Berkeley's BRT Faces Backlash

Business owners fear dedicated transit lane would discourage shopping along Telegraph Avenue, while proponents look to BRT as a cheap way to clear up traffic.

"Opponents of a plan to put dedicated bus-rapid transit lanes on Berkeley's Telegraph Avenue have gathered enough signatures to put the decision to a vote come fall. If voters approve the initiative, any new high-occupancy vehicle lanes created in the city will have to be voter-approved.

Supporters say BRT would increase bus ridership and decrease traffic along Telegraph; opponents say the space taken up by a dedicated lane would force autos off the street and onto side streets - possibly killing businesses that are already competing with online and big-box stores.

Said a former Telegraph business owner: 'We're not against bus ridership, but we think they should look at alternatives. This whole thing is a bad piece of land use.'"

Full Story: Berkeley rapid bus plan faces uphill battle



Berkeley's Anti-BRT NIMBYs

This proves that Berkeley has the nation's worst NIMBY movement.

See my op-ed about this, which appeared in the local Berkeley newspaper the same day as the news story saying that the council put the initiative on the ballot, at

Also, see the letters to the editor of the Chronicle (one by me) responding to this news story at

It is shameful that people motivated by narrow self-interest are working against better public transportation, though transportation causes about 50% of Berkeley's greenhouse gas emissions. Berkeley abandons 60s radicalism in favor of selfish consumerism.

Note that it is not just "Berkeley's BRT" that is affected by this backlash, as the headline implies. This BRT project would run through much of the East Bay, the cities of Oakland and San Leandro are cooperating with AC Transit, and a group of Berkeley NIMBYs is trying to sabotage it for everyone.

Charles Siegel

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