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Current Council Agenda and Past Meeting Information


Meeting Date: April 8, 2008

Subject/Title: Accept a report on the American Avenue Task Force and support the Task Force recommendations.

Prepared by: Steve Kersevan, Traffic Engineering Manager

Submitted by: Bailey Grewal, Director of Public Works/City Engineer

Accept a report on the American Avenue Task Force and support the Task Force recommendations.

On November 13, 2007, the City Council authorized the Mayor to invite the School Districts, Contra Costa County and parent representatives to participate in a task force on American Avenue.

Many safety and traffic congestion concerns have been raised by residents and school officials using American Avenue to access Adam’s Middle School and Heritage High School. A significant amount of time and financial resources (approximately $640,000) has been spent on improvements by the City since the opening of the schools. These various improvements include roadway widening, additional turn lanes, signing, striping and traffic signal modifications. Concerns continue to remain, and in an effort to gain assistance from all parties to provide relief, the City Council, at the November 2007 meeting, authorized the Mayor to invite the School Districts, Contra Costa County and parent representatives to participate in a task force on American Avenue. The goal of the Task Force was to bring together the necessary agencies and stakeholders to brainstorm and propose recommendations that can be implemented by the agencies, parents and students. Council Member Stonebarger was appointed Task Force Chair and Council Member Becnel also represented the City as a Task Force Member; City staff served as technical support.

The first meeting was held in January 2008, at which the Task Force structure and purpose was outlined to all attendees. The remainder of the meeting was spent providing each representative the opportunity to vocalize the extent of their concerns, both safety and congestion related. January’s second meeting prioritized the group’s top five issues/concerns and proposed short, mid and long term recommendations and solutions. At the third meeting held in February, these recommendations and solutions were narrowed down by feasibility and associated costs. At the latest meeting, Task Force Chair Stonebarger requested each public agency present the recommendations to their respective authority for direction. A complete summary of the prioritized recommended solutions is attached for your reference. Of the summarized list, staff recommends the following Task Force Short-Term and Mid-Term Solutions, equaling a total estimated construction cost of $185,000:

#1 Short-Term Asphalt Path: estimated construction cost $80,000
-Construct an asphalt path on the east side of American Avenue from Balfour Road, southerly to the stop sign at the loop road, to separate pedestrians, bicyclists and skateboarders from the vehicular travel lane.

#3 Short-Term American Avenue striping modifications + #1 Mid-Term Student Parking Lot entrance modifications: estimated construction cost $105,000
-Restriping of American Avenue to provide 3 southbound lanes starting at Balfour Road, becoming four lanes closer to the parking lot entrance, including two dedicated turn lanes into the parking lot. Two turn lanes will require widening of the parking lot entrance and modification of the entrance median. This restriping also requires removal of the bike lane on American Avenue. Staff does not recommend these two improvements being done independent of one another.

Support of these recommended solutions would be conditioned upon a cost sharing agreement between the three public agencies; Liberty Union High School District, Brentwood Union School District and the City of Brentwood, with the City contributing one-third of the expenses. It is further recommended this financial arrangement be memorialized prior to issuing any contract and expenditure of funds. Performing the above recommended improvements would require an approximate 5-6 week construction window and is safer and more efficient during school break. To be construction ready on June 9th at the beginning of summer break, would require award of a construction contract at the May 20th Council meeting. This aggressive schedule would require all agencies to endorse improvements and commit to cost sharing by the end of April.

If supported by the Council, these approved recommendations, including construction solutions, cost sharing and construction timing will be brought back to the reconvened Task Force.

Should the other Task Force public agency members agree to the recommendations and cost sharing proposal, a cost sharing agreement, an amended CIP budget sheet and a construction contract, will be brought before the Council. At a one-third cost share, the City’s contribution is estimated at $62,000 to be funded from the General Fund.

American Avenue Task Force Recommended Solutions

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