After five years of community planning and more than three months of discussion, a final recommendation on the Adeline Corridor will be made to the Berkeley Planning Commission in September.
The Adeline Corridor is an approximately 1.3-mile section of both Adeline Street and Shattuck Avenue near the Berkeley-Oakland border. Officially titled the Adeline Corridor Specific Plan, the current draft outlines land use, housing affordability, economic development, transportation and public space. The Planning Commission’s Adeline Corridor Specific Plan subcommittee recommendation promotes affordable housing, a roadway redesign and benefits for existing residents, according to principal planner of the project Alisa Shen.
“The draft plan and recommendation has a lot of components that focus on promoting and facilitating affordable housing,” Shen said.
One of the goals of the plan is to have 50% of new housing in the area be affordable housing, according to Shen. She added that the plan also tries to address community concerns about gentrification in South Berkeley.
Teresa Clarke, a founding member of community advocacy organization South Berkeley Now, said parts of the draft plan would actually discourage housing from being built. Clarke added that while demand for housing is very high in Berkeley, supply is very low.
“Everybody needs housing right now,” Clarke said. “But, some of their measures reduce the amount of housing development we could immediately have.”
According to Clarke, the amount of car traffic on Adeline Street is largely unnecessary, as nearby streets take most of the traffic. Instead of a large multilane roadway, she said she would prefer the option of a two-lane road to be studied and implemented.
The draft includes a roadway redesign and imagines using part of the recovered space for outdoor spaces rather than cars, according to Shen. The redesign will require more research but may look like a plaza space or greenway, Shen added.
Clarke said there is an opportunity to create a pedestrian connection in the neighborhood by adding bike lanes and a greenway. However, Clarke noted that little of this is included in the current version of the plan.
“Overall, the plan has some great goals and great ideas, but if you don’t translate that into things that are actually going to be implemented, we aren’t going to solve anything,” Clarke said.
The Adeline Corridor Specific Plan sets a holistic vision and framework for future public infrastructure and economic development projects, Shen said.
Jordan Klein, interim director of the city’s planning and development department, added that staff members have worked hard to implement feedback from the community but there will be criticism regardless.
“We are working hard to receive that feedback, communicate it back to policymakers and finalize the plan,” Klein said. “It’s important that we move ahead to implementation so that we can start making these visions a reality.”