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Third Community Workshop on Central Avenue Complete Streets Project Packed

City of Alameda Transportation Co-ordinator Gail Payne and resident Jim Sweeney confer prior to the meeting. (Action Alameda News)

City of Alameda Transportation Co-ordinator Gail Payne and resident Jim Sweeney confer prior to the meeting. (Action Alameda News)

Residents packed the Encinal High School cafeteria tonight to participate in the third community workshop on the Central Avenue Complete Streets project.

The goal of the project is to make pedestrian and bicycle improvements along Central Avenue from Sherman Street to Main Street.

The effort comes on the heels of the completion of changes to Shore Line Drive to implement a separated bicycle track, a project that has enjoyed its share of controversy.

Action Alameda News attended primarily to gather some pictures and conduct interviews for upcoming stories, but was approached upon leaving by a latecomer to the meeting who spotted a media badge.

Richard, who lives in the Gold Coast neighborhood, and who didn’t want to give his last name, told Action Alameda News, “I find the new street system [Shore Line Drive] very dangerously narrow and it appears that a couple of years of testing people opening doors and getting out into traffic needs to observed before we expand this ‘wonderful’ idea.

“What they have now is very narrow, and I wonder how many people are going to be hurt getting in and out of their car.

“If the same logic is used…you know you can’t get off this island in under 20 minutes if you don’t get off by 7:30 in the morning and nobody cares about that. And the traffic problem if they go to Central, not only do you have a left turn problem but you have real have real safety concerns.”

Advocates of the Shore Line Drive cycle track, and the proposed reduction in traffic lanes on Central Avenue, have said that narrowing the streets and reducing lanes improves safety by slowing cars down.

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