For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Matthai Chakko, Assistant to the City Manager, (510) 981-7008

TWO OPEN HOUSES TO DISCUSS RESULTS OF GOBERKELEY PILOT PROJECT

Berkeley, California (Tuesday, March 18, 2014) - The City of Berkeley invites the public to two Open Houses to discuss the first results of goBerkeley, an effort to increase the vitality of commercial districts by making those areas easier to visit by transit, walking, bicycling, and driving.

The goBerkeley program started in July 2013 with the distribution of 1,000 AC Transit Easy Passes to downtown workers and City CarShare business discounts to area employees at no cost.  In Fall 2013, the goBerkeley pilot kicked off the second stage by seeking to improve the availability and convenience of parking.

In the fall, parking rates and time limits were changed in the Downtown Berkeley, Telegraph/ Southside, and Elmwood areas to encourage drivers toward available spots instead of repetitively circling in congested areas. The goal was to free up 1 to 2 spaces on every block -- reducing frustration, traffic congestion and emissions resulting from circling for parking in high-demand areas.

At these meetings, the public will review how the pilot has performed since Fall 2013 and discuss staff recommendations for next steps.  Staff have compiled data on parking demand and turnover at metered spaces on-street, as well as City parking lots and garages.  Over 500 visitors were surveyed about their parking preferences and opinions. 

Results show that the changes to parking rates and time limits are very effective in encouraging drivers to make different choices about where they drive and park.  While many areas show major success, there are opportunities to improve..  The goBerkeley project only affected street parking during meter hours, 9am to 6pm. However, parking turnover declines after 6pm, when meters stop, yet it is a high-demand time for many businesses.

Attendees of the two Open Houses will explore data results in detail and provide feedback to City staff on the next round of adjustments.  The Open Houses will take no more than one hour and will be vital for staff to fine-tune recommendations and report to the City Council on community feedback.

 goBerkeley Open House 1: Downtown and Southside 
Wednesday, March 19th, 4-6 pm
Community Meeting Room - 3rd Floor
Berkeley Central Library
2090 Kittredge Street, Berkeley, CA

goBerkeley Open House 2: Elmwood 
Thursday, March 20th, 5:30 - 7pm
Berkeley Claremont Library
2940 Benvenue Ave., Berkeley, CA  

goBerkeley is a pilot program run by the City of Berkeley with funding from Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD)  The City's partners include the Downtown Berkeley Association, Telegraph Business Improvement District, and Elmwood Merchants Association, AC Transit, City CarShare, and the non-profit organization , TransForm

goBerkeley website: http://www.goberkeley.info/index.php

 Photo Link: http://www.goberkeley.info/press-photos.php

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