City planners hold ‘pop-up’ event for community input on Adeline Corridor Plan

Kevin Cheung/Staff

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City planners held a “pop-up” event Saturday on Adeline Street to listen to concerns of community bikers and pedestrians about the Adeline Corridor Plan.

The city hosted a walking and biking tour to discuss the potential use of public spaces along Adeline Street — such as street enhancements, sidewalk improvements and plaza spaces — as part of a community outreach effort regarding the city’s development plan in South Berkeley. The city received a $750,000 grant and is investing $500,000 to study infrastructure, housing and accessibility. The city also hired consultants from MIG, an urban-planning firm.

“It’s a very inclusive participatory process,” said community engagement coordinator Jamillah Jordan.

Jordan said MIG did a similar pop-up event in Laguna Beach and was successful in reaching out to a variety of residents. For Jordan, the goal is to have passersby participate in the city’s community workshops.

With MIG, the city opened the Adeline Community IDEA Center, a space for community members to discuss the plan with the planning team every Monday and Thursday.

“We want to go to them and understand them,” said MIG consultant Mukul Malhotra.

Malhotra said MIG has also opened a mobilized IDEA center in several locations, including grocery stores and senior houses on Saturdays for those who cannot make it during the fixed times on weekdays. The city has been “very clearly listening to the community,” according to Malhotra.

Richie Smith, a longtime resident of South Berkeley and an active member of Friends of Adeline — a community group formed to guide participation in the city’s development — said the project may not be implemented.

“It takes money to put into action plans,” Smith said. “There is no money appropriated to do action.”

Some projects listed in the South Shattuck Strategic Plan, put together in 1998, were not implemented despite the city’s and community’s planning efforts, according to Marianne Sluis, a resident of South Berkeley.

“There seems to be limited optimism, some skepticism, but it would be great if it all worked out because we got all of our input,” said Reaux Flagg, who works for Biketopia Community Workshop, a nonprofit bicycle workshop in Berkeley.

During the tour, some residents pointed out the current construction sites along the corridor and said ongoing projects, separate from the city’s, will affect the corridor plan. Residents also said the area needs affordable housing and community spaces, such as parks and parking spaces, instead of the automobile dealerships and exhibitions currently planned for the corridor.

There are places that the city has no control over, Malhotra said.

“We need to think very carefully what you can get implemented,” he said.

The city said it is hoping to further hear from the residents at the next outreach event, the Berkeley Juneteenth Festival, on June 21.

Contact Yuka Koshino at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @YukaKoshino.