Category Archives: Transportation
In the next few months, city representatives will start taking steps to determine how to allocate $30 million from Measure M, which voters approved in November to improve Berkeley’s streets and watershed.
The first session will take place May 2 from 5:30-8 p.m. at the North Berkeley Senior Center, 1901 Hearst Ave. Commissioners will explain and answer questions about the planning process, the schedule, and the ways the public can contribute their views. City staff will provide technical background on street paving, watershed management and transportation programs. … Continue reading »
UC Berkeley officials held a public hearing Wednesday night on plans to build a new aquatics center at 2222 Bancroft Ave., east of Oxford, and were told the one-story building is a lost opportunity for improving the area and would be too disruptive to parking.
UC hopes to start construction on the $15 million project in August to alleviate the crowding that now takes place at Spieker Pool. Currently, all 120 of Cal’s swimmers, divers and water polo athletes, as well as recreational swimmers, must use that facility, putting a severe strain on its capacity. … Continue reading »
Berkeley City Council agreed on Tuesday night to raise the cost for the annual residential parking permit from $34.50 to $45, a 30% increase. The increase was a compromise following a recommendation from city staff that a 60% increase was necessary to cover the full costs of the Residential Preferential Parking program (RPP).
The RPP is projected to have revenues of nearly $1.6 million for the city in the 2013 fiscal year. But that barely covers the cost of parking enforcement, while the $311,000 cost of permit issuance and $105,000 cost for the transportation to administer the program results in overall losses. When the city council considered overall budget shortfalls in January, it instructed city staff to find ways to cover the RPP program losses. … Continue reading »
Nearly 200 Berkeleyans came to Willard Middle School on Thursday night to hear and offer ideas about improving Telegraph Avenue, which has suffered in recent years from declining retail sales, empty lots and plenty of handwringing.
“I have great enthusiasm and great optimism that we’re going to make things happen,” said Mayor Tom Bates after the meeting. “I’m not going to hold back, it’s too important an issue. I’m going to really immerse myself in the issue. I’m not going to let this drop. I have this term of office, and I intend to fully maximize what I can do.”
Bates said there are a number of factors that mean current efforts could really mean a new start for Telegraph, particularly the three concrete projects planned for the unused corners of Telegraph and Haste, and the university’s redevelopment of the student center on Bancroft Way, which could encourage much greater activity and flow of pedestrians. … Continue reading »
On Jan. 16 some new traffic signs were erected at Marin Circle in north Berkeley: four yellow, reflective oblongs bearing the words ‘Traffic in circle has right of way.” It wasn’t long before local residents were up in arms about the signs, claiming they were an unnecessary eyesore on an historic, cherished local landmark.
On Saturday, the city quietly removed the signs. “Victory,” declared Sara Holmes, President of Friends of the Fountain and Walk, who was one of several local residents to fire off emails to city departments, the media and and local councilman Laurie Capitelli complaining about the signs. On Saturday Holmes had received a minimalist email from the city of Berkeley’s Kevin Lewis. It read: “To all the signs will be taken down.” … Continue reading »
After 11 years of construction, and 23 years after the Loma Prieta earthquake took part of it out, the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge is nearly done. Caltrans plans to open the bridge to traffic this September. While we wait for the opening, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission has released a fascinating 2-minute timelapse video of construction since 2009, put together from EarthCam‘s webcam footage. It makes it look so easy.
Continue reading »
New details released by Berkeley police indicated the dump truck did not collide with Bentin.
Despite the fact that Israeli Professor Shlomo Bentin was hit and killed by a dump truck while riding his bicycle, no criminal charges will be filed against the driver, according to Berkeley police.
“Our officers finished their thorough investigation of the incident and they took their packet over and discussed it with the D.A.’s office,” said Officer Jennifer Coats, the public information officer for the Berkeley Police Department. “It was determined there was not sufficient evidence to seek criminal charges.”
Bentin, 65, was killed July 13 as he was riding his bicycle and collided with a dump truck on Bancroft Way west of Fulton Street. The dump truck driver, who was not identified since no criminal charges were filed, did not immediately realize he had struck Bentin. He drove off, but later returned to the accident scene and fully cooperated with police. … Continue reading »
More than 40 residents in one of Berkeley’s busiest districts came together last week to voice their frustration about traffic issues on their neighborhood streets.
Constant cut-throughs, shrugged-off stop signs, overgrown round-abouts and high speeds were among the concerns shared at a meeting Thursday night hosted by District 4 Councilman Jesse Arreguín. City Manager Christine Daniel and Berkeley Police Sgt. Robert Rittenhouse also were in attendance.
Arreguín said he scheduled the meeting, at Congregation Beth Israel, because of neighborhood complaints related to pedestrian safety and demands for traffic-calming measures. He noted a recently received petition, signed by several hundred people, calling for the installation of a four-way stop sign at one dangerous intersection. Arreguín also said he was working to bring resident concerns to city officials to have them addressed.
District 4 encompasses downtown Berkeley and is bound by Oxford St. to the east, Sacramento to the west, Dwight Way to the south and Vine St. to the north.
Concerns expressed at the gathering included high-priority intersections, such as the junction of McKinley Avenue and Channing Way, where attendees said they hoped to see traffic-calming tools or more stop signs. Others said they want the city to install barriers, such as those that exist around the Elmwood district near Ashby Avenue, to keep out through-traffic altogether. … Continue reading »
When Israeli neuroscientist Shlomo Bentin died after a bicycle accident last Friday, many of the commenters on Berkeleyside were convinced they knew the culprit: the poor state of the pavement on Bancroft Way. “The pavement quality going down Bancroft is in absolutely atrocious condition,” wrote one commenter. “The reason this could have a bearing on this accident is that cyclists often must deviate from an ideal line in order to avoid htting a huge crater, pothole or logitudinal fissure thereby forcing them to swerve more into the line of traffic.”
Berkeley police are still investigating the accident, and there is no way yet to know whether the pavement is at issue. But cycling advocates and transport experts agree that pavement quality is a factor in both bike safety and bike use.
“The condition of the roadway plays a significant role,” said Dave Campbell, program director of the East Bay Bicycle Coalition. “If you hit a pothole on a bicycle you can go down, and lots of terrible things can happen when you go down.” … Continue reading »
By Dave Campbell
At a time when cities are facing budget cuts and reducing staff, Berkeley is pushing ahead with several bikeway projects and initiatives to make the city more walkable and more bikeable.
Many of the Berkeley’s bikeway improvements were highlighted at the June 25 meeting of the Berkeley Bicycle Subcommittee, where the City’s Bicycle & Pedestrian Planner, Eric Anderson, had a lot of exciting updates to share with a group of 18 interested residents. Anderson led a discussion of the Hearst Avenue Corridor Study and its proposed road diet, green bikeway features, and significantly improved pedestrian crossings. … Continue reading »
Scoring an impressive 81.6 points, Berkeley is reportedly a city where nearly 15% of its commuters walk to and from their jobs.
The article also cited the “Everyone Walks in Berkeley” city program which encourages residents to walk—whether to school, work, or simply to take the dog out for a stroll — on the first Wednesday of every month.
Berkeley was beaten to the top by Cambridge, MA, at number one, New York, NY, Jersey City, NJ, and San Francisco. … Continue reading »
Today, Berkeley joins Los Angeles as only the second city in the nation to provide specific civil recourse for harassed and assaulted cyclists. The ordinance was approved by the Berkeley City Council on January 17th.
Dave Campbell, Program Director at the East Bay Bicycle Coalition, says the legislation is as much about educating drivers as anything else.
“Drivers, with no ill intent, often don’t know the rules of the road for cyclists,” he said. Campbell cites as an example drivers who wonder why cyclists can’t just ride on the sidewalk, although they actually should be in traffic sharing the road with cars.
Below, Christopher Kidd explains what the new ordinance does and why he thinks it is needed:
Why is this ordinance needed?
It may be hard to fathom for those who rarely ride a bicycle, but there are drivers out there who will assault or harass bicyclists simply because they are using the road. … Continue reading »
The Bay Bridge was opened 75 years and, today in our editorial partner the Chronicle, Carl Note writes about what was described at the time as “one of the greatest days in Bay Area history”. He also discusses the bridge’s construction — which took just three years, compared to the nine-plus it is taking to complete its new East Span today.
The Chronicle has also unearthed from its archives a set of stunning black-and-white photographs of the bridge when it was first built (including the one above). We encourage you to go to SFGate and read the full story.
A low-key ceremony with birthday cake was held yesterday on Yerba Buena island by CalTrans, and it is hoped the bridge will be transformed with an abstract light sculpture next year as part of an extended celebration. … Continue reading »