Southside Residents to Discuss BRT Plans

By Richard Brenneman
Tuesday July 24, 2007

A subcommittee of Berkeley’s Transportation Commission will meet with Southside residents tonight (Tuesday) to hear their concerns about Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). 

The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. with an informal open house at Trinity United Methodist Church, 2362 Bancroft Way. 

Among the issues on the table are routes, service features and station locations, as well as discussions on benefits and possible mitigations to offset neighborhood impacts. 

The meeting, hosted by the commission’s Transit Subcommittee, is scheduled to last until 9:30 p.m. 

BRT—scheduled to run between Berkeley and San Leandro—would feature pre-paid fares, dedicated stations and, possibly, creation of special bus-only lanes along Telegraph Avenue and Bancroft Way. 

Two proposals have called for closing or restricting parts of Bancroft and Telegraph to through traffic, including on plan that calls for elimination of car traffic on the last two blocks of Telegraph. 

While AC Transit and BRT advocates say the faster service would increase ridership in an era where global warming threatens, neighborhood activists have charged that the service might result in loss of parking for merchants and increased traffic on residential streets to work around closed or congested streets.