PIEDMONT -- More than 1,600 people responded to the request for comments on the city's Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan being developed.

Of those, the majority were concerned about speeding on the city's major arterials -- Grand, Oakland, Highland and Moraga avenues -- creating unsafe conditions for bicyclists and pedestrians alike, consultant Niko Letunic said.

Letunic updated the Planning Commission at its Monday night meeting with his findings, another opportunity for the public to comment. Several meetings have been held on the topic, including an Oct. 30 workshop and a Nov. 12 Planning Commission meeting.

"Most of the comments were about driver behavior -- speeding, running stop signs, not yielding at crosswalks," Letunic said.

At a recent council meeting, a group of Piedmont High students said they were troubled with the speeding problem, adding that they believe police do not issue enough traffic tickets to motorists, especially Piedmont residents who many times receive only a warning.

Pat Marovich spoke about problems on her street, the 100 block of Olive Avenue.

"The road is uneven due to earth movement and the pavement is offset," Marovich said. "Bicyclists hit the elevated areas. I've seen lots of crashes and there will be more. It's a dangerous spot; public works need to look at it."

Letunic is working on a study that looks at all aspects of safety and improvements for foot, bicycle and car travel around the city. "Safe Routes to School" walking audits of Piedmont's six schools were conducted. An online community survey was held. The study is being funded through a grant from the Alameda County Transportation Commission and pass-through Measure B funds.

Numerous problems are noted in the draft study: uneven cracked sidewalks and streets on Abbott, Blair, Cambridge and other streets; parked cars blocking sidewalks; and sidewalk obstacles restricting the disabled.

Bicycle improvements include parking racks, off-road bike paths or trails, new bike lanes and improved access from Piedmont to Lakeshore and Piedmont avenues in Oakland.

In addition to safety, the PBMP strives to promote walking or bicycling to work or school to reduce greenhouse gas and congestion.

Commission liaison Councilman Garrett Keating suggested Letunic check the traffic speed surveys that were done in 2003 and 2008 to further inform his study.

The assessment will be finished by early March, Letunic said. A final version of the plan will be released in June or July.

For the full text of the 90-page study, visit www.ci.piedmont.ca.us.

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