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

Street serves as Berkeley’s most visible example of a “complete street”

Berkeley, California (Tuesday, January 09, 2018) - On Hearst Avenue, you can now bike down lanes protected by parked cars, walk on a new sidewalk alongside the campus edge, or board buses that move more freely.

The dedicated islands for bus riders speed up bus arrivals and departures - while avoiding conflicts with bicycles and cars.

The most dramatic change is on eastbound Hearst between Le Conte and Euclid, where pedestrians and bicyclists previously used the edge of the road alongside fast-moving traffic and now have a sidewalk and a dedicated bike lane.Hearst Ave Bus Island

The transformation of this key corridor, led by the City's Transportation Division in coordination with UC Berkeley, followed the City Council's Complete Streets Policy to make streets more sustainable, safer and better suited for the range of ways people travel.

In this case, changes included the creation of several, distinct and shared passages for different forms of travel in ways that reduce the chances of conflict
between them. Key features include:

  • Hearst - New bike land900 feet of new sidewalk on south side of Hearst between Tolman Hall and North Gate - this closes a major gap in pedestrian access along the campus perimeter.
  • New bike lanes and "sharrows" - arrow markings indicating lanes where motorists and bicyclists are to share the road:
  • Eastbound Hearst - bike lane from Shattuck to Euclid with a parking-protected section from Oxford to Le Conte, and sharrows from Euclid to Gayley.
 Hearst - Parking protected
  • Westbound Hearst - bike lane from Le Conte to Shattuck with a parking-protected section from Walnut to Shattuck, and sharrows from Gayley to Le Conte.
  • Bus boarding islands - allow bikes to pass to the right of bus stops, keeps a dedicated lane for boarding, reducing conflict between bicycles and buses and speeds up bus arrivals and departures.
  • Traffic barriers at Hearst/Spruce and Hearst/Arch - reduces through traffic on Spruce and Arch Streets.
  • New traffic signal at Hearst/Le Roy - improves pedestrian safety at a heavily used crosswalk and provides better traffic flow.
  • Bioswale at Hearst/Oxford - allows storm water to flow into a landscaped island that removes pollutants from before the water enters the storm drain to the San Francisco Bay.
  • Sidewalk extensions at various locations - reduces pedestrian crossing distances and improves motorists' visibility of pedestrians.

The City Council's adopted Complete Streets Policy requires that Berkeley's streets be designed and maintained to provide safe and convenient travel opportunities for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, people with disabilities, motorists, movers of commercial goods, public transit users and operators, emergency vehicles, seniors, children, youth, and families.

Whenever possible, these improvements are incorporated into the City's repaving projects, and are in addition to other improvements made in recent years to improve mobility through and around the City.

Funding sources for the $5.6 million project include a $2.3 million federal grant, $1.7 million from the Alameda County Transportation Commission, $710,000 from UC Berkeley, and $88,000 from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

See an illustrative diagram highlighting the Hearst project's main features, or view the complete plans and project history. Come check out Hearst Avenue and experience a street that serves everyone, no matter how you travel.


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