Public Commons for Everyone Initiative (PCEI)
City public restrooms now have extended hours, and the revised commercial-district smoking ban goes into effect May 22, 2008. See the "Implementation" section for details.
The Public Commons for Everyone Initiative (PCEI) seeks to improve our City's common areas for everyone who lives in, works in, and visits Berkeley. Our parks, libraries, schools, cultural venues, and commercial districts are important gathering places for everyone, and the City wants to ensure that everyone feels welcome and safe.
On June 12, 2007 and after several months of public comment and deliberation, the Berkeley City Council voted to direct City staff to return in fall with specific policy proposals, ordinances and implementation plans. (See the minutes of the June 12 meeting here.)
On November 27, the City Council passed the Public Commons for Everyone Initiative. Read the staff report to Council here or the Council minutes here (item 28). All three parts of the staff recommendation were passed.
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.
To see the maps of current social services provided to Council at the November 27 meeting, download the PDF here.
Council directed the City Manager to explore several different policy possibilities, solicit public input, and return in November with some specifics.
In order to fairly represent the needs of the entire community, City staff sought feedback from as many community members and organizations as possible. These included:
- Community groups
- Service providers
- City commissions
- City agencies
- Individual residents
Key Components of PCEI
The following program and policy components were adopted by the City Council:
- Increased accessibility to public toilets;
- Expanded permanent and supportive housing opportunities;
- 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;
- Increased parking meter fees to support new services;
- Amended ordinances on lying and lodging on sidewalks;
- Expanded smoking prohibitions;
- Create transition-age youth daytime programs.
Public Restrooms: In an effort to make restrooms more available to residents and visitors, hours at several public bathrooms have been extended.
- City Center: Restrooms on the west of the City Center building are now open until midnight, 7 days a week.
- The Telegraph- Channing garage restroom hours were extended to match the garage's open hours:
Monday - Thursday: 7:00 A.M. to 1:00 A.M.
Friday - Saturday: 7:00 A.M. to 2:00 A.M.
Sunday: 8:00AM to 10:00 P.M.
- Center Street garage restroom hours were extended to match the garage's open hours:
Monday - Friday: 5:15 A.M. to Midnight
Saturday: 7:00 A.M. to Midnight
Sunday: 12:00 P.M. to Midnight
Smoking: New Smoke-Free Commercial Zones go into effect May 22, 2008
To protect the health of everyone who uses Berkeley’s public areas, new and expanded smoking restrictions come into effect on May 22, creating smoke-free commercial zones. Smoking is not permitted in the following locations:
- All commercial zones
- Parks and recreation areas
- Service lines and waiting areas such as ATMs, bus stops and cab stands
- Within 50 feet of doorways and windows of health care facilities, mental health facilities, child or adult care facilities, and senior centers
- Within 25 feet of doorways and windows of any building open to the public.
Building managers or business owners can pick up free signs at 1947 Center St., 2nd floor lobby or at the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce at 1834 University Ave., near Martin Luther King Jr. Way.
The City has many resources to help you quit smoking. Please visit our Tobacco Prevention Program page for more details. You can also call (510) 981-5330 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.