North Berkeley Bicycle and Pedestrian Access Improvements

Context

The Ohlone Greenway is a regionally significant trail spanning over 5 miles of shared-use path in 4 jurisdictions (Berkeley, Albany, El Cerrito and Richmond) in two counties (Alameda and Contra Costa). Two segments of the path are adjacent to BART-owned properties currently used as parking lots, as illustrated below.

The existing infrastructure in these segments is a 10-foot wide multi-use path. Under normal conditions and during peak commute hours, these segments are so congested with pedestrians that cyclists prefer to ride through the parking lots. The Ohlone Greenway, in general, is a critical component of the bicycle and pedestrian access infrastructure for BART riders.

The station area itself is very permeable and offers many options for entry/exit for those who drive and park and for those who walk; however, the only infrastructure fully dedicated to cyclists is bike parking in the form of racks and electronic lockers.
 

2020 Overview of BART station area and Ohlone Greenway

This project is to implement bicycle and pedestrian access improvements at North Berkeley Station. Project goals are as follows:

  • To advance the 2016 Station Access Policy (PDF) goals (safer, healthier, greener) and targets (PDF) (52% active access for home origin trips districtwide by 2025). For more information on the Policy, please visit this page.
  • To reduce congestion in the Ohlone Greenway
  • To improve pedestrian safety and security
  • To minimize cost and maximize benefit in light of upcoming TOD

Background

Based on BART's 2015 Station Profile Study survey data, 61% of all trips and 59% of home-origin trips to North Berkeley station are already made by walking and biking. BART wants to support these trips, and make walking and biking a safer and more attractive option for more people.

Station Profile Survey data tables

Visit the Station Profile Study page for additional information.

Data Collection

For this project, we collected trip data to/from the North Berkeley station area on typical, middle-of-the-week weekdays in November 2017.

Active Access Trips

Maps illustrating pedestrian and bicycle entries and exits at North Berkeley station

Vehicle Trips Trips

Maps illustrating vehicle entries and exits at North Berkeley station

Our data taught us that most people, regardless of mode, arrive/leave the station through a small portion of the station area on the east side, where the station entrance is level with the street - i.e. there are no stairs (illustrated below).

Image showing how people access the station mostly from the east side

Design

The image below illustrates the components of the scope of work, including:

  • Two-way separated cycle tracks on both north-south internal BART roads (West Drive and East Drive) and on east-west road connecting Acton Street to the station plaza. To accomplish this, we are converting West Drive and East Drive to one-way operation for vehicles.
  • Two-way cycle track on north side of Delaware Street between Acton Street and Sacramento Street.
  • A speed table and a raised crosswalk in front of the station entrance, and raised crosswalks across Franklin St and across Delaware St at midblock.
  • Modifications to curb radii along Virginia Street to slow down turning vehicles and allow for orientation of new curb ramps in line with the crosswalks.
  • A midblock curb bulbout on Sacramento Street to shorten the crossing distance and rationalize vehicle movements.
  • New ADA-accessible passenger loading zone on southbound Sacramento Street protected by the midblock bulbout and a direct connection from the street sidewalk to the internal sidewalk that leads to the BART platform elevator.
  • Ohlone Greenway between Acton/Virginia intersection and Virginia Gardens widened from 10’ to 18’ to allow for separation between a two-way cycle track and a pedestrian-only path.
  • Improved diverter at Acton/Virginia intersection to prevent drivers from climbing up the sidewalk to get around the diverter. NOTE: the design for this location is being refined at this time and will be different from the illustration, including four openings for bicycles instead of two.
  • Net new 122 secure bicycle parking spaces.
  • Pedestrian-scale lighting within station area and along Ohlone Greenway.
  • Landscaping and storm water management.
  • Art.

Click on the image below to see a larger PDF.

North Berkeley Design plan rendering

View of new and improved Ohlone Greenway at Acton/Virginia

View of new and improved Ohlone Greeway at Acton/Virginia

View of East Drive with new speed table and two-way cycle track in front of station entrance

View of East Drive with new speed table and two-way cycle track in front of station entrance

Double-decker bike lockers coming to North Berkeley

Funding, Progress & Schedule

The project has received two grant awards totaling $3.4M from the Affordable Housing & Sustainable Communities Program (AHSC) in partnership with Bridge Housing and Satellite Affordable Housing Associates (SAHA), which will serve to complement BART Measure RR funds set aside for the project.
The project is currently at 65% Design and the remainder of the schedule is as follows:

  • Summer 2021       100% Design/Issue for Bid
  • Winter 2021          Start Construction
  • Winter 2022          Complete Construction

BART RR Funds at Work Logo

Project brought to you by voter-approved Measure RR funds.