Mobility for all road users is a key focus area of this council and we have wasted no time addressing how to make these improvements within our city. One of the first projects to have recommendations from national mobility expert, Dan Burden, is the Santa Fe Drive South Sidewalk project. Originally conceived as just a sidewalk completion project, the initial scoping seemed to miss an opportunity to provide a vastly improved streetscape that would increase safety and accessibility in a key segment of Santa Fe Drive.
If you recall, back in June, Council voted unanimously to send the Santa Fe project to Dan Burden for his recommendations to improve mobility and livability. He sent us 17 recommendations, which we reviewed and gave direction to staff on Wednesday.
Here are the highlights of the unanimous approval from Council on Wednesday:
- NACTO Guidelines: Asked staff to return with a summary of the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) Urban Street Design Guide and any conflicts with our current standards/guidelines. These are widely accepted national standards and are guidelines, not mandates and I hope to hear back in one of our next meetings.
- Rebalance travel and bike lanes: Adopted a citywide 10’ travel lane default width for streets posted 35 MPH and lower, including exceptions, such as on heavy transit or truck routes, curves or other needs noted. Data demonstrates that 10’ lane widths lead to lower speeds and increased car carrying capacity. It also allows for the remainder of the roadway to be dedicated to other uses while ensuring safety. For this project, we directed staff to re-configure striping plan for Santa Fe Drive to include 10-foot travel lanes in both directions, a 2-foot buffer to bike lanes (with a 12” lane stripe to properly delineate bike lanes from travel lanes) and add bike lanes.
- Tree selection: Directed staff to include the Urban Forest Advisory Committee in the tree palette recommendations.
- Bike lane buffers: Add some type of small, visible raised vertical treatment on the outer edge of the bike lane to provide an audible/physical buffer. The details are yet to be determined by staff with a report back to City Council.
- Center lane definition: Colorize the center center lane to better delicate travel area and help improve safety.
- Improved visibility and accessible at intersections: Improve the southwest corner of Mackinnon and Santa Fe by reducing curb radii, placing north/east ADA directional curb ramps and adding low impact planting on the non-paved area. In addition we added the NACTO pavement marketings at the intersection of Mackinnon and Santa Fe that makes bike movements more predicable for drivers (in paint, not thermoplastic).
- Crossing island at Gardena Road: To increase the flexibility and mobility of pedestrians, we directed staff to conduct a feasibility study of a pedestrian island at Gardena Road that would also serve as visual separation from the freeway area, entering the school/residential neighborhood.
- Separate projects: Added a separate project to look at Mackinnon/Nardo for safety, mobility and safe routes to school improvements.