Today’s Headlines

  • Mayor Newsom Touts Muni’s Highest-Ever On-Time Performance Rate (City Insider, SF Examiner)
  • Union Street Merchants Win Compromise Following Complaints Over Articulated Buses (SF Examiner)
  • Napa School District to Debut One of Nation’s First Small Hybrid Buses (SF Gate)
  • BRT Debuts in Johannesburg (AFP via Planetizen)
  • Drivers Begin Planning in Anticipation of Bay Bridge Closure (ABC7)
  • 62-year-old Bicyclist Killed by a Driver in Sacramento County (Sac Bee)
  • Bicyclists Begin Using the Benicia-Martinez Bridge Bicycle Path (CBS5)
  • Yolo County Expanding Bikeway Linking Davis and Woodland (Daily Democrat)
  • Making Better Bicycling Laws Like Idaho’s Rolling Stop (Bicycling)
  • Berkeley’s Downtown Plan to Face Voters (Curbed SF)
  • Gov. Tries to Remove Transportation Commissioner for Wanting Review of PPP (LAT)
  • Colorado Brewery Promotes Going Car-Free (Imagine No Cars via Streetsblog.net)
  • Re: Berkeley’s Downtown Plan. The article makes a common error by calling it a “four-years-in-the-making plan.” Actually, 4 years of public meetings led to the Downtown Area Plan Advisory Committee (DAPAC) plan, which was a compromise among all the interest groups involved. Then the Planning Commission summarily rewrote the plan to please one interest group: real estate interests.

    The Planning Commission’s version of the plan increased the parking requirement for new housing, reduced support for public transportation, and weakened green building requirements in addition to allowing more high-rises. It was much less green than the DAPAC plan.

    I am sure that, if the Planning Commission and City Council had simply passed the DAPAC Plan, rather than rewriting this compromise plan that was hammered out during 4 years of public meetings, there would not be a referrendum now.

  • RE: Examiner

    Is this why there are never any 60′ 45 buses? I can’t believe they won this. I guess that just goes to show where Alioto-Pier stands on transit.

  • bikerider

    Chuck is well aware that the ones behind the Berkeley initiative are the same Nimbys who always oppose _everything_ in Berkeley. They certainly didn’t sponsor the initiative out of love for BRT, TOD, bikes, or transit — no matter what plan was passed by Council, an initiative was inevitable if it included any new development.

    True, it would have been nice if the “Green” building standards had been retained. But let’s face it, the “Leed” certification is so full of holes that parking garages and McMansions qualify these days.

  • I am well aware that the same NIMBYs who oppose everything are behind the initiative.

    I am also well aware that the Chamber of Commerce, which supports all development whether it is good or bad, paid for the mailing telling people not to sign the initiative. (One of my first political activities in Berkeley, decades ago, was to stop those same downtown business interests from building a new parking structure downtown).

    The Chamber of Commerce certainly didn’t sponsor this mailing out of love for the environment.

    Unfortunately, the debate over the downtown plan has been defined by NIMBYs who are blindly anti-development, and business interests who are blindly pro-development. Environmentalists have largely been left out of the debate. Note, for example, that there has been virtually no mention of the fact that the DAPAC plan would have allowed car-free housing downtown while the plan the Council passed reinstated parking requirements for housing.

    That is what happens when extremists take over the debate.

  • It is unfortunate that Berkeley politics is so divisive that some people are taking positions based on who they are against, not on what they are for. Whatever the NIMBYs say, they automatically say the opposite.

    It reminds me of what my mother used to say when I was a little kid: If all the NIMBYs said you should not jump off a cliff, would you jump off the cliff just to spite them?