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San Ramon to host Iron Horse Trail overcrossings workshop

Original post made on May 15, 2014

A public workshop is being held next week to give San Ramon residents a chance to offer ideas for the design of Iron Horse Regional Trail overcrossings for Bollinger Canyon and Crow Canyon roads.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, May 15, 2014, 2:24 PM

Comments (21)

Posted by not necessary, a resident of San Ramon
on May 15, 2014 at 3:28 pm

This money will be well spent on some other project. I frequently use IH trail and have not been bothered waiting at various lights on major intersections.

Same is true for drivers, its same for them be it IH crossing or a regular street.

Please dont undertake this, the current set up works just fine.

Posted by Jim , a resident of San Ramon
on May 16, 2014 at 6:11 am

I agree with "not necessary." I'm a dedicated bike rider. I've crossed both intersections many times. There's no problem. What is this need to waste millions of dollars. Everyone should go to Walnut Creek and see the eyesore they have. Lucky for them it's not in the middle of town like ours will be..

Posted by Anita Cocktail, a resident of San Ramon
on May 16, 2014 at 7:53 am

Absolutely agree...what a waste of money. Take a look at the overcrossing on Ygnacio Valley Road, then take a look at the overcrossing on Treat Blvd.
Is that what anyone would want here? The answer is no! I ride that part of the trail frequently and there is NO PROBLEM folks.

Posted by andrew, a resident of San Ramon
on May 16, 2014 at 8:06 am

Agree with others above. The ygnacio valley crossing is a huge eyesore. If you feel you HAVE to build anything, do a tunnel like bridges golf course has for crossing under Bollinger Canyon. It's out of site and serve a purpose. NO OVERCROSSING!!!!!

But, no matter what the public says, the developer who will make a fortune from building this and kicking back to the politicians will win everytime.

Posted by Julia, a resident of Alamo
on May 16, 2014 at 9:46 am

I am pleased to hear folks against this stupid waste of money.

But the sad truth is Andrew, Anita, Jim, and Not Necessary those self serving officials couldn't care less with you the real folks think.

Remember them ate the voting both.

Thanks for listening, Julia Pardini from Alamo

Posted by Anne, a resident of San Ramon
on May 16, 2014 at 11:27 am

It may not be a problem now but it will be once the City Center and the Camino Ramon areas are developed. It will help traffic in both of these areas and be safer for pedestrians and bikers. Healthy adults may not have a problem but elderly people, school children, and families will be able to cross safely at these crosswalks especially after all the development is completed.

I'm glad that the City is including the public in the design phase. If anyone wants to know what the City is doing with funding, go to the planning and city council meetings. They are open to the public and you can present your issues there.

Posted by Resident, a resident of San Ramon
on May 16, 2014 at 12:55 pm

I agree with Anne. This will make traffic much better for those of us that commute along Bollinger. It will make crossing Bollinger safer for all pedestrians and cyclists. Stopping my morning or evening commute to let a cyclist cross at the IHT is a big problem and really slows the traffic.

I have seen cyclists stop and push the button to cross and then NOT wait for the light to change. They will cross through a gap in the traffic and after they have crossed the light will change and all of us who will sit and wait for the light to change again with no pedestrian or cyclist crossing. Very frustrating!

Let's build this bridge and make it look nice - not like some freeway overpass though.

Posted by resident also, a resident of San Ramon
on May 16, 2014 at 2:51 pm

Andrew - do you really think the city council members will get a kick back from developers or construction companies for building a bridge across Bollinger??? How would that work in a competitive bid? If the "briber" doesn't have the lowest bid then they don't win the contract. How does a 'briber' win the competitive contract.

BTW - the water table is too high in the San Ramon Valley to build a tunnel of sufficient size and depth that doesn't cost a fortune.

Posted by sr resident too, a resident of San Ramon
on May 16, 2014 at 5:18 pm

Dear Resident. What traffic problems? You must not experience the pain of Calaveras Blvd in Milpitas. :)

Faster traffic doesn't mean more safety for pedestrians. As a pedestrian/cyclist, I don't mind waiting for cars to pass as I wait for the crossing signal. As a driver, I don't mind waiting for pedestrians/cyclists to pass, since there are other traffic intersections where you'll need to stop at anyways. Traffic MUST be slower thru those parts of Crow Canyon and Bollinger Canyon. These streets do not need to become expressways. My biggest negative about pedestrian overcrossings is the security/safety issues after dark as these can become a perfect ambush spot or yet another place for the taggers to do their thing.

This is not a 24/7 problem that needs to be solved with overcrossings. I could understand pedestrian crossings over 680. It would be better to spend on improving the signal timing during the commute hours when there are pedestrians crossing at any--not just the trails--of all of the area intersections. Last I looked during the commute hours, I see all the intersections in that area being used by pedestrians/cyclists. An overcrossing at the trails will NOT solve the problem unless all the intersections get an overcrossing. Then again, doing this WILL turn the Canyon Roads into expressways.

Anyways, let's all get educated. There is a nice pdf about lessons learned for pedestrian overcrossings (or do your own search): Web Link

Posted by Erick, a resident of San Ramon
on May 16, 2014 at 6:14 pm

I favor the proposed over crossings to reduce the safety hazards for pedestrians and bicyclists attempting to cross both major thoroughfares. I have witnessed nearly tragic consequences of impatient pedestrians and bicyclists attempting to jaywalk rather than wait for the traffic signal to change.

Posted by Barbara, a resident of San Ramon
on May 17, 2014 at 8:24 am

Let's not forget about the woman who lost control of her bike as she was nearing Crow Canyon and was hit and killed by a car. This tragedy would have been prevented if there was a flyover in place.

Posted by Resident, a resident of San Ramon
on May 17, 2014 at 11:17 am

Good point Barbara. Any place there is 6 or more lanes of traffic AND pedestrians we need to take special care to meet the needs of both sources of traffic safely.

Posted by Anita Cocktail, a resident of San Ramon
on May 17, 2014 at 5:31 pm

Any other employees of the potential overcrossing vendor want to weigh in? Give me a break...this is a solution in need of a problem folks....

Posted by Capt Ron, a resident of San Ramon
on May 17, 2014 at 7:32 pm

This will definitely make these two crossings much safer for both pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers.

I have been at the Crow Canyon intersection with the Iron Horse trail and watched a driver blow through the red light as I was crossing and almost take out two runners in front of me. The driver did not even touch the brakes.

Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon
on May 18, 2014 at 1:28 am

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.

In January 2013 I was driving through the intersection of Alcosta and Bollinger Canyon Road with the green light. A driver in an SUV ran the red light and crashed into the side of my car. I was in the hospital for three days. If I had been in the crosswalk I would be dead.

There are no kickbacks to anyone I know of, and I know pretty much everyone on Staff and on the City Council.

A vendor hasn't been chosen yet and it hasn't gone out for bids. It's in the planning stages. Those of you who don't like what was built in Walnut Creek, go to the workshop and say so.


Posted by sr resident too, a resident of San Ramon
on May 19, 2014 at 4:10 pm

I hear the near-misses contingent and feel for those who have been seriously injured. However, unless there are severe modifications to all the pedestrian-carrying intersections, all that building the overpass will do is shift the problems around elsewhere. Drivers must learn to slow down and be courteous! What's the rush! Peds also need to be on their toes and not be distracted or thinking they deserve the right of way.

Enforcement of the existing speed limits would be a great way to modify a lot of the terrible driver behaviors on those major roads. I hate it when I'm following the speed limit up or down Bollinger between Canyon Lakes and Alcosta to have BMWs and Range Rovers blasting by, and then they get to the red lights first and I get to sneer at them, "Hurry up and wait!" It's so much cheaper when everyone follows the rules of the road and has some common courtesy. People are in such a rush nowadays that people want to rush in by throwing money at a structural problem when it's more due to a behavioral problem.

Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon
on May 19, 2014 at 4:21 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.

This isn't a new proposal. I remember the Council voting on overpass designs when I was writing my original San Ramon Observer website. I went back through my archives and found this report from June 10, 2008:

"The Council received a presentation on bridges over major roadways to connect one side of the Iron Horse Trail with the other side. Overpasses are planned over Bollinger Canyon Road, Crow Canyon Road, and Sycamore Valley Road in Danville. Costs are estimated at $6,000,000 to$9,000,000 per bridge depending on design."


Posted by JT, a resident of Danville
on May 20, 2014 at 7:37 am

The govt maxim is, if you have the money, find a way to spend it on something.
That's what this sounds like to me. $6 to $9 Million per bridge is insane. But if you have the money and there isn't much else to do, then why not.
I don't mind waiting at "over" well designed intersections for pedestrians and bikers. The problem is usually some traffic hack sets up the timing of lights and has it screwy. Like how many times are you waiting at a red light and not one car is going through for a long time. Extrapolate to the IHT crossings. If the biker or pedestrian is waiting at the IHT at Crow Cyn or Bollinger Cyn, and no traffic is flowing. That is a poorly designed intersection. Spend the money to improve the traffic flow, spend the money to improve the light automation, spend some money to improve the visibility of the crossing to motorists, spend some money to improve the waiting locations so that there is not just a trail ending at the road with limited collection areas.
This would be way better. Also, when a pedestrian presses the cross walk button, they have no way to know how long they will be waiting. Come up with a system that gives a time estimate for the light to change, like the crosswalks do with how much time is left.

Posted by Ms. bunny, a resident of San Ramon
on May 21, 2014 at 8:18 am

I cross Bollinger ALOT on foot. I really am TOTALLY relieved they are addressing this matter, PARTICULARLY AT Bollinger. I've seen MANY near misses, can't believe? Many of you have not! It is ONE DANGEROUS AREA crossing for all. The money WILL be well spent, I have no doubts. I would not be supporting this effort IF it were not for the impact of the Dougherty valley development overall and the addition of the Iron Horse Middle school, as BOTH these populated areas necessitate the crossing (again, particularly at Bollinger but it will be a boon to Crow Canyon as well) I ABSOLUTELY SUPPORT THIS EXPENDITURE 100% -So relieved it's happening finally...

Posted by dbrower, a resident of San Ramon
on May 21, 2014 at 2:18 pm

I like the aesthetics of the Ygnacio overcrossing in Walnut Creek. It's a lovely, delicate structure.

I'm completely in favor of overcrossings for Sycamore, Crow and Bollinger, and I'd be happy if everyone with income/property as much as or more than me paid for it all.

Posted by resident, a resident of San Ramon
on May 23, 2014 at 5:11 pm

The bridge is not necessary now & is a big waste of money especially considering the other much higher priority items that need be addressed. Also, renovating the old library is another waste of money since the old library does not have adequate parking, is too small, & is in a bad & congested location. The money saved by not renovating the old library and saved by not building the bridge, should be combined & used to build a new larger library with adequate parking on the other (north) side of Bollinger. Even better, do not build the new city hall (a needless boondoggle that feathers the bed of local government), and use a portion of the $14.8MM that is saved to convert the old library into a city hall, and use the money left over to build something that improves the quality of life for the residents of san Ramon.

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