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Friday February 16, 2001

When talking about housing, consider transportation 



The SF Chronicle’s article (14 Feb) on the extremely limited vacancy rate for office space in Berkeley was a constructive piece that contributes to nurturing an informed debate on the future development of a Bay Area city, but I thought it missed touching on an important part of the subject: an effective and efficient transportation grid.  

Downtown Berkeley is attractive to offices, in part, because of BART, which can help get workers to work without facing the nightmares of driving.  

But the subjects of the story wanted to be within walking distance of the UC Berkeley campus – presumably because they did not perceive (or did not believe that others perceived) there to be a transportation system sufficient to serve their office were it located farther away.  

And not just elsewhere in Berkeley.  

Inevitably, a key element of desirability is access, and while the private transportation system (automobiles) is increasingly jammed, the public transportation system is groaning at limited capacity or with inefficient timetables and delays.  

Were those aspects to receive more conscientious local and regional address, a wider variety of options for office (and other) space might become accessible, feasible, and economically viable in those parts of Bay Area cities now poorly served and or with difficult access or parking. There is more to the story, and it is worth exploring. 

Howie Muir Berkeley