Korematsu Middle School Safe Routes to School Improvements, Phase 1, C5040
BACKGROUNDThe new Korematsu Middle School campus is at the site of a former elementary school. Given the new middle school age group, the amount of walking and biking to school is expected to increase. The City of El Cerrito is encouraging walking and biking as a mode of transportation to the new middle school campus in order to reduce typical automobile congestion around middle schools, as well as, to fulfill various goals of the City’s Strategic Plan, Climate Action Plan, and Active Transportation Plan, which all support biking and walking as being practical, healthy, and environmentally-sustainable modes of transportation. The West Contra Costa Unified School District is also partnering with the City to identify needed improvements and communicate with the school community. In September 2015, the City and District held a joint meeting to discuss the surrounding neighborhood and school community concerns and ideas regarding traffic among other items.
This project implements the Phase 1 improvements identified in the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) Safe Routes to School technical assistance for Korematsu Middle School. That technical assistance created a Walk & Roll to School Map and Traffic Control Plan that identified areas for enhanced school area traffic control and other improvements for walking routes to school based on the prior plans, efforts and meeting discussed above. Additionally, the Active Transportation Plan identifies this portion of Norvell Street and Schmidt Lane as a bicycle boulevard to support safe biking to the school. This project would implement pedestrian crosswalk improvements and portions of the bicycle boulevard in the immediate vicinity of the school to benefit the safety of students and encourage new walking and biking trips to the school. The project includes bicycle boulevard signing, striping and traffic calming improvements on Norvell Street and Schmidt Lane between Potrero Avenue and Richmond Street (both are Class III bicycle routes) and crosswalk improvements at Richmond Street/Gladys Avenue, Richmond Street/Donal Avenue, Norvell Street/Gladys Avenue, Norvell Street/Donal Avenue, Navellier Street/Gladys Avenue, Potrero Avenue/Navellier Street, Norvell Street/Schmidt Lane, Lawrence Street/Gladys Avenue, and Lawrence Street/Donal Avenue. Specific project components include enhanced traffic control devices (stop signs, school crossing signs, stop pavement legends, advanced stop bars, and “slow school crossing” legends), crosswalk enhancements (high visibility crosswalks and striping of missing crosswalks), traffic calming elements (striped bulbouts with 8” pavement markers and splitter islands/ “chokers”), and bicycle boulevard improvements (sharrows and bicycle boulevard signing).
The project is funded by Transportation Development Act, Article 3 grant funds.
The design including public outreach efforts will begin in spring 2017.