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Public Works Gives 11 Reasons for Why I-880 Improvements Plans Increase Alameda’s Traffic Problems

Erica Madison

At a joint City Council and Alameda Reuse and Redevelopment Authority meeting on Jan 6, 2009, Public Works staff, warned council against approving $74 million I-880 improvement plan.

“The Project provides several benefits to the freeway and regional traffic, but increases delays and queues in Alameda” said a Public Works representative.

Public works staff conducted a transportation commission study Aug. 26, 2009.

The purpose behind the study was to have community share their opinions or concerns about the I-880 proposed improvements.

After evaluating the public comments and reviewing the proposal the staff found:

  • During peak times Park Street will experience increases in delays and queues.

This is will become problematic for businesses and commute traffic in Oakland and Alameda.

The increase in queues and delays will impact emergency access along Park Street.

  • Under the new proposal, access via 9th street to Miller-Sweeney bridge will be eliminated.

This change only results in increasing congestion along Park Street. Plus traffic that currently uses 9th street to access Miller-Sweeney bridge will be diverted to Park Street.

  • County Bridge operations (raising/lowering) will be slowed.

This will cause problems for maritime traffic because the queues are projected to extend beyond the Park Street Bridge.

  • The project has reduced capacity at the 23rd Ave. on ramp to I-880 by consolidating the ramps.

This will create significant increases in delays. Consolidation of these two ramps, and including a new signal causes problems. This is because as it stands, Alamedans can get on the freeway without stopping at a signal.

The project will also add a new signal at the new consolidated on ramps.

This will create more delays for commuters attempting to take northbound I-880 from Alameda to Oakland.

  • Bicycle access on Embarcadero should be maintained.

The Public Works staff is concerned that during construction bicycle access will be closed.

  • Park street triangle area north of the Park Street bridge, will increase in traffic volumes and delays, which will change traffic circulation .
  • No mitigation is provided to address queues and delays along Park Street. “Northbound park street queue increases by 1000 ft., during morning peak hour and could extend beyond Buena vista Ave.” said Public Works representative.
  • The signalized intersections of Blanding and Clement Aves. along Park Street will have increases in delays and queues.
  • Future Development Along Ford Street Area will adversely impact traffic access by increasing delays and queues at ford street and 29th Ave intersection.
  • 11.Shared left turn and through lane at 23rd ave and 7th st. in Oakland, w cause additional increase in delays and queue for alameda traffic.

Public Works also added that Caltrans accident data shows that Southbound I-880 at Fruitvale Ave. off ramp is worse than Northbound off ramp I-880 at buses. Southbound I-880 should be a priority.


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