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How many more people?

Mark Johnson Berkeley
Saturday September 14, 2002

To the Editor: 


Councilmember Linda Maio makes the astonishing claim (Forum, Sept. 7-8) that Berkeley will be able to add thousands of residents without increasing the number of cars. Huh? How would that happen? It has never happened anywhere else in the world. Berkeley has no means to require new residents to take local jobs and walk to them. They are legally entitled to drive to jobs in San Jose or Redwood City. If Berkeley's population increases by 10,000 and an amazingly high 90 percent of them don't have cars, then that is still 1,000 more cars on Berkeley's streets. 

Maio also asserts that Berkeley can't be “already too dense” because the population has dropped by 8,000 since 1970. That's like saying that air pollution can't be a problem because it's lower than it was in 1970. Proponents of higher density and more crowding should tell us how many more people they want in Berkeley. Will 10,000 be enough? 50,000? 100,000? 


Mark Johnson