Berkeley's Famed Telegraph Avenue Could Go Car Free

Among the options on the table for the Southside Complete Streets Project is a configuration that would turn Telegraph Avenue near the campus of UC Berkeley into a pedestrian, bike, and transit-only plaza.

2 minute read

February 28, 2022, 12:00 PM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

A narrow, one-way street is lined with businesses.

Telegraph Avenue where it ends on the doorstep of the UC Berkeley campus, quieter than normal at the height of the pandemic in January 2021. | Google Streetview

The blocks of Telegraph Avenue nearest to the campus of the University of California, Berkeley could soon be reconfigured to block cars, raise the street to the level of its sidewalks, and create transit bus lanes and improved pedestrian and bike infrastructure, reports Katie Lauer for the Mercury News in an article that might be paywalled for some readers.

The Southside Complete Streets Project aspires to create a "Times Square of the West" along the bustling corridor, which currently achieves its vibrancy despite one-way car traffic than ends when the street meets the campus near Sproul Plaza and Sather Gate.

According to Lauer, "the redesign will feature dedicated bus lanes, protected bike paths, widened sidewalks, improved pedestrian crossings and public transit stops. The purpose is to reduce dangerous traffic collisions, improve local transit reliability and boost the economic and cultural vitality of the neighborhood..."

The car-free plan is one alternative in the project, which is still under study after receiving a preliminary green light from the Berkeley City Council.

"Although the car-free idea wasn’t originally on the table, city officials bought into it following public outreach last summer and a last-minute push by members of Telegraph for People, a student-driven advocacy group," reports Lauer.

More details on the various options on the table for the project, including street cross sections, are included in the source article below.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022 in The Mercury News

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