Tag Archives: Metropolitan Transportation Commission

$750K grant may bring big changes to South Berkeley

The Adeline Street planning project is picking up steam. Image: Google maps
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The city of Berkeley is hoping to dramatically rethink many elements of South Berkeley, thanks to a $750,000 planning grant it received from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission in May.

South Shattuck Avenue and nearly 1 mile of Adeline Street in South Berkeley might see more affordable housing, pedestrian- and bike-friendly neighborhoods, more park areas, a new theater, mass transit improvements, and more.

Those are just some of the ideas that have been proposed so far. Before any plan is adopted, officials will hold community meetings and do other outreach to gather ideas from residents, businesses and local groups and institutions. The grant will also permit Berkeley to do an environmental study, the city said earlier this year. (That study would “allow streamlined CEQA review for future projects on Adeline and south Shattuck Avenue,” according to project materials.) … Continue reading »

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Berkeley could have bike sharing program by spring 2015

Bike share
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UPDATE, 04.09.14: Bike share funds approved, as is money for Bay Trail: The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) voted to allocate the $8.7 million in bike share funding at its committee meeting today. The MTC spending plan also includes two projects to improve Bay Trail segments in Berkeley. Berkeley will receive $1 million for the third segment of the Bay Trail Extension, a spur of the Bay Trail running through the Berkeley Marina. The first two segments of the extension have been completed, and the new funding would also add a public restroom, bike racks, access improvements, parking lot upgrades and other enhancements near the two sailing clubs and windsurf rigging area. At the same time, the East Bay Regional Parks District will receive $750,000 to fill the gap in the Bay Trail between Gilman Street in North Berkeley and Buchanan Street near the Albany Bulb in Albany. The new segment will run on the shoreline side of the Golden Gate Fields racetrack.

ORIGINAL STORY: This time next year, Berkeley could have a bike sharing program in place in the city. Mayor Tom Bates, for one, thinks it won’t be soon enough.

“We’ve been lobbying for this for a long time,” Bates said on Monday.

Bates sits on the Metropolitan Transportation Commission which will vote on Wednesday to allocate $8.7 million to be spent on rolling out Bay Area Bike Share to the East Bay. The program started in San Francisco and the Peninsula last August and, in San Francisco at least, has proved successful.

If approved, the program would see 60 bike pods installed in an 8 1/2-square-mile area of the East Bay, stocked with a total of about 750 bikes, around 300 of them in Berkeley. Planning is in early stages and locations for the bike stations have not yet been decided. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley kicks off Adeline corridor improvements push

New district banners, 6/6, Ashby and Adeline
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Coming up later this year, the city of Berkeley has pledged to focus some of its resources on the Adeline Street corridor in South Berkeley to address chronic problems and try to capitalize on the momentum of improvements already underway.

Last weekend, city staff and officials held a public meeting at the South Berkeley Senior Center to begin to brainstorm with local residents and merchants what some of the local priorities are.

Mayor Tom Bates, Councilman Max Anderson and city manager Christine Daniel were in attendance, along with nearly 10 other city staffers, and more than 30 members of the public, said Charles Burress from the mayor’s office. … Continue reading »

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AC Transit rolls back Line 51 changes after pushback

AC Transit hopes to speed up and improve service on Line 51. Photo: Paul Sullivan/Flickr
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Citing budgetary and scheduling constraints, along with a desire to listen to community concerns, AC Transit has removed most of the “controversial” items from its proposal to improve service on the Line 51 bus route in Berkeley.

“I think it’s safe to say it contains a lot less potentially controversial items than previously,” AC Transit representative Robert del Rosario told Berkeley’s Transportation Commission on Thursday night.

The panel voted to recommend the current list of modifications to the Berkeley City Council, which is expected to consider the item in April. Four members of the commission were absent, with commissioners Eric McCaughrin, Darby Watson, Terry Roberts, Ghanya Thomas and Mark Humbert voting unanimously to recommend that council approve the plan. … Continue reading »

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Traffic signal upgrades planned on Line 51 route

Proposed changes along the Line 51 route in Berkeley. (Click to view larger.) Image: AC Transit
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Intersections along AC Transit’s Line 51 bus route in Berkeley may see upgrades, if approved by city staff, designed to improve traffic signal timing coordination and allow signals to better recognize when vehicles are waiting for a green light.

The changes are part of a larger plan by AC Transit to speed up and improve service on Line 51. Thursday night, Berkeley’s Transportation Commission approved the signal changes as Phase 1 of the project. City transportation staff said they will take a closer look at those proposals before giving AC Transit the final go-ahead.

More controversial changes under consideration — such as a new traffic light at Russell Street and College Avenue, new bus bulbs, and the removal of numerous parking spots along University and College avenues — will be considered at a later date.  … Continue reading »

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AC Transit’s Line 51 plans get second review Thursday

Proposed changes along the Line 51 route in Berkeley. (Click to view larger.) Image: AC Transit
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Proposed changes to AC Transit’s Line 51 bus service in Berkeley will come back before the city’s Transportation Commission on Thursday night for a second review.

AC Transit presented its plans — designed to speed up service and make it more reliable — in October, and met with steep opposition from members of the public who criticized the agency’s attempts at public outreach, decried its lack of responsiveness to local concerns, and questioned whether the proposed changes and resulting gains would be worth the hardships some community members believe they would pose.

Since the last meeting, AC Transit has posted a draft parking study that outlines proposed changes along the route in Berkeley. If approved, a handful of parking spots would be added, but another 133 — metered, unmetered, handicapped, yellow, green and white — could potentially be removed. The bulk of the removals — 99 spaces along University Avenue — would be in effect during PM peak hours only. (See the full list here.) The other spots, in the Elmwood and Southside, do not appear to be tied to a particular time of day, but AC Transit could not be reached for confirmation.

Wednesday morning, AC Transit sent out an email notice about the meeting to be held Thursday night before the Transportation Commission: “We apologize for the late advisory, but we hope a number of riders will be able to attend and give their perspective on improving this vital transportation service in Berkeley.”  … Continue reading »

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Transportation

Merchants ask AC Transit to revise Line 51 plans

Proposed changes along the Line 51 route in Berkeley. (Click to view larger.) Image: AC Transit
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Berkeley business owners took AC Transit to task last week for what they described as the agency’s failure to communicate as it moves ahead with proposed changes on the Line 51 route designed to speed up and improve bus service.

Proposed changes along the route — which are still very much in the draft stage — include possible parking space removal during peak times, the relocation or removal of some stops, the installation of “bus bulbs,” and, at College Avenue and Russell Street, a new traffic signal. (See a map of the proposed changes here.)

AC Transit held two community meetings about the proposal in late August, and presented an overview of the Line 51 project to Berkeley’s Transportation Commission on Thursday. AC Transit is scheduled to return to the commission in November, then go on to the Berkeley City Council in December or January. The council will ultimately need to approve the changes for them to take place. (Scroll to the bottom of this story to view maps that show each proposed change.) … Continue reading »

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Parking losses, lane changes possible in Line 51 overhaul

Screen Shot 2013-08-26 at 12.49.14 PM
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Two community meetings are scheduled this week to collect public input on proposed changes to AC Transit’s Line 51 service, which in Berkeley could include the temporary closure during peak travel hours of dozens of parking spots, the addition of three traffic signals, signal timing coordination, and more.

The city of Berkeley would have to approve many of these changes, in meetings that are set to take place this fall. Parking losses, stressed AC transit representatives, would only be in place during peak transit hours and are dependent on public feedback.

Line 51, which runs through Berkeley, Oakland and Alameda, carries more than 19,000 people each day, and is the most used route in the East Bay, according to AC Transit. … 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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New Bay Bridge span: 2 minutes, 3 years of building

Bay Bridge east span
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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.

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