems were fully installed and programmed so the traffic signal is now responsive to the presence of vehicles and pedestrians on individual approaches to the intersection. This will significantly reduce waiting times at the intersection.

Also last week, all the street lighting fixtures were replaced with ones that have a lower wattage, a warmer light, and backlight control. These fixtures will be less bright and will substantially reduce the amount of light emitted into nearby residences. These changes are in response to concerns from nearby residents.

At this point, the major construction effort, including all civil and electrical work, for this project is complete. The items of work remaining include landscaping of the median island and southwest corner bulb-out and minor clean-up items. We greatly appreciate the community’s patience during the construction of this project especially given the unforeseen conditions and delays we encountered along the way.