I agree with Mr. Nakadegawa that Berkeley should approach zoning in an evolutionary manner, but I disagree with his vision of our future city.
All new infill development must consider transit services, but it must be contextual to the built environment.
He asserts Berkeley must become denser to support better transit service.
Berkeley is already 25% denser than LA (9,823.3 vs. 7,876.8 persons per square mile), the third most densely populated city in Northern California: 37% more than Oakland, and 74% more than Emeryville. Alameda County is the 4th densest county in California.
Mr. Nakadegawa points to Curitiba, Brazil, with 6-10-story buildings along “transit corridors,” 3-4-stories a block back, and single-family homes beyond. Is this his vision for Berkeley? This implies a transit-corridor reach of at least two blocks to either side. Our General Plan defines a “transit corridor” as any major bus or train line.
AC Transit’s map reveals that most of Berkeley is within two blocks of a bus line, and therefore would be doubled, tripled, or quadrupled in height and density. Few Berkeleyans would share this dream, stalled in traffic under looming shadows from such buildings, wondering where the views of the Hills and Bay went.
How dense is dense enough? Perhaps the real problem lies with the quality, routes, and untimeliness of AC Transit service. BART is already at full-capacity in the trans-bay tunnel, and no provision was made to carry
BART or light rail on the new Bay Bridge. Why can’t public transit work now?