Measure R Will Make Pollution Worse in Berkeley
Mayor Tom Bates’ sits on the Bay Area Air Quality Management District – and BAAQMD notwithstanding, most Berkeley residents aren’t aware of the horrific pollution levels of the air they and their children breathe. Folks don’t realize that even up in the hills, our air quality is some of the worst in the nation. To quote an article in the SF Chron from Dec. 16, 2008, “three Berkeley schools [are] in the top 1 percent among the nation’s most at-risk sites for exposure to toxic air emissions.” Folks who live in the hills often don’t think massive development impacts them unless it cuts into their bay views, but they just aren’t seeing (or breathing) the big picture. Tom Bates Downtown Plan (Measure R) is an open door to more traffic, more congestion, more pollution and more pulmonary disease. The current Downtown plan is not good, but Measure R will make the situation much, much worse. All the green-backwash that Helen Burke’s Sierra Club is pumping out like so much toxic sludge isn’t going to change the reality that this measure opens the door to more than a million square feet of additional intensive, downtown skyscraper development, and essentially no new tax revenues, just more municipal expenses. Follow the money, Measure R is not funded by your neighbors, it’s basically all funded by developers and their enablers, most of whom don’t live in Berkeley.