Legislative Public Meetings

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File #: 18-0336   
Type: Report to Council Status: Passed
Meeting Body: City Council
On agenda: 5/8/2018
Title: Approve the Caribbean Drive Parking and Trail Access Enhancements Design Alternative, and Amend an Existing Design/Construction Support Contract
Attachments: 1. Report to BPAC 18-0306, April 19, 2018, 2. Presentation from September 19, 2017 Public Meeting, 3. Design Alternatives, 4. Site Photos, 5. Excerpt of Draft BPAC Meeting Minutes of April 19, 2018.pdf, 6. Draft Amendment to Agreement, 7. Staff Presentation 20180508 (18-0336)
Related files: 19-0075

REPORT TO CITY COUNCIL

 

SUBJECT

Title

Approve the Caribbean Drive Parking and Trail Access Enhancements Design Alternative, and Amend an Existing Design/Construction Support Contract

 

Report

SUMMARY OF COMMISSION ACTION

The Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission (BPAC) considered this item on April 19, 2018.  

 

The Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission voted not to recommend any of the alternatives presented to Council. The vote was 6-0, with Commissioner Oey absent (Attachment 5 - Excerpt of Draft BPAC Meeting Minutes of April 19, 2018).

 

This position was reflective of two primary concerns voiced by the public speakers.

1.                     Concern over high-speeds of vehicles on Caribbean Drive:

o                     The public felt motorists routinely and significantly exceed the speed limit of 45 miles per hour on Caribbean Drive and run red lights, including heavy trucks. 

o                     Many believe the posted speed limit should be lower and traffic calming should be implemented. (It should be noted that only residential streets are eligible for traffic calming. The Caribbean Drive Parking and Trail Access Enhancements Project will not address the speed of the roadway as part of the project.)

2.                     Concern of differential speeds for the various usage types:

o                     Motor vehicles, electric bicycles, commuter cyclists, recreational cyclists, and pedestrians all move at different speeds. The public expressed that mixing multiple categories without barrier separation is uncomfortable, and even unsafe, for slower-moving users.  

o                     Parallel parking on Caribbean Drive adjacent to high-speed traffic feels dangerous.

 

These and other concerns are detailed in Attachment 5.

 

ADDITIONAL DISCUSSION

Water Pollution Control Plant Rehabilitation Project

The Water Pollution Control Plant (Plant) Master Plan lays out a series and sequence of projects to rebuild the Plant over the next thirty years (Cleanwater Program, or Program). The master plan was approved by City Council on August 23, 2016. The Caribbean Drive Parking and Trail Access Enhancements project is one of the early projects in the Program. The scope of the project is to replace and relocate parking and trail access which currently exists along Carl Road to Caribbean Drive at the West Channel; Carl Road will be vacated as a public street to accommodate the Plant buildout. 

 

Vacation of a Portion of Carl Road

Carl Road westerly of Borregas Avenue terminates at the Bay Trail trailhead and public parking currently at that location. On either side of this road are treatment plant facilities and a closed landfill. As part of the Plant buildout, access to this area will be controlled and not generally open to the public. Therefore, Carl Road will no longer function as public right-of-way. Carl Road will remain open to the public until construction of the new Bay Trail access point is complete.

 

Staff brought forward the vacation of portions of Carl Road, Borregas Avenue, and Crossman Avenue for consideration at the February 27, 2018 council meeting (RTC No. 17-0778). At that time, Council approved the vacations for Borregas and Crossman Avenues and requested that Carl Road vacation be continued until such time as Council reviews the Caribbean Drive project. However, staff will bring the vacation of Carl Road to the Council at a future date.

 

Project

The project includes enhancing the trailhead by relocating it to be more visible to the public as well as taking approximately 950 feet of one westbound lane of Caribbean Drive and converting it to on-street parallel parking, in combination with sidewalk or pathway improvements for accessibility (site photos are included as Attachment 4). The Preferred Alternative accomplishes the scope of the Council-approved Caribbean Drive Parking and Trail Access Enhancements Project, and satisfies the project’s constraints:

 

                     Meets Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) requirements in the City’s existing permit for parking and access to the Bay Trail network

                     Complies with ADA criteria and Caltrans guidelines Avoids impacting the recycled water transmission main, high-pressure gas line, and regulated closed landfill immediately parallel to the project

                     Achieves the schedule for the Sunnyvale Cleanwater Program

 

The Preferred Alternative provides an off-street multi-use pathway for both bicyclists and pedestrians. A wide buffer zone of 8’ separating the parking/bioretention area from the travel lane will allow for parking maneuverability as well as a door zone area. The configuration of the multi-use trail is consistent with other multi-use trails/pathways in the City which do not separate modes of off-street travel (such as commuter and recreational bicyclists and pedestrians). Within the City, there are other arterials where parking and/or bike lanes are immediately adjacent to travel lanes, such as: Mathilda Avenue north of California Avenue and El Camino Real.

 

This project improves safety by having the bicycle facilities off-street and providing a wide buffer zone adjacent to the parking areas. The buffer zone serves several functions: allows space for parallel parking maneuverability, allots area for people to exit their cars on the driver’s side as well as provide an area to unload bicycles, strollers, camera equipment, and other bulky items safely from their vehicles. It should be noted that the Preferred Alternative aligns all of the stormwater facilities to the westerly side of the West Channel. This allows some flexibility for roadway geometrics through the intersection of Borregas/Caribbean in the future.

 

Some members of the public have expressed interest in staff looking at other alternatives for off-street parking, such as the triangular shaped piece of land where Mathilda Avenue turns into Caribbean Drive. Although this land is owned by the City, it abuts the landfill and changing the use would be subject to a full environmental review. Staff has also identified a potential opportunity to locate parking along Borregas Drive north of Caribbean Drive, but this has not been fully vetted with respect to circulation in the area and the interaction within the main driveway to the SMART station.

 

Staff is continuing to recommend the Preferred Alternative as the best solution to meeting all of the constraints listed above. Should evaluation of an alternative other than the Current Design, Preferred Alternative, or Other Alternative Evaluated be selected, staff will need to negotiate an additional increase to the consultant’s contract and timing of the project will be extended approximately four to six months, which will impact the overall schedule of the Cleanwater Program.

 

Amending Design and Construction Support Contract - Mark Thomas & Company

Mark Thomas & Company has been retained as the design consultant for this project.  At the time of scope of work preparation, it was anticipated that the project alternative defined in the Water Pollution Control Plant Master Plan (shown as Current Design in Attachment 3) would be developed through final design and construction. This design was developed to approximately 90% level of design. At the February 6, 2018 Council Meeting, Council deferred the approval of an item on the agenda consisting of: the San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI) grant, addendum to the Program EIR, and budget modification for the project (RTC No. 17-1166) and asked staff to evaluate other bike and pedestrian safety improvements. City staff has negotiated an amount of $75,000 to cover the additional design effort of evaluating these two new alternatives and producing final bid documents should either the Preferred Alternative or Other Alternative Evaluated be selected. The funding for this contract amendment (Attachment 6 - Draft Amendment to Agreement) will come from the project funds currently earmarked for construction. A budget modification will be required after bids are opened and at the award of a construction contract.

 

Public Comments at the April 19 BPAC Meeting

Commissioners and citizens at the BPAC meeting raised concerns with the presented alternatives. One of the main concerns centered around the speed of traffic on Caribbean Drive. The speed limit of Caribbean Drive is currently 45 miles per hour. The City’s traffic calming program is limited to residential streets, and is not applicable to Caribbean Drive. Accident history at the location of Caribbean/Borregas shows that aside from the recent collision in early 2018, no other collisions in the past five years were reported involving a pedestrian or bicyclist.

 

City staff is sensitive to the concerns raised at the BPAC meeting and suggest they be addressed through the appropriate avenue. These avenues include:

 

                     Inclusion of the analysis of enhanced cyclist facilities along Caribbean Drive between Hwy 237 and Mathilda Avenue in the Bicycle Master Plan (currently underway, scheduled for completion in Summer 2020)

                     Performing speed surveys for potential reevaluation of the speed limit on Caribbean Drive

                     Increased police enforcement of posted speed limits

                     Publicizing the free public parking available in the privately-owned commercial lot at the west end of Caribbean Drive (Oath, formerly known as Yahoo!)

                     Pursue discussions with private developers to include public amenities in nearby proposed developments

 

The above concerns are not part of the scope of the Caribbean Drive Parking and Trail Access Enhancements Project and cannot be funded by the Wastewater Management Fund, which is the source of funding for this project and is dedicated to expenses related to the City-operated sewer collection and Water Pollution Control Plant systems.  However, staff will look at opportunities to address these concerns through other projects currently scheduled.

 

Consequences of Not Proceeding

Based on the current schedule for the Cleanwater Program, this project must be completed by December 2019 to avoid delays to the overall Program. The Plant is intended to remain operational throughout the construction of the various project phases.  Delay of this project will have a ripple effect to the remainder of the Program schedule.  Due to escalation anticipated for construction costs as well as impacts of keeping consultants on retainer for longer periods of time, delay of this project could have a significant impact to the Program costs.

 

The Cleanwater Program schedule is set such that portions of the plant requiring replacement due to age and or deterioration, are constructed first. Delay in the program and processes scheduled to be rebuilt will cause additional risk with respect to reliability of existing facilities. 

 

PUBLIC CONTACT

Public contact was made by posting the Council agenda on the City's official-notice bulletin board outside City Hall, at the Sunnyvale Senior Center, Community Center and Department of Public Safety; and by making the agenda and report available at the Sunnyvale Public Library, the Office of the City Clerk and on the City's website.

 

ALTERNATIVES

1.  Approve the Caribbean Drive Parking and Trail Enhancements Design Preferred Alternative-Multi-Use Path and Wide Buffers as shown in Attachment 3.

2.  Direct staff to perform speed surveys along Caribbean Drive to maintain or reduce the speed limit.

3.  Authorize the City Manager to execute an amendment to an existing contract with Mark Thomas & Company, in substantially the same format as Attachment 6, adding $75,000 and increasing the not-to-exceed value from $319,662 to $394,662.

4.  Select the Other Alternative-Multi-Use Path and One-Way Bike Lane as shown in Attachment 3.

5.  Take other action as Council deems appropriate.

 

STAFF RECOMMENDATION

Recommendation

Staff recommends Alternatives 1 through 3:

1.  Approve the Caribbean Drive Parking and Trail Enhancements Design Preferred Alternative-Multi-Use Path and Wide Buffers as shown in Attachment 3.

2.  Direct staff to perform speed surveys along Caribbean Drive to maintain or reduce the speed limit.

3.  Authorize the City Manager to execute an amendment to an existing contract with Mark Thomas & Company, in substantially the same format as Attachment 6, adding $75,000 and increasing the not-to-exceed value from $319,662 to $394,662.

 

Staff

Prepared by: Jennifer Ng, Interim Assistant Director of Public Works/City Engineer

Reviewed by: Charles Taylor, Director of Public Works

Reviewed by: Timothy J. Kirby, Director, Finance

Reviewed by: Teri Silva, Assistant City Manager

Approved by: Kent Steffens, City Manager

 

ATTACHMENTS

1. Report to Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission 18-0306, April 19, 2018 (without attachments)

2. Presentation from September 19, 2017 Public Meeting

3. Design Alternatives

4. Site Photos

                     

Additional Attachments for Report to Council

5. Excerpt of Draft BPAC Meeting Minutes of April 19, 2018

6. Draft Amendment to Agreement