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Berkeley Council Approves Bike Station
by Jason Meggs
Wednesday Dec 10th, 2008 11:11 AM
Monday night, Dec. 8, the Berkeley City Council voted to approve the contract for an expanded, street level Bike Station with many more services and features than the existing station to the cheers of a packed council chamber. This is the culmination of over ten years of work by local advocates.
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Monday night, Dec. 8, the Berkeley City Council voted to approve the contract for an expanded, street level Bike Station with many more services and features than the existing station to the cheers of a packed council chamber. This is the culmination of over ten years of work by local advocates.

Although a terribly inaccurate and misleading staff report portrayed the Bike Station expansion as a terrible idea, public presence with a line out the door, and people stuck downstairs held back by the police (despite the fact that the chamber was no longer at capacity and had room, and the group's item was on), with extensive testimony, made it clear that this project has been well vetted and is the #1 priority for the bicycle community. "Increasing bicycling is our #1 priority for public health and the environment, and nothing on the table in the immediate future promises to deliver so much for increasing bicycling in Berkeley at this time. Approximately half of Berkeley's greenhouse gas emissions come from motor vehicles, and bicycles are a viable substitute for a great many everyday automobile and truck trips."

The council meeting can be watched as web video on the City's website:

http://berkeley.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?publish_id=516

(Jump to item #28, "Proposed Downtown Berkeley Bike Station Expansion Project".)

Many more details about the project are available online at other places. See some of the debates leading up to the council at:

http://ebbc.org/?q=save_the_bikestation

Next steps include:

1) Securing the lease agreement on Shattuck (formerly "The Spot")
2) Design process
3) Partnering with additional subtenants and services
4) Building the space
5) Grand opening!!!

This contingent on the long delayed Safe Routes to Transit grant being given an extension for the above to occur, which, given the investment to date and agreement now from all sides, and it being a highly rated project from the initial round of grants, seems highly likely.

Next steps for Berkeley:

1) Bicycle community needs a summit to establish latest priorities
2) City needs to dedicate more staff time and funding
3) Campaigns begin!

Seems like there's a president coming along with a notion about reworking and revamping the infrastructure. This reporter's vote is for viable petroleum free transportation and land use, reduced energy and higher efficiency basic services, and maximal local food production. Bicycling, walking and electrified transit top the list for transportation.

Enjoy the happy pictures.
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A jubilant Robert Raburn of the East Bay Bicycle Coalition updates his sign to show that the funding is no longer "At Risk."

(http://www.EBBC.org)
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A jubilant Robert Raburn of the East Bay Bicycle Coalition updates his sign to show that the funding is no longer "At Risk."

(http://www.EBBC.org)
§A group of Bike Station supporters patiently waits downstairs.
by Jason Meggs Wednesday Dec 10th, 2008 11:11 AM
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A group of Bike Station supporters patiently waits downstairs.

Police refused admission to the group when their item came up, despite room in the council chambers (capacity 123). One officer wanted to know if the group had anything to do with a wild group of bicyclists riding through town on Wednesday night. Nobody asked if he knew anything about the wild motorists riding around every day.
§Waiting to go up!
by Jason Meggs Wednesday Dec 10th, 2008 11:11 AM
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Waiting to go up.


Police refused admission to the group when their item came up, despite room in the council chambers (capacity 123). One officer wanted to know if the group had anything to do with a wild group of bicyclists riding through town on Wednesday night. Nobody asked if he knew anything about the wild motorists riding around every day.
§"Care" sign perspective
by Jason Meggs Wednesday Dec 10th, 2008 11:11 AM
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"Care" sign perspective
§A long line of supporters waiting to speak
by Jason Meggs Wednesday Dec 10th, 2008 11:11 AM
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A long line of supporters waiting to speak.

This is just a fraction of the people present to support the Bike Station. When the Mayor asked how many people were present to support the item he and others on council emitted audible expressions of amazement as the chambers rose with signs overhead.
§Supporter with sign.
by Jason Meggs Wednesday Dec 10th, 2008 11:11 AM
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Supporter with sign.
§Supporters waiting in chairs and on the floor.
by Jason Meggs Wednesday Dec 10th, 2008 11:11 AM
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Supporters waiting in chairs and on the floor.
§A long line of supporters waiting to speak
by Jason Meggs Wednesday Dec 10th, 2008 11:11 AM
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A long line of supporters waiting to speak.

This is just a fraction of the people present to support the Bike Station. When the Mayor asked how many people were present to support the item he and others on council emitted audible expressions of amazement as the chambers rose with signs overhead.
§Status of the City's Climate Action Plan.
by Jason Meggs Wednesday Dec 10th, 2008 11:11 AM
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Status of the City's Climate Action Plan...unfunded...unfinished...nobody knows how to implement it...but after a long struggle, a critical piece of the puzzle is on its way: an expanded, attended, secure bicycle parking facility at STREET LEVEL in the Downtown Core, with a host of services a true BICYCLE SUPPORT CENTER.

HOO-RAH!
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Global Warming plus A War over Oil equals Stop DrivingZachary RunningWolfMonday Feb 23rd, 2009 1:07 AM