Jamestown Safe, Healthy, and Equitable Streets Improvement Project
The Jamestown Safe, Healthy, and Equitable Streets Improvement Project, identified in the 2016 RTP, is aimed at addressing multiple issues in the corridor.
The planned project will transform the two-lane state highway into a complete street with roadway and traffic signal improvements, sidewalks, cyclist facilities, additional transit stops, a Park and Ride facility with EV chargers, and the option of widening to reduce congestion or accommodate surges in traffic volumes from evacuations.
Jamestown, California has a history of transportation associated challenges. The small town is bisected by an underdeveloped section of SR 108 and there are no sidewalks, no safe crossings for pedestrians and cyclists, and heavy traffic congestion during peak hours of the day which is compounded by an intense seasonal tourist presence. That congestion means sensitive receptors in the area, such as elementary schools, are exposed to concentrated emissions at higher levels than they otherwise might be if the congestion were relieved. Possible health impacts are not the only challenge, though, as these existing conditions mean greatly reduced safe access to Jamestown elementary school, youth center, grocery stores, and businesses.
The impact this lack of access has on safety is evident from the accident rate, three times over the average, which includes several pedestrian deaths over the last ten years. This is not acceptable and is not in line with Federal or State policies aimed at eliminating pedestrian and cyclist fatalities in coming years.
The Jamestown Safe, Healthy, and Equitable Streets Improvement Project, identified in the 2016 RTP, is aimed at addressing these issues in the corridor. The planned project will transform the two-lane state highway into a complete street with roadway and traffic signal improvements, sidewalks, cyclist facilities, additional transit stops, a Park and Ride facility with EV chargers, and the option of widening to reduce congestion or accommodate surges in traffic volumes from evacuations.
A Project Initiation Document (PID) and Supplemental Project Initiation Document (PID) were completed by Caltrans in coordination with the Tuolumne County Transportation Council.
In October 2020, the first Project Initiation Document was
completed. This first Project Initiation Document primarily
focused upon the need to reduce congestion in the corri-
dor. There were two build alternatives that included a
widening of the 1 mile stretch of SR108 through
Jamestown from 3 lanes to 5 lanes.
Following this, it was decided that a Supplemental PID would
be beneficial to ensure the focus of the project adequately
reflected community needs and the goal to serve all users in
the corridor. The Supplemental PID included a number of
An additional comparative traffic analysis as a traffic consultant for TCTC that included a detailed VMT analysis that was prepared for each alternative
A Supplemental Traffic Engineering Performance Assessment (TEPA)
The addition of a new, third build alternative with no additional lanes and only operational improvements.
Alternative 3 Photo Simulation by Wood Rodgers
Alternative 2 Photo Simulation by Wood Rodgers
Alternative 1 & 2 Estimated Cost: $18,950,000 or $19,588,000
Assumes the following improvements are constructed:
Widening SR 49 from 3 lanes to 5 lanes near Jamestown
New transit stops, bike lanes, and sidewalks.
Jamestown Park & Ride lot
A new northbound right turn pocket at Main Street
Rawhide Road Bridge Project, inclusive of roadway geometric changes on Jamestown road and Main Street.
Gold Rush Shared Use Path Project and associated improvements and programs (i.e., E-bike and E-scooter share program).
Alternative 3 Estimated Cost: $16,775,000
This assumes all the same improvements are constructed as Alternatives 1 & 2 except that it does not include widening SR 49 from 3 lanes to 5 lanes near Jamestown and, instead, includes operational improvements on SR 49 such as turn lanes, signal coordination, and additional storage.
This assumes no improvements over existing conditions. Additionally, over time, existing conditions could become worse.
When looking at these build options it is important to consider that SR 108 is our County’s primary source of ingress and egress for emergency situations. The recently completed Tuolumne County Evacuation Needs Assessment and Communication Strategies Project identifies the road, without any alterations, as being likely to exceed capacity during a large scale evacuation. Common sense and best practice tells us that any changes should be carefully considered so as to ensure the preservation of our major evacuation route. In a signed Caltrans document titled “Evacuation Route Design Guidance – Design Information Bulletin 93”, the State appears to support this approach, and states that projects on evacuation routes in areas such as ours should have assessments made on the project’s potential to impact the route and what may be done to enhance the route’s efficiency and effectiveness at moving significant numbers of people and vehicles.
If no widening occurs, as defined in Alternatives 1 and 2, it may be beneficial to consider widening the road though other methods such as truck lanes, transit lanes, or wide shoulders that could be utilized in the event of a large evacuation. Such an alternative should be further explored in the PA&ED phase.
The next steps on this project is to obtain funding for the PA & ED phase. One way to do this would be to apply to the Caltrans System Investment Strategy, or CSIS, which is a program designed to nominate the best projects that include multimodal transportation options to expand mode choices and reduce transportation-related emissions.
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