A proposed $129,648 contract for curb "bulb-outs" and flashing lights for two Arlington Boulevard crosswalks near Madera Elementary School goes before the City Council tonight, Tuesday.
"This project will improve safety for students walking to Madera Elementary School along Arlington Boulevard," says a report prepared by the city's Public Works Department for the council meeting.
One crosswalk is at Madera Drive and Arlington and the other is at Brewster Drive and Arlington.
Patch asked the Public Works Department if the city has data on how many students walk to the hillside school and use those crosswalks across Arlington, particularly the one at Madera Drive, which connects to the golf course for the Mira Vista Golf and Country Club.
Jerry Bradshaw, who recently retired as the city's Public Works Director but is continuing on the job as a temporary employee until a replacement is found, said he didn't have such data as his fingertips, and added, "But I can say that the current number may be fairly small. However, we hope that these improvements will encourage parents who drop off to actually do the drop (particularly higher-grade kids) on Arlington instead of adding to the crush of traffic on Madera."
Arlington is a fairly busy street, classified as a "minor arterial," according to the staff report.
Asked whether the bulb-outs could push bicyclists into automobile traffic, Bradshaw said, "The bulb outs have been kept back to allow for a 4-foot shoulder for bicycles. This is the same criteria we used on San Pablo Avenue for those bulb outs."
A bulb-out, also called a curb extension, pushes a short segment of the curb further into the street, usually in a rounded shape.
In addition to the bulb-outs, the project includes "in-pavement flashing lights with pedestrain detection devices, enhanced pedestrian crosswalk warning signs with rectangular flashing beacons, and interconnected advance flashing beacons and warning signs," according to the staff report. Also included are ADA-compliant ramps.
Funding for the project comes from a $230,470 federal Safe Routes to School grant that the city successfully applied for, says the staff report, which is attached to this article.
Seven bids from contractors were received for the project, and city staff recommends that the lowest bid, of $129,648 from Ray's Electric of Oakland, be approved by the council.
The item is on the council's "consent calendar," which typically consists of a group of non-controversial measures that the council approves collectively in one round of voting.
Also on the council agenda is a public hearing and possible council vote on increased rates for the curbside pick-up of garbage, green waste and recycling materials.
The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at El Cerrito City Hall.