Berkeley's BRT Faces Backlash

<p>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.</p>
July 12, 2008, 9am PDT | Andy J. Wang
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"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.'"

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Published on Monday, July 7, 2008 in The San Francisco Chronicle
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