Thursday, July 10, 2008

Berkeley BRT: Taking a ride to Tomorrowland

What a lonely, strange trip it wasTom Meyer, SF Chronicle
Thursday, July 10, 2008

AC Transit's plan is to create a Bus Rapid Transit corridor between San Leandro, Oakland and Berkeley along International Boulevard and Telegraph Avenue, converting two lanes of traffic into bus-dedicated lanes and leaving a single lane in each direction for cars, trucks and bikes. Berkeley opponents of the plan have qualified for the November ballot an initiative that would require voters' approval before traffic lanes can be converted into dedicated transit lanes. If approved, the measure would imperil the project. Good thing.

The transit plan would increase traffic congestion along Telegraph Avenue (imagine squeezing toothpaste through a hypodermic needle) and eliminate the parking spaces that local businesses rely on to survive---which is why businesses and neighborhoods along the route oppose the plan. AC Transit's bet is that gridlock will force drivers onto those nice big buses that keep whizzing by. "Bet" is the operative word.

The project is expected to cost at least $250 million...If AC Transit really wants to make its bus system more eco-friendly, how about replacing its diesel buses with more of those alternative-fuel ones it has in service? If it wants to lure us out of our cars, how about letting us ride for free? We're plenty green here in the East Bay. We're not against public transit. We just don't want to be taken for a ride.
SF Chronicle
Thursday, July 10, 2008

Berkeley voters will decide in November whether to allow high-occupancy-vehicle lanes on city streets, a city spokeswoman said Wednesday. The City Council agreed at its meeting Tuesday to place the measure on the ballot after AC Transit proposed dedicated bus lanes on busy Telegraph Avenue south of the UC campus, said city spokeswoman Mary Kay Clunies-Ross...

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