Tag Archives: Parking in Berkeley
Parking in downtown Berkeley may get harder before it gets easier as a new project ramps up to demolish and rebuild the Center Street garage to add hundreds of spaces, improve seismic security and incorporate “green building” standards.
The project is expected to strain parking demand downtown, where availability is often scarce already. City staff have been working to improve the parking situation via its goBerkeley campaign, which has been underway this year. Merchants have been keeping a close eye on the Center Street project and say they hope the city will be thoughtful as it moves ahead.
The five-story Center Street parking garage — which has entrances on both Addison and Center streets — has 420 spaces, ground floor retail and was built in the 1950s, according to the staff report prepared for last week’s Berkeley City Council meeting. Tuesday night, as part of the consent calendar, the Council approved paying up to $1 million to a consultant who will plan and manage the project. … Continue reading »
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 »
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 »
Tuesday night, the Berkeley City Council voted to change parking rates in three city-owned garages, downtown and near the Cal campus, as part of its goBerkeley effort to change driver behavior and make it easier for visitors to find street parking.
The multi-pronged campaign has been underway since earlier this year, and has included the promotion of alternative modes of transportation — via the distribution of car-sharing memberships and free transit passes — as well as adjustments to parking meter rates and time limits downtown, south of the UC Berkeley campus and in the Elmwood.
The pilot program aims to reduce pollution, congestion and drivers circling for a spot by using what’s known as demand-responsive pricing, which sets parking rates based on a supply-and-demand philosophy. The most convenient spots tend to be the most expensive and are available for shorter amounts of time, while spots further away, which are in less demand, are cheaper and can be used for longer periods. … Continue reading »
In the wake of public frustration and confusion after Berkeley adjusted many of its parking meters to require a minimum cash payment of 30 or 35 cents, depending on the area, the city has rolled back the changes to allow meters city-wide to register any amount from a nickel on up.
According to a city staff report prepared for a September vote by the Berkeley City Council to fix the problem, the city began hearing criticism about the meter minimum earlier this year during its goBerkeley outreach campaign to change metered parking rates and time limits in three of the city’s business districts.
Members of the public said they were confused because meters were failing to register payment. Unbeknownst to some, it was because the 30- or 35-cent threshold had not been met. Putting in change that didn’t register left some wondering if the meters were broken. So they were unsure whether to keep trying, find a new space, or walk away and try their luck. … Continue reading »
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 »
After months of outreach and planning, new parking meter rules designed to change business-as-usual in three commercial districts in Berkeley go into effect Tuesday, Oct. 15.
The changes, under the moniker goBerkeley, are designed to make it easier for drivers to find parking spaces in three of the city’s busiest commercial areas, and to cut down on pollution associated with circling to find a spot. The city says it hopes goBerkeley will make it easier for visitors “to dine, shop and enjoy the arts in three of the City’s most vibrant districts,” according to a statement released by officials last week.
The goBerkeley model is based on the concept of “demand-responsive” pricing, so that prices reflect demand in several congested areas around town. The hope is to free up one or two spaces per block, by raising or adjusting the pricing in a way that will encourage some of the people currently filling spaces to move a bit farther away or use alternative modes of transportation. The city has been studying current parking demand, and plans to analyze how the changes affect behavior.
“If it does what we hope it will – increase parking while decreasing pollution and traffic – the impact is huge,” said city spokesman Matthai Chakko. … Continue reading »
Tuesday night, the Berkeley City Council took its first steps at considering a “super-green affordable housing project” that would offer extensive services to the homeless on the site of what’s now a 112-spot parking lot at Berkeley Way and Henry Street.
The “innovative housing and services center with permanently supportive housing, along with emergency shelter and supportive services” would “meet a critical need, and help further the City’s goals to end homelessness,” according to a staff report from Tuesday’s meeting.
Members of the business community have expressed concerns about the loss of parking during construction, and said the parking supply would need to be doubled to ensure that visitors to downtown, who are expected to increase as the area is revitalized, will have access to readily available spots. They noted that decreased parking already in effect or planned, with the construction of the new Berkeley Art Museum and a proposal to demolish and rebuild the Center Street garage. … Continue reading »
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 »
The final recommendations for a new program aimed to curb carbon emissions and improve the “parking experience” in three commercial districts around town were presented in several community meetings this month.
goBerkeley is a three-year pilot program designed to reduce emissions and parking congestion; as part of the program, the city will adjust its parking rates in three business districts — the downtown, the Telegraph area south of campus, and the Elmwood. The changes are slated to go into effect in October, and to last for at least a year.
“It’s truly a pilot,” Willa Ng, the city’s project manager for the goBerkeley campaign, told a small group that assembled Monday evening in Berkeley’s central library to hear about the plans. ”Let’s see what happens. And if it doesn’t work, it can go away.”
… Continue reading »
Residents will have a chance to weigh in on and learn about proposed parking changes around Berkeley at two meetings coming up within the next week.
The downtown, Telegraph and 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 »
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 »
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 »