The Pleasanton City Council is set to discuss giving final direction on the plans for redesigning and expanding the city's downtown parking lot on the former railroad property between Bernal Avenue and Abbie Street on Tuesday night.
City staff are looking for input from the council on their design concept -- which calls for adding 81 new stalls to the municipal lot, plus other renovations -- after the Bicycle, Pedestrian and Trails Committee recommended the council rework the plans to make the trail within the lot wider, likely by reducing the number of new parking spots.
"The proposed design maximizes parking, while providing a bicycle and pedestrian concrete walkway that at several pinch points are still the same width as the entire (Firehouse Arts Center) parking lot concrete trail, and complies with the 8-foot minimum width requirements as indicated in the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan, but without the recommended 2-foot buffer on each side of the walkway," Steve Kirkpatrick, the city's director of engineering, said in his staff report to the council.
The city-owned lot on the south end of downtown, generally parallel to Main Street, currently contains 59 diagonal parking spaces in a dirt/gravel strip in the so-called transportation corridor -- former Southern Pacific Railroad right-of-way running through downtown that the city purchased from Alameda County in 2008 to increase parking and trail connectivity.
The council in 2017, as part of prioritizing more public parking throughout downtown, supported a proposed project to redesign the Bernal-to-Abbie section of the transportation corridor to create a lot more similar to the Firehouse Arts Center parking lot that was also built in the old railroad corridor.
City officials have allocated $3.2 million for the project, and city staff and contractor HMH Engineers are ready with partial designs (known as "65% complete plans").
Their plans call for creating a two-way drive aisle, a 90-degree parking configuration on each side, a concrete walkway and landscaping improvements while creating a total of 140 parking spots.
The project would also include a retaining wall, site lighting, electric vehicle charging stations, drainage improvements, stormwater treatment, curb, gutter, asphalt pavement and striping, according to Kirkpatrick.
When city staff took the plans to the Bicycle, Pedestrian and Trails Committee for review in March, the committee majority thought the designs too unevenly favored parking over cyclist and pedestrian needs, specifically opposing the trail that maintained 9 feet in width, other than several pinch points at 8 feet wide, according to Kirkpatrick.
The committee voted to recommend the project be redesigned to "consider both parking and bicycle/pedestrians more equally," he said. Though not formally endorsing a specific new layout, the committee did discuss widening the trail by mixing 90-degree parking with parallel parking -- instead of all perpendicular, as city staff urges.
For their part, Parks and Recreation Commission members acknowledged the committee's concerns and recommended other options be explored to increase trail width, but they did not make a formal motion requesting the plans be changed, according to Kirkpatrick.
He points out several key factors at the site don't really allow engineers to create a layout on city property that widens the trail without losing parking stalls, including the available city land is only 75 feet wide (compared to the Firehouse lot, which is 100-foot-wide). For those reasons, and more, city officials stand by their original recommendation for the parking lot layout.
Still, staff will present the council with alternatives to consider such as a smaller lot, diagonal parking (31 new spots), eliminating landscape buffers, or the mixed perpendicular-parallel parking suggestion from the committee (48 new spots).
Council members will be asked to make the call Tuesday night on whether to advance the current plans for completion or send staff and consultants back to the drawing board to create a new layout with a wider trail.
The parking lot is the main discussion item on the council's regular meeting agenda, scheduled to get underway at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the council chamber at the Pleasanton Civic Center, 200 Old Bernal Ave.
In other business
* The council will open the meeting with a ceremony recognizing the 125th anniversary of Pleasanton's incorporation as a city -- which occurred on June 18, 1894.
The public ceremony at 7 p.m., which follows a community reception at 6:30 p.m., will include a recognition of the city's history, a review of the very first council meeting minutes and a performance of an original song by Pleasanton teen Lauyrn Hedges.
* Council members will present a proclamation declaring June as LGBTQ Pride Month in Pleasanton.
* They will also honor Jeffrey Williams as Pleasanton's 2019 Ambassadog, a program partnership with the Valley Humane Society to recognize one local pup as the city's canine representative for the year.
* The council will consider final adoption of the city's two-year operating budget (which calls for $192.3 million in expenditures for 2019-20 and $196.1 million for 2010-21) as well as the city's four-year capital improvement program (CIP), which recommends $168.3 million worth of projects between 2019-20 and 2022-23.
The budget and CIP, which were initially reviewed by the council during a public hearing two weeks ago, are listed among Tuesday night's 18-item consent calendar -- a collection of items deemed routine and voted upon all at once unless pulled for separate, individual consideration.
Other consent items include a resolution approving new rates for solid waste, recycleables and organics materials collection; a $918,000 contract with CleanStreet for citywide sweeping services in streets and city-owned parking lots; and a design approval for the new, $108,000 tot lot playground proposed for the west side of Valley Trails Park.
* Sitting as the Board of Directors of Pleasanton's geological hazard abatement districts (GHADs), council members will consider approving annual assessments for the GHADs in Oak Tree Farm, Moller Ranch, Laurel Creek Estates and Lemoine Ranch Estates.
* The council will also meet in closed session at 6:15 p.m. to discuss a pending workers' compensation case.