Tag Archives: SOSIP

Berkeley council approves plans to green downtown

Map of major projects prioritized in SOSIP
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Berkeley City Council last night unanimously approved both the Downtown Streets & Open Space Improvement Plan (SOSIP) and a schedule of fees that will help fund the proposed projects. SOSIP aims to help create a more pedestrian-oriented neighborhood downtown, and will help guide the design of parks, plazas and streetscapes in the area.

The SOSIP is the first concrete action on the streets and open space provisions of the Downtown Area Plan, which was approved by the council in March 2012.

“I’m very excited about a lot of the projects put forward,” said council member Jesse Arreguín, whose district includes downtown. “If we can do even a fraction of these projects, it would really make a difference in making downtown a much more pedestrian friendly and vibrant environment.”

The major projects identified in the SOSIP as priorities are:  … Continue reading »

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Acheson Commons: Large change for downtown

Aerial from NE
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One of the first projects to be built under Berkeley’s recently adopted Downtown Area Plan will be Acheson Commons which will transform the entire city block bordered by University Avenue, Shattuck and Walnut streets, and Berkeley Way.

The project, which has been under discussion for some time, was the subject of a rare joint meeting of the Landmarks Preservation Commission and the Design Review Committee on March 29.

The proposal for the area sees the creation of 205 new residential units and above-ground floor retail space. The developer is Equity Residential, of Chicago which builds and owns rental housing projects nationwide. EQR previously purchased the Bachenheimer Building at 2119 University Avenue from local developer Patrick Kennedy, and subsequently bought the adjacent properties. … Continue reading »

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Urban planning

Council approaches BRT “study” decision

FMG Architects
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Alan Tobey, a citizen of Berkeley since 1970, has been closely following the plans for Bus Rapid Transit in Berkeley. He reports on the latest developments:

In 2001, the Berkeley City Council unanimously approved its choice for an AC Transit “major improvement” project: Bus Rapid Transit on Telegraph Avenue and on into Downtown. Only nine years later, the Council will soon choose the details of what may actually be built.

Bus Rapid Transit is said to improve service by … Continue reading »

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Urban planning

A green, pedestrian-friendly vision for Downtown

University Avenue vision
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On Saturday Berkeley citizens were given a taste of how their fair city might become quite a bit fairer when the people behind the Streets and Open Space Improvement Plan (SOSIP) held an open house to present a number of possible scenarios to prettify the downtown area.

Not to be confused with the Downtown Area Plan Forum, SOSIP is focused on making neighborhoods more pedestrian and bike friendly, with well-maintained streets, wider sidewalks, calmer traffic and … Continue reading »

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