Saturday, February 03, 2007

FBRT Makes A Good Showing At The Joint Meeting Of The Transportation Commission and DAPAC

Friends of BRT member Rob Wrenn is also a member of the two groups that met Wednesday, 1/31, to consider transportation plans for Downtown Berkeley. The two groups are the Downtown Area Plan Advisory Committee (DAPAC) and the Transportation Commission. Here's Rob's report:

I thought the meeting went well. Len Conly and Chuck Siegel spoke during public comment in favor of BRT, as did Steve Geller and Claire Risley. Doug Buckwald was the only person to speak against. He falsely stated that there had been no significant public review of BRT.

Three motions were passed by both the Transportation Commission and DAPAC:

The first motion was to drop consideration of the Oxford-only BRT option. One DAPAC member, Jim Samuels, admitted that he had supported it but said that after hearing everything he understood the objections. Staff said the option was developed in part in response to merchants who thought BRT on Shattuck would be bad for their businesses. Nathan Landau, who is on the Transportation Commission and also works for AC Transit, was effective in
pointing out the limits of this option. The votes on both commissions were close to unanimous.

The second motion said that staff should look at both BRT EIR options: BRT running both ways on Shattuck and the loop that has BRT going northbound on Shattuck and southbound on Oxford.

The third motion called for looking at having traffic run both ways on Shattuck west of Shattuck Square. Mim Hawley raised the issue of allowing buses to continue running east of Shattuck under this option and it passed with the understanding that two-way Shattuck did not preclude buses east of Shattuck Square. I added an amendment that AC should be asked to evaluate
the impact of any changes on buses.

Both the second and third motions also passed by close to unanimous margins.

After the meeting, a DAPAC member told me that Planning Director Dan Marks had said he was surprised by the level of support for BRT.


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