Some 40,000 people flooded downtown Berkeley on a brilliantly sunny day in October, as the city became the latest in the San Francisco Bay Area to host a “Sunday Streets” event. Organizers closed 17 blocks of Berkeley’s Shattuck Avenue to cars––and opened them to pretty much everything else. Cyclists pedaled, hula hoops turned, children frolicked, climbers scaled a mobile rock wall, and musicians inspired scores to break out in dance. Families took leisurely strolls through streets transformed, while restaurants in North Berkeley’s “gourmet ghetto” turned a brisk business. Residents surveyed a demonstration “parklet” that could soon see Berkeley parking spaces transformed into temporary green spaces, and the East Bay Bicycle Coalition showcased plans for a major upgrade to the city’s bicycle network at Hearst Avenue.
This Sunday, a stretch of Shattuck Avenue more than a mile long will be transformed into a public space hosting more than 80 activities, expositions and performances, right in the middle of the street.
Sunday Streets Berkeley is a new community initiative modeled after the popular Sunday Streets San Francisco events that began five years ago. Both Sunday Streets events are part of the larger “Open Streets” movement that aims to promote sustainability by temporarily closing off main city streets to cars while encouraging bicycle and pedestrian traffic. The events also provide a public forum for entertainment, education, culture and recreation.
Attractions on Sunday will include face painting, live classical music, physics demonstrations, free yoga classes, tours of a brewery, Brazilian drumming and graffiti painting, among many others spread along the length of Shattuck from Haste to Rose streets. The event will continue from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Almost 20 blocks of Shattuck Avenue are proposed to be car-free. Except for major arterials, intersections on Shattuck will be closed to east-west traffic crossing Shattuck. Programming will showcase the Berkeley Arts District.
Sunday Streets Berkeley will be a celebration of local businesses and organizations, especially along the route. Storefronts will be unobstructed, and business owners will be encouraged to promote commerce and visibility by setting out seating on the street, hosting activities, and otherwise inviting interest and community.
What is Sunday Streets?
Sunday Streets (also called “Open Streets”) closes streets to automobile traffic for a day so that people may use the space for just about any activity other than driving. The streets become parks as foot traffic replaces car traffic. People bike, jog and dance, meet up with friends, meet someone new, and play. Everyone from businesses and community organizations to musicians and artists use the space creatively, engaging the public and providing spontaneity and discovery. People get out and connect with their community in a transformative way. This temporary public space inspires creativity and change for the better, on that day - and beyond. It sounds simple, yet it really is very new and exciting. Learn more about Sunday Streets Berkeley…
Sunday Streets (also called “Open Streets”) closes streets to automobile traffic so that people can use the street for just about any activity other than driving. The streets become paved parks where people can come out and connect with their community in a new way. Sunday Streets promote public health, sustainability and community. It can change how people think about their city.
SUNDAY STREETS BERKELEY is being proposed through a working committee of the Office of Mayor Tom Bates, Councilmember Jesse Arreguin and representatives of Livable Berkeley, the East Bay Bicycle Coalition, the Downtown Berkeley Association and Buy Local Berkeley.
WHY WE NEED TO FUNDRAISE We need to raise $30,000 to pay for the costs of closing the street, staffing intersections, putting in barricades, notifying neighbors, promotion, set-up and clean-up – it adds up. Since there aren’t any vendors, it has to pay for itself.
More info onSunday Streets Berkeley
This fall, we’re planning to close the Downtown to cars on a Sunday - turning the Downtown into a paved park where people can bike, walk, jog, dance, meet up with friends and play in the street.
We’ll need your help to make Sunday Streets Berkeley a reality… all you need to do is come to a party at Donkey & Goat in the West Berkeley Drinks District.
TICKETS: $10 or FREE when you join Livable Berkeley
(Join NOW through Brown Paper Tickets and get free drink tickets!)
The GO STREATERY food truck will be at the party!
We are so excited to have LIVE MUSIC by the DON’T LOOK BACK STRING BAND!
Plus, we’ll have fun ACTIVITIES for KIDS and great RAFFLE PRIZES!
See you on May 12!
Last night, the City Council passed the new Downtown Plan, affirming the vision for a growing, vibrant Downtown Berkeley.
After seven years, we are finally moving forward. This accomplishment would not have been possible without all of your ongoing support and hard work. It is with great pride and excitement that we now begin the implementation process that will make our shared vision a reality.
We look forward to engaging all of you as we bring to fruition the changes and improvements in store for Downtown Berkeley.
Let’s get to work!
The City Council is getting ready to consider adoption of the Downtown Area Plan on Tuesday, March 6.
The Downtown Plan focuses on more housing within walking distance of transit, higher education, jobs, services, and entertainment.
Great things are already underway: new programs are making Downtown Berkeley more welcoming, and the UC Art Museum is coming to our thriving Arts District.
All of this makes our Downtown - the heart of our city - a more desirable place to live, work, and play.
Adopting this plan will allow more jobs and housing, further enhancing the vitality of our Downtown and attracting more restaurants, shops, and entertainment.
Having had more than its fair share of process after more than seven years in the making…
It’s time to adopt the Downtown Plan!
In the Netherlands, bikes abound. And now, they even take kids to school. Behold, the bicycle school bus.
The bicycle school bus is powered entirely by children and the one adult driver (although there is an electric motor for tough hills). Its simple design has eight sets of pedals for the kids (ages 4 to 12), a driver seat for the adult, and three bench seats for freeloaders. The top speed is about 10 miles per hour, and features a sound system and canvas awning to ward off rainy days.
An ideological shift is underway as we understand the interconnectedness of the communities in which we live. Collectively, we’re rethinking our society’s developmental future.
Any good relationship, however, requires negotiation. Multiple cities may comprise a region, and even though their fates are intertwined, it’s only natural that each would want to advocate for privileges and protections for its own citizens. Regional planning is a way to productively engage in that negotiation, addressing issues that transcend city limits and involve shared resources—whether natural, built, or human.