The seven-member Castro Valley Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (CVBPAC) met for the first time last Wednesday, March 11 to start advising the Alameda County Public Works Agency (PWA) on matters related to the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan within Castro Valley.
The CVBPAC will act as a liaison between PWA and the community on safety and infrastructure needs and concerns, assist with grant writing to fund local projects, participate in educational efforts around bicycling and walking, and promote bicycling and walking as viable forms of transportation and recreation. This is very similar to the role that BikeWalkCV already plays in Castro Valley, although BikeWalkCV is a local community group and the BPAC is an official (non-decision making) body. Paul Keener, Sr. Transportation Planner at PWA, facilitates the meetings under the direction of PWA Director Daniel Woldesenbet.
The most significant topic on the agenda was the upcoming Active Transportation Program (ATP) grant cycle. The grant applications are available March 26 and are due June 1, a quick turnaround for up to nine potential grant proposals that typically run 60 or more pages.
ATP grant projects are funded and executed in phases, from design through construction. All the current projects are looking for design phase funding. PWA expects to match grant funding with existing county funds. The initial draft list of projects for grants include:
- Anita Ave. sidewalk from Castro Valley Blvd. to Somerset Ave.
- Heyer Ave. sidewalk from Redwood Rd. to Center St.
- Proctor Rd. sidewalk from Walnut Rd. to Redwood Rd.
- Somerset Ave. sidewalk from Stanton Ave. to Redwood Rd.
- Stanton Ave. sidewalk from Castro Valley Blvd. to Somerset Ave.
Members of the BPAC recommended extending the Stanton sidewalk project all the way to Sydney Way, and added the following suggested projects to this list:
- Redwood Rd. bike lane from Seven Hills Rd. to Castro Valley Blvd.
- Castro Valley Blvd. bike lane from Jensen Rd. to Villareal Dr.
- Castro Valley Blvd. bike lane from Redwood Rd. to Crow Canyon Rd.
- Castro Blvd. bike lane from San Miguel Ave. to the 580 freeway
PWA expects to finalize the list of projects in the next two weeks.
Several members of the BPAC will help write grant proposals. BikeWalkCV has also convened a grant writing subcommittee that has volunteered to assist PWA with the grant proposals.
Other items discussed included:
- Bike to Work Day is May 14, and PWA will host an “Energizer Station” at the Castro Valley BART station. BikeWalkCV will host a station in front of Castro Valley High School, along with creating a “pop up bike lane” along Redwood Rd. that will mimic an actual bike lane for the morning.
- Keener reported that the Bay Area Air Quality Management District has a Bicycle Rack Voucher Program that will provide essentially free bike racks for any public space, as long as the business or school it sits in front of agrees to pay the cost of securely installing it. All businesses are encouraged to reach out to Paul at PaulK@acpwa.org to sign up to receive and install the free bike racks. The program ends mid-May or whenever the funding runs out. Keener is currently reaching out to Jim Negri at Castro Valley Unified School District about getting free bike racks for our schools.
The next CVBPAC meeting is on April 15.