Tag Archives: Downtown Berkeley

Details unveiled on proposed metered parking changes

Photo: Steer Davies Gleave
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In a presentation before the Berkeley City Council on Tuesday night, city staff presented their suggestions for upcoming metered parking changes designed to make some parking spots available on every commercial block in three of the city’s business districts.

Downtown, Telegraph and the Elmwood neighborhoods are slated to see changes to metered parking starting in September as part of the goBerkeley pilot campaign underway by the city to cut down on carbon emissions and encourage alternative transportation. The changes would be in place for at least one year, with minor adjustments possible along the way. … Continue reading »

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City sets goBerkeley transportation program in motion

Five members of the city of Berkeley team who have been working to develop goBerkeley over the past year. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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City officials and several regional transportation agencies held a special event in front of the Berkeley City Hall on Thursday morning to announce the launch of a new program — called goBerkeley — designed to alleviate traffic congestion, pollution and parking problems.

Berkeleyside has previously covered the part of the program that will result in temporary metered parking changes in three of the city’s business districts: downtown, Telegraph Avenue (Southside) and the Elmwood. Thursday morning was the public launch of the campaign.  … Continue reading »

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Developers put theaters back into high-rise plans

The site of the proposed Residents at xxxx. (Click to learn more.) Image:
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Six state-of-the-art movie theaters have taken the place of a public plaza in new designs for 2211 Harold Way, Berkeley’s first proposed high-rise to be developed in decades.

In response to public support for the theaters, expressed vociferously by zoning commissioners at a preview session for the project in March, developers took out a pedestrian plaza and drew in the movie theaters, said Mark Rhoades, the project’s lead planning consultant and the property owner’s representative. … Continue reading »

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Firefighters use lid to put out kitchen pot fire in Berkeley

Berkeley police blocked traffic at both ends of Allston during the fire investigation. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Authorities closed Allston Way in downtown Berkeley on Monday night for about 45 minutes after a report of a fire in a five-story building across from the popular Cancun Taqueria restaurant.

Berkeley Fire Department Battalion Chief Bill Kehoe said the call about the fire, in a second-floor unit at 2161 Allston, came in at about 5:40 p.m. Kehoe, a ladder truck, four engines and a paramedic unit were dispatched to investigate. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley council weighs in on parking pilot program

Parking changes to begin in September are slated for three of Berkeley's business districts. Image: goBerkeley
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The Berkeley City Council held a special meeting Tuesday night to discuss proposed changes to parking pricing in three of the city’s business districts.

The temporary changes are part of a new pilot program, called goBerkeley, designed to link metered parking pricing to supply and demand, and free up spaces for customers downtown, on Telegraph Avenue and in the Elmwood District.

The council has yet to vote on proposed changes, which would use a range of approaches to free up one to two spaces per block in the affected areas. Strategies include a “progressive” rate, to make parking more expensive the longer a driver parks; a “peak period” approach, which would result in more expensive rates when demand is highest; and “premium vs. value” areas, which would offer higher rates in more convenient spots and lower rates in areas, such as parking garages, that are further away. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley set for $12.7m in downtown transport grants

An early conceptual rendering of the new Downtown Berkeley BART Plaza.
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Berkeley expects to get $12.7 million in grant funding for changes to BART Plaza, Shattuck Avenue and Hearst Street that should make life easier for people using the Downtown BART station and buses, biking to campus and even just driving through the center of town.

On Thursday, May 23, the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC) voted unanimously on an initial approval of the city’s grant proposals for the three transit projects. Construction could begin in 2015, said Matt Nichols, principal transportation planner for the city.  … Continue reading »

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Parking changes slated for 3 Berkeley business zones

A driver unable to find a spot in The Elmwood neighborhood parks instead in the crosswalk. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Later this year, three Berkeley business districts will experiment with new approaches to parking aimed at reducing double parking and circling, and making it easier for visitors to find a metered spot.

The effort is part of a new campaign underway by the city — dubbed goBerkeley — and is funded by federal grants to help staff analyze data, collect input from the public and study the impact of changes to parking-as-usual; drivers can expect to see changes start in September and last for a year. … Continue reading »

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Sneak peek: Build, Berkeley’s ambitious new pizzeria

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It’s called Build because you will build your own pizzas there. It was nearly called A90 because that’s the name of the freeway that encircles Italy’s capital, and Roman pizza is what’s on the menu. The ambitious new restaurant that will open next weekend on Shattuck Avenue on the corner of Bancroft Way, is, like Gather and Comal before it, taking a chance that downtown Berkeley has an appetite for a buzzy, big-city eatery.

And the restaurant is just the start. Later this year, Build’s owners, Lisa Holt and David Shapiro, whose background is in hotel development, are planning to transform the property’s 8,000 sq ft basement — formerly Shattuck Down Low – into a happening underground culture club serving up drinks and food along with the comedy and music acts. … Continue reading »

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Nosh on the town: FIVE restaurant in Berkeley

Pork tenderloin at FIVE. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Come along with Nosh as we explore East Bay restaurants in photographs. This week we focus on FIVE restaurant, in Berkeley, CA. (See the menu.) If you’ve tried the spots we feature, please let us know about your experience in the comments below. If you’d like to submit your own photo gallery for consideration from a meal you enjoyed, please email nosh@berkeleyside.com for more information. You can also add photographs to our Flickr group. (Photos by Emilie Raguso, captions below the fold.) … Continue reading »

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Work starts on new Berkeley Art Museum, to open in 2016

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Construction work has begun on the new Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive which, all things going well, is slated to open in the summer of 2016, bringing bold contemporary architecture into the heart of Berkeley.

The UC Berkeley-owned museum, which includes the Pacific Film Theater, has raised $95 million worth of pledges towards the $100 million goal it needed to create a new home on Center St. at Oxford, the site of a former printing plant owned by the university. The new BAM/PFA is to be designed by New York firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, architects of New York’s High Line and several museums, including the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston and the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington D.C.

BAM/PFA has been planning to move since 1997 when it was determined that its current building on Bancroft Way — built in 1970 and designed by Mario Ciampi — did not meet present-day seismic standards. It cannot be upgraded without eliminating open exhibition spaces required for the galleries.  … Continue reading »

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12 drinks a drinking: Reasons to rejoice at FIVE

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Some may say that chocolate has no place in a cocktail. We beg to differ. Particularly at this time of year, a little extra sweetness helps reduce pre-holiday stress, and increases the ability to enjoy the spirit of the season.

We gave ourselves an early present by sampling from the Twelve Cocktails of Christmas featured during December at FIVE Bistro & Bar. Listed between the Eight Maids a Milking (chili vodka, chocolate liqueur, sugar and cayenne rim) and Ten Ginger Lords (vodka, ginger liqueur, apple cider, gingerbread cookie rim), the Nine Ladies Dancing leapt into a clear lead in a very competitive field.

Since it’s early in the month, bartender Victoriano had yet to tackle the Nine Ladies. This proved not to be a problem for the chemist-by-day, bartender-by-night, however. “Bartending is just like chemistry,” he assures us, as he reviews the ingredients and mixes the requested drink, which he then served in a glass with a cocoa-coated rim. … Continue reading »

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Big Screen Berkeley: The Central Park Five

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Throughout the 1970s and ‘80s, New York City was the country’s Sodom and Gomorrah, a place shunned and feared by Middle America. Near bankrupt, its school system in a state of collapse, and riddled with crime, crack cocaine, and urban decay, the city had lost the sheen acquired during the glory days of Fiorello La Guardia and Robert Moses.

On April 19, 1989, a 28-year old investment banker was brutally attacked and left for dead in the northernmost reaches of Central Park. Within days, the New York Police Department claimed they’d found the monsters responsible: five African-American teenagers. The case, and the horrendous miscarriage of justice that followed, is examined in a new documentary, The Central Park Five, opening at Landmark’s Shattuck Cinemas on Friday, December 14. … Continue reading »

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New downtown Berkeley bakery channels New York

Cakes and Purls 2
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Marie Sitaro, who opened Cakes and Purls bakery on Allston Way in downtown Berkeley on Saturday, would like everyone to slow down just a little. “We all need to get away from this fast-paced world sometimes,” says the baker who, with her new venture, is hoping to combine her passion for sweet treats with her love of knitting.

The new small-batch bakery offers the types of New York-style pastries Sitaro, who is of Italian heritage, remembers eating as a child growing up in Brooklyn: thick, luscious cheesecakes, seven-layer cookies, and pignoli made with pine nuts. ‘The types of things you don’t see so much here,” she says.

Sitaro worked as a pastry chef under the direction of Jean Georges and is a graduate of Women’s Initiative, which provides high-potential, low-income women with the training, funding and support to start their own businesses. She says she chanced upon the cute brick building in Trumpet Vine Court, around the corner from Jupiter and kitty-corner from Café Panini, and seized the opportunity to lease it when she saw it was for rent. … Continue reading »

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