Berkeley City Council approved the 2017 Berkeley Bicycle Plan and a proposed development at 2902 Adeline St. at its Tuesday regular meeting.
The bicycle plan, which proposes a wide-scale swath of renovations to Berkeley’s bicycling facilities, includes paved paths, upgraded bike lanes and cycle tracks. The plan is organized in a three-tiered system, based on criteria prioritizing, in descending order, safety, community support and equity. Tier 1 projects are scheduled to be completed by 2025, while Tier 2 projects are planned for completion by 2035, according to a City of Berkeley transportation staff presentation at the meeting.
The council unanimously approved the plan after a lengthy discussion regarding a proposed addition to the plan’s “Project Recommendations” by Councilmember Sophie Hahn.
Hahn said at the meeting that she had concerns that stakeholders, such as AC Transit and the Alameda County Transportation Commission, had not been properly consulted when the plan had initially appeared on the council agenda in February.
“The point is that for all the great work staff had done, important constituencies were not consulted,” Hahn said at the meeting. “We need to have more explicit language about consultation.”
Councilmember Lori Droste said she felt that the transportation staff had sufficiently reached out to stakeholders. She urged the council to support adding only an agreed-upon section of Hahn’s proposed addition.
“Do we want to revisit elements of the bike plan over and over again? I know that people are concerned about bike safety now,” Droste said at the meeting.
City Council also approved a long-disputed development at 2902 Adeline St. The proposed project is a 14,065 square-foot apartment complex to be developed by Realtex, a development company.
The final 50-dwelling unit project will allocate four units for very low-income housing, four units to low-income housing and one unit to moderate income housing. Two of the very low-income units will be reserved for Section 8 housing, while the other two will be set aside for the city’s Shelter Plus Care Program.
Mayor Jesse Arreguin said at the meeting that the proposal brought both the community and applicant together with a vision of sustainable and equitable development for not only South Berkeley but also the whole city.
“I think this sets a new trend for the City Council,” Arreguin said at the meeting. “We are going to push builders to do more in providing community benefits, particularly affordable housing, because of the affordability crisis that we’re facing as a city.”
Councilmember Ben Bartlett complimented the efforts of the community members, developers and City Council in helping shape the final proposal.
“Chickens are born by pecking at the shell until they get out. So that’s what’s happened here at these meetings, these many many meetings,” Bartlett said at the meeting. “You (took) this present moment here … and crafted a proposal to create equitable development, one that addresses the past injustices and exclusion and bad zoning and bad planning and racist intent.”