Councilmember Rigel Robinson has introduced an Intersection Daylighting Plan, which would paint intersections red to restrict parking in order to open up space, increase visibility and reduce traffic injuries and deaths.
The idea came from Hoboken, New Jersey’s intersection daylighting plan, which has resulted in significant reduction in traffic injuries since 2018, according to a press release from Rigel Robinson’s office.
According to Sam Greenberg, a spokesperson for Robinson’s office, they hope to take a page out of Hoboken’s book to achieve Berkeley’s Vision Zero, which aims to reduce traffic-related deaths to zero by 2028.
“We’re at a moment where a lot of people are realizing the importance of traffic safety measures in our city, and there’s a lot of support for improving traffic safety and achieving Vision Zero in Berkeley,” Greenberg said. “Our office, advocates and a lot of folks see daylighting as a low cost but incredibly effective measure for improving traffic safety for all users.”
In a Reweighted Range Voting report, or RRV report, city council members voted on the prioritization of city projects on a scale from 0-5, and the Intersection Daylighting Plan came in first among 48 other projects.
The RRV ranking’s purpose is not to determine project budgets, Greenberg said, but to serve as a direction for staff to prioritize certain referrals. Because the transportation department in the public works department is understaffed, he noted, there is no implementation timeline yet.
The *Berkeley* 2020 Pedestrian Plan already recommends red curbs at intersections to improve sightlines; however, it hasn’t been broadly implemented across Berkeley.
Greenberg also stated that the cost of adding red paint is $500 per curb and $2000 per intersection, and may be higher due to increasing construction costs. He hopes it can be funded through state and regional grants.
Due to “limited” resources, the Intersection Daylighting Plan suggests prioritizing high-injury streets and intersections with high pedestrian traffic. According to Greenberg, these include intersections on Ashby, Shattuck, San Pablo and University Avenues.
The plan also has support from advocates like Telegraph for People’s president, Rebecca Mirvish, who was “stoked” to hear about it. However, she believes that the referral should be implemented in a “timely manner.”
Ben Gerhardstein, a member of Walk Bike Berkeley, added that the “number one” problem on their minds is the understaffed public works department and transportation division.
“It’s the referral they think is the most important one for the whole year for the staff to move forward,” Gerhardstein said. “That’s great that there’s so much support for it but until the public works division has the person-power to put some thought into this and bring it back to city council, it’s an idea that’s gonna sit on the shelf.”