Berkeley’s Climate Action Transportation Working Group and Bike East Bay have revived efforts to make the heavily used southside area of Berkeley a better place for pedestrians and bicyclists. Now you can help.
Berkeley Transportation Commission approved a recommendation to City Council Feb 19 to add this project to the workplan of city staff, either as part of the upcoming update to the Bicycle Plan or as a separate consultant-led project. However, City staff clearly do not have enough resources to do this project and all the other projects needed to build a complete bikeway network in Berkeley.
What you can do:
Send an email to Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates and ask him to put money in the 2015-2016 city budget for Bancroft-Durant two-way conversion
Contact your City Councilmember and ask for their support of Bancroft-Durant two-way conversion and making the southside campus area safer, more inviting and more vibrant
We are also pushing for City Council to hire more staff, with Measure BB money, but getting a new staff member up to speed can take a year. Until then, two-way Bancroft/Durant goes to council on April 7, and our main goal is to give two-way Bancroft-Durant a high priority to keep it in this year’s work plan.
This project has been championed by Mayor Tom Bates and he too needs to hear that you support a walkable, bikeable Bancroft Way with better transit service. Converting Bancroft Way and Durant Ave to two-way traffic would make it possible to:
Add bike lanes or a two-way cycle track on Bancroft west of Dana
Widen the sidewalk on the south side of Bancroft east of Dana. For more about this sidewalk widening, click here
You support the idea of making these streets two-way and adding bike lanes on Dana and Bancroft.
You also want the city to consider widening the sidewalk on the south side of Bancroft between Telegraph and Dana. This sidewalk widening would improve business on a street that is right across from the busiest part of campus, and it would also make Bancroft a safer and more attractive place for pedestrians. The staff report DOES NOT mention widening the sidewalk on Bancroft between Telegraph and Dana. So, feel free to do so.
Ask staff to prepare a grant application to the Alameda CTC this Spring for the Cycle 1 Comprehensive Investment Plan, which can provide monies needed to build this long overdue set of street improvements.
Join or Renew your membership in Bike East Bay to support these efforts to improve bicycling in the heavily biked area of Southside
The staff report says that it is feasible to make Bancroft, Durant, Dana and Ellsworth two-way and to add bike lanes on Bancroft and Dana, but would cost approximately $5 million for new traffic lights, design and engineering. There is an upcoming funding cycle from the Alameda County Transportation Commission’s Cycle 1 Comprehensive Investment Plan [627KB pdf], which will allocate over $1.5 billion over the next five years countywide.
You can see the agenda packet containing the staff report on two-way Bancroft and Durant here
Why two-way streets are much better for neighborhoods, from Planetizen
The project should be a high priority, because it could change the character of central Berkeley significantly, making it more pedestrian-friendly and bicycle-friendly. It could include benefits such as widening the sidewalk on Bancroft east of Dana, adding bike lanes or a bike track on Bancroft west of Dana, adding two-way bike lanes on Dana, adding more convenient bus stops on Bancroft, and removing the free-right-turn lane at Bancroft/Fulton. See my letter to the commission summarizing these benefits at http://www.preservenet.com/
Write the commission at FJavandel@CityofBerkeley.info telling them to make this project a high priority because of its many benefits, or come to the meeting this Thursday evening at the North Berkeley Senior Center - but first confirm that this item is on the agenda at http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/