For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Mary Kay Clunies-Ross, PIO, City Manager's Office, (510) 981-7008

EXTRA QUARTER FUNDS SERVICES

Berkeley, California (Monday, March 31, 2008) - People parking in Berkeley will pay an extra quarter an hour for improvements to the city’s public areas.

Starting Monday, March 31, parking meters and pay-and-display machines will require $1.25 an hour. This fee increase was approved by the City Council to fund the Public Commons for Everyone Initiative, an effort to improve our City's common areas for everyone who lives in, works in, and visits Berkeley.

Integral to that goal is ensuring that people have a safe place to sleep at night, that their civil rights are protected, and that those with physical, mental, or economic disabilities are cared for and have access to essential services.

The following program and policy components were adopted by the City Council:

  • Increased accessibility to public restrooms;
  • Expanded permanent housing and supportive services;
  • Additional Supplemental Security Income (SSI) advocacy support;
  • New centralized homeless intake system;
  • Additional homeless outreach worker;
  • More public seating and trash receptacles;
  • Pilot Berkeley Host program;
  • Amended ordinances on lying and lodging on sidewalks;
  • Expanded smoking prohibitions;
  • Transition-age youth daytime programs.

Some aspects of the Public Commons for Everyone Initiative (passed by the City Council on November 27) have already gone into effect. Public restroom hours have been expanded in the City Center Building, the Telegraph-Channing Garage and the Center Street Garage, and new blue and white signs have been posted to help direct visitors to them. In addition, new smoke free areas have been established and education efforts have begun. Finally, requests for proposals for meeting many of the other service goals have been issued.

Berkeley’s 68 “pay and display” machines have already been converted to the new rate; it will take between two and three weeks to convert the City’s 2,700 single-space meters.

To read more about PCEI, visit the City’s website at http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/ContentDisplay.aspx?id=5122.

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