Much work still needed to ease traffic
Thank you for informing your readers about the almost-completed repaving job on College Avenue and for sending your reporter to the neighborhood traffic meeting on August 22. The meeting, called by the city's Public Works Department, was the first to bring neighbors from District 7 and District 8, people from both east and west of College, together in one room.
The meeting may have started out a bit on the “raucous” side, but it was well run and soon settled into a civil exchange of neighborhood traffic problems and ideas on how to solve them. Your reporter mistakenly ascribes to District 8 Councilmember Polly Armstrong a very well received statement that was actually made by Connie Stroud, a former member of the Transportation Commission and the Zoning Adjustments Board.
While she did not express it in her statement, the speaker lives on a residential city street that has considerably more traffic than College Avenue (roughly 14,000 cars/day) and even exceeds by several thousand the number of vehicles on four-lane Telegraph (roughly 18,000 cars/day).
Ms. Stroud made the following points:
• Attempts to solve neighborhood traffic problems should not occur on a street by street basis but with a view to the larger picture.
• The City should be more diligent in administering its Residential Parking Permit program, both the annual and the 14-day versions, through greater vigilance in issuance and enforcement.
• She cited a change in street configuration that neighbors on heavily traffic-afflicted streets in southeast Berkeley have asked the city to make for decades: reversing the directions of Dwight and Haste or returning them to two-way traffic.
Either measure would offer drivers more options and provide better access to and use of Telegraph Avenue and the freeway system, thus unburdening neighborhood streets.
As stated in your report, at the end of her remarks Ms. Stroud asked why this measure had not been undertaken and added that the city would have to give residents a sound explanation if it were not implemented.
Awaiting action or a satisfactory response from Traffic Engineering along with Ms. Stroud and hundreds of affected residents,
Grow up: buy a building
Regarding Aug. 26 perspective piece: “Boomtown with no room, by Andrew Lam of Pacific News Service:
No room for who?
There is plenty of room in San Francisco and Berkeley and Oakland. The question is, Who is privileged enough to stay?
By privileged, I do not mean those Dot-comers (a euphemism for the hated white male) but that protected class of people who are government assisted.
They typically have not taken advantage of the free education afforded them and do little to add to the rich fabric of the Bay Area. That is unless garbage on the streets, filthy language polluting the air, and the need to lock up everything you own during daylight hours and fear of venturing out after dark is why one considers a comfortable living condition.
The cost of housing is high because of supply and demand, Why use that valuable and limited supply on dead beats.
To be on welfare or Section 8 in the Bay area is taking up valuable space and driving up the cost to those artists, writers, performers, etc. who do indeed add a needed flavor to the rich fabric of life.
I would rather have two dot-comers on scooters cruising down my block than two high school drop-outs on bicycles with hooded sweatshirts and a bad attitude.
The other protected class is the renter. Andrew, if you and your friend the artist and perhaps a few more friends could have gotten together and bought a building with a couple of flats to share you would not even be allowed to move into your own building under current rent control laws. If you own, nobody can tell you to move.
Twenty five years in the city and you are not allowed to grow up and become a home owner because you have been made comfortable by the government protecting you through rent control.
Now you are terrified as your friends must leave and you are secure in your rent controlled apartment. You should have thought of the future and not depended on the government to protect you.
Rent control has caused much of the current housing problem.
How many more will have to die by automobiles?
Wednesday, Sept. 13 marks the 101st anniversary of the first automobile fatality in North America. Since then, four times as many U.S. residents have been killed in motor vehicle accidents as were slain in all our nation’s wars since the 1776 Revolution.
Are we so incentive to violence that we’ll accept it to such an extreme degree in order to have independent mobility?
Among the rights we all enjoy in the United States is (or should be) the right to equal access to all public accommodations without having to rely on modes of transportation so dangerous that they require eat belts, air bags or crash helmets.
Land-use decisions (consistently ignoring public transit and other alternatives to the auto as necessary infrastructure) leave increasing numbers of us faced with a choice of driving illegally or being disenfranchised.
All planning codes should prohibit any development that is not at least as accessible and functional for non-motorists as it is for those who drive.
We have a serious civil rights issue here: development that accommodates motorists only violates the equal protections provision of our constitution.
What kind of fools would build the biggest public works project in human history – our interstate highway system – for national defense and then force themselves into dependence on a mode of transportation that’s deadlier than war?
Our land use decisions are a greater threat to our well-being than any allegedly hostile elements outside our borders.
Berkeley Gray Panthers