Tag Archives: Sunday Streets Berkeley

Photos: Berkeley revels in car-free buzz of Sunday Streets

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People turned out in their thousands for Berkeley’s second Sunday Streets. There is no doubt that this city likes to go auto-free. Berkeleyside contributing photographer Nancy Rubin was there. (If you haven’t already done so, check out Rubin’s new photo project, Humans of Berkeley and the Bay Area, launched on Berkeleyside last week.) … Continue reading »

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The It List: 5 things to do in Berkeley this weekend

Photo: Alan Tobey
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OHLONE MURAL CEREMONY The city of Berkeley is holding a rededication ceremony to celebrate the restoration of the Ohlone Mural. The mural, which depicts the creation story of the Ohlone people who once inhabited the Bay Area, was originally painted in 1995 by Jean LaMarr, a Native American artist. Local artist Miranda Bergman began restoring the mural a year and a half ago through the Public Art Mural Restoration program. Bergman used warm water washer and worked with special care to restore vibrant color to the mural’s 1,000-square-foot surface. The rededication ceremony takes place Saturday, Oct. 12, at 11:30 a.m. at the Ohlone Greenway Park on Hearst Street. The event will feature speakers, a blessing ceremony and a reception at Heyday Books on 1633 University Ave. afterwards. … Continue reading »

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Sunday Streets returns to Berkeley for 2nd year on Oct. 13

Photo: Alan Tobey
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This weekend, thousands of local residents are expected to leave the car at home, grab friends and family, and walk the city’s beautiful streets for the second Sunday Streets Berkeley.

Also known as Open Streets, Sunday Streets is a day when cars are prohibited from driving on certain roads, opening up space for other activities. On Sunday, Oct. 13, people are invited to treat the Shattuck roadway between Haste and Rose as a giant park: walk, bike, skate, play and greet fellow community members. The space is also open to organizations, businesses, artists and performers who want to mingle with the general public

There are more than 70 Sunday Street events in North America, and many more in cities around the world. Inspired by San Francisco, which has held Sunday Streets for five years, Berkeley held its first Sunday Streets on Oct. 14 last year. The event was widely hailed as a success, with more than 42,000 people taking to the street and local businesses experiencing a 30-50% boost in sales, according to organizers. … Continue reading »

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Council supports Sunday Streets, looks to find funds

Photo: Alan Tobey
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Last October, Berkeley held a Sunday Streets event for the first time, and an estimated 40,000 people flocked to Shattuck Avenue to stroll, bike and skate the length of 17 blocks enjoying the car-free environment, al fresco eating, music, yoga and chess playing. By most accounts, the event was a success, but to make it happen again this year and going forward, the organizers are asking officials to stump up the funds to cover city costs.

At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, officials expressed their support for the event, but were hesitant, given Berkeley’s tight budget, to commit to the full amount needed to cover city costs for a 2013 repeat performance, as well as funds for future years. They also said they were uncomfortable making financial decisions separate from the context of the rest of Berkeley’s events. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley happily abandons sidewalks for Sunday Streets

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An estimated 30,000-40,000 people headed to Shattuck Avenue on Sunday for Berkeley’s first Sunday Streets event which saw 17 blocks, from Haste to Rose, closed to traffic and open to pretty much everything else: from scooters, to strollers, from bikes with triangular wheels to roller blades, as well as people playing music, doing yoga, whipping hula hoops, eating, laughing, running and playing.

“It was a wild success,” said John Caner, Executive Director of the Downtown Berkeley Association, who added that he was particularly pleased to see the local merchants doing such great business. “We are absolutely thrilled that it brought so many people downtown. It was zany, creative and a cascade of fun and cultural entertainment for everyone.”

Caner was pleased to see how Shattuck Avenue’s width, originally designed to accommodate trolley cars, was so accommodating to the great numbers of people who stepped off the sidewalks. “It absorbed all those people and could comfortably absorb double that number,” he said. … Continue reading »

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Shattuck Avenue goes car-free for 17 blocks on Sunday

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More than a mile of Berkeley’s Shattuck Avenue will be open to pedestrians, cyclists, roller-skaters, dancers, and kids on Sunday Oct. 14 — but not cars — as the city holds its first Sunday Streets event from 11 am through 4 pm.

Seventeen blocks, from Rose to Haste streets, will also be a hive of activities as merchants, musicians and community organizations take the opportunity to engage with and perform for local residents. The offerings run the gamut from free free bike repairs courtesy of Mikes Bikes, Missing Link Cooperative and the Bike Station, to street soccer games, free yoga classes, belly dancing, hands-on science activities for kids, and a performance by the UC Berkeley Gospel Choir.

The idea of Sunday Streets, or Open Streets as they are also known, originated in Bogatá, Colombia and has spread around the world, including to San Francisco where it has been a regular occurrence in different neighborhoods for a couple of years. … Continue reading »

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Can car-free ‘Sunday Streets’ come to Berkeley?

On May 6, parts of the Mission District in San Francisco were closed to cars for that city's "Sunday Streets" program. Photo: Emunah Hauser
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Thirty-six years ago, the mayor of Bogatá, Colombia had a novel idea. He wanted to close some of the city streets on Sundays to give bicycle riders, roller skaters and pedestrians a chance to enjoy the city in a different way.

The street closure was a huge hit, and over the years the concept has expanded to include 70 miles of closed streets every Sunday. About 1.5 million people take advantage of the car-free environment each week, about 20% of the population. They not only walk and bike, they dance, do yoga, and have aerobics classes

The idea, termed “Sunday Streets” or “Open Streets,” has been so popular that it has spread around the world, to cities like Kiev, Tokyo, and San Francisco. Now a group of Berkeley officials and activists want to bring the concept to Berkeley. They hope to close off a 10-to-16-block stretch of Shattuck Avenue to cars on a Sunday in October. … Continue reading »

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