BERKELEY'S NEWS • OCTOBER 01, 2022

City Council to consider converting Bancroft, Durant to two-way streets

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MARY ZHENG | STAFF

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APRIL 29, 2013

Berkeley City Council is set to consider investigating the financial impact of converting Bancroft Way and Durant Avenue into two-way streets at its meeting on Tuesday.

If the plan is approved, the city manager will draw up a list of costs for traffic analysis, traffic control methods and construction for the conversion of the two streets.

Benefits of the conversion would include a safer environment for pedestrians and cyclists, less traffic due to reduced vehicle speeds and more convenient access to the campus due to the relocation of bus traffic to Bancroft, proponents say.

“We’re trying to follow best practices,” said Berkeley Design Advocates President Anthony Bruzzone. “Current best practices suggest that two-way streets are better for traffic and better for business.”

The proposal is one of many improvements to Telegraph Avenue’s current design suggested by Berkeley Design Advocates, a volunteer group of architects and urban planners. Other proposed improvements include extended sidewalks, improved street lighting and more interaction between retail and entertainment spaces.

The campus currently supports the proposal because it has the potential to improve safety, said Christine Shaff, communications director for UC Berkeley’s Facilities Services.

City Councilmember Kriss Worthington, however, has introduced a separate list of his own goals.

His proposal, called the Telegraph ACTION Plan, includes improvements like outdoor merchandise tables for retail stores, increased visibility of parking and a monthly music festival, all of which, he estimates, would cost $50,500.

While the financial impact of the project has yet to be calculated, Worthington has said his 12-item plan may cost less than the two-way street proposal.

“The focus on two-way streets and sending all that money at the expense of not doing these things is very problematic,” Worthington said. “I would say that these are more important and more time-sensitive than which way the cars are going.”

The Telegraph Business Improvement District also opposes the conversion of the two streets, said Executive Director Roland Peterson, and would rather see other improvements, like creating parklets — small parking spot-sized spaces for recreation and beautification —  which will also be discussed at Tuesday’s meeting.

“We’re very intrigued, but we need to flesh out more about parklets,” Peterson said. “We’re very much interested in possible redesigns of the street in ways that make it better for pedestrians and traffic.”

For those who walk or drive down Bancroft and Durant daily, the change would have mixed results.

“As a driver, two-way streets do have their conveniences,” said senior Amanda Garcia, who has been driving in Berkeley for several months. “As a student, though, one-way streets are kind of convenient. It’s easier to cross. I can see this being a positive change, though.”

Contact Megan Messerly at  or on Twitter

LAST UPDATED

JUNE 10, 2013


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