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City Manager's Office
City Manager's Office
Press Contact: Matthai Chakko, (510) 981-7008

HEARST AVENUE CONSTRUCTION TO BEGIN SOON

Berkeley, California (Wednesday, November 16, 2016) - Construction will begin soon to make Hearst Avenue north of campus safer and easier to use for the corridor's full mix of travelers: pedestrians, bicyclists, bus riders and motorists.

Designing a street that balances between all modes of travel increases safety, more easily allows people to move and better reflects the many ways people come to and from campus.  

The project along this key corridor to campus will create new sidewalks, add sidewalk extensions to make safer pedestrian crossings, and add bike lanes. A new traffic light at Hearst and LeRoy will improve traffic flow while increasing safety for pedestrians. 

Funded in part by a $2.1 million federal grant, the project from Shattuck Avenue to Gayley Road is expected to finish in early 2017.

Integrating and serving all modes of travel is known as a "complete streets" strategy. The Hearst Complete Streets Project will act as a model for other streets improvements around Berkeley. Bancroft Way between Fulton and Dana streets will see parking-protected bike lanes and transit-only lanes.

For pedestrians, the Hearst project will close a major gap in pedestrian access along the campus perimeter by adding 900 feet of new sidewalk on south side of Hearst between Tolman Hall and North Gate where there were parking spaces.

For bicyclists, both sides of Hearst will have new bike lanes and "sharrows" - markings indicating that motorists and bicyclists are to share the road.

On Eastbound Hearst, a bike lane will extend from Shattuck to Euclid with a parking-protected section stretching from Oxford to Le Conte. The road-sharing markings will extend from Euclid to Gayley.

On Westbound Hearst, a bike lane will extend from Le Conte to Shattuck with a parking-protected section from Walnut to Shattuck. The road-sharing markings will be provided from Gayley to Le Conte.

Bus boarding islands will allow bike lanes to pass to the right of parked buses, and, in the process, reduce conflicts between bicycles and buses.

Traffic barriers at Hearst/Spruce and Hearst/Arch will reduce through-traffic on Spruce and Arch Streets.

In addition to those changes to help travelers, the project will also address some environmental needs. A "bioswale" at Hearst and Oxford will collect storm water run-off and remove pollutants before letting water enter the storm drains that release into San Francisco Bay.

This project is an important part of several planned improvements that will make it easier to travel to and around the downtown and the UC Berkeley campus. In October, BART broke ground on a joint BART-City project to renovate the Downtown BART Plaza. Next year, the City will use a "complete streets" approach to  reconfigure Shattuck Avenue, easing traffic while increasing safety and ease for bicyclists and pedestrians. Construction began this July on the City's new Center Street garage, which that will have nearly 300 more parking spaces than the previous 440-space garage while creating bicycle storage for over 300 bicycles.

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