construction zone solutions

So, now that I’ve spent several posts complaining, on to solutions. The city is working an ordinance for construction zone handling, but I have not seen any draft documents. When something is available, I’ll add it.

The City of Oakland has what is generally considered to be the model guidance (, though Seattle also has something good that I’ve not tracked down yet. Sacramento could do well to simply adopt the Oakland guidance, but it is pretty radical for Sacramento, so I’m expecting something weaker to come out. Let me say what I think is most important.

Let me credit Robert Prinz of Bike East Bay for publicizing the guidance (he may have also had a part in developing it, not sure about that), and for monitoring compliance and publicizing failures. He is an inspiration for me.

  1. Management:
    • Responsibility for approving traffic control plans should be removed from Construction Services and placed in another division of Public Works that will actually ensure quality traffic control plans and enforcement as needed. Construction Services has demonstrated that they cannot be trusted with this responsibility. They continually bias for motor vehicle traffic and drivers, and against walkers and bicyclists.
    • Construction sites should be inspected on a regular basis by city personnel, to ensure that they have correctly installed the signing and barriers specified in their approved traffic plan, and that these are maintained until completion of the project.
    • Fines will be imposed on construction companies that do not correct problems within 12 hours of reporting to the city, by city staff or by citizens. If the construction company fails to correct the issue within 48 hours, the construction project should be shut down.
  2. Sidewalks and bike lanes:
    • For any roadway with more than one general purpose travel lane in the same direction, it shall be automatic that temporary sidewalks and bicycle lanes will be placed instead one lane.
    • For any roadway with parking lane on the same side as the construction zone, it shall be automatic that temporary sidewalks and bicycle lanes will be placed in the parking lane.
    • For any roadway where the bicyclist and/or pedestrian traffic is above a certain level (I’m not sure what the number should be), if no accommodation can be made by using a parking lane or general purpose travel lane, then the road will be closed to motor vehicle traffic in one or both directions for the duration of the project.
  3. Crosswalks:
    • ADA compliant barriers and signing will be used at ALL construction projects which close a crosswalk, no matter what the duration of the project. For any closure of over a week, fixed metal barriers should be used (see photo below). Plastic barricade poles or construction tape will never be used by themselves to mark a closure.
    • Unless the closest safe crossing is clearly evident from the point of closure, wayfinding signs will be included specifying the shortest distance and safest crossing.
crosswalk closure barrier
ADA detectable crosswalk closure barrier

Signing off for now with the construction zone topic. I found several more problematic locations on my walk this morning, but I need to take mental break from this, and talk about other things.

As always, I invite your comments and additions. Stay safe walking and bicycling out there, but don’t stay home. Your sanity requires being outside, or at least that is my opinion.

This series of posts is available at, and supporting photos at

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