A coalition of civil-rights groups and one of the nation’s largest law firms have taken on the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), asking for a state-wide, permanent injunction to stop the sweeps which end up confiscating and often destroying the property of homeless people. In Berkeley, this lawsuit would protect homeless people living on state property, such as those who camp at the Gilman underpass.
History shows that what is a possession and what is junk is not always clear, depending on who you ask.
In a coordinated effort, workers from Caltrans, the California Highway Patrol and the city of Berkeley cleared out a large homeless encampment on Gilman Street near the I-80 freeway on Thursday.
The father of a 9-year-old girl struck by a taxi in a crosswalk last week was among a small contingent of parents and administrators from John Muir Elementary School who asked the Berkeley City Council for pedestrian safety improvements in the area Tuesday.
Motorists driving south on Interstate 80 near Gilman might have been surprised recently by a new sign with flashing “Xs,” yellow and green arrows, or a “30” or “55.”
Ashby Avenue from Ninth Street to San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley will be closed Monday and Tuesday nights so Caltrans can remove old railroad tracks from the street, in addition to other work.
Responding to complaints that the homeless people who camped under the Gilman/I-80 underpass were engaged in criminal activity, Caltrans has fenced off the area — pushing the encampment onto a narrow strip nearby.
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.
For any and all Berkeleyans who live close to Ashby Avenue, it may be time to get stocked up on earplugs. Starting soon — mid-June is the official date — Caltrans will begin resurfacing Ashby (otherwise known as State Route 13), from Hiller Drive west to San Pablo Avenue.
Perhaps it’s because this particular school is located on a state highway, or perhaps it’s because one of its six-year-old students was run over on a crosswalk next to the school three years ago. Most likely both factors have contributed to a strong feeling among many parents at Malcolm X Elementary School that pedestrian safety needs to be improved on Ashby Avenue (State Highway 13), in particular at the point where it intersects with Ellis Street.
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