|Berkeley AC Transit Bus Rapid Transit|
The vote, which got 4 yes decisions, just one less than five needed, reflected Berkeley's overall lack of understanding of what Bus Rapid Transit was and the many ways that it could be done.
There was concern about a hypothetical loss of parking spaces when BRT becomes a reality. However, AC Transit did make it very clear that any parking spaces that are displaced to mark off the dedicated bus - only lane would be mitigated.
AC Transit told the East Bay Express that it is ready to build parking lots and to work closely with these people who are concerned to find solutions that work for them. Rebecca Kaplan, Oakland’s At-Large member of the City Council, also puts the myth of lost parking to rest when she expressed her confidence to the East Bay Express that the final plan will include any and all necessary mitigations.
There are so many ways to do Bus Rapid Transit that the Berkeley City Council could have come away with a unanimous vote.
Perhaps more importantly than the unfounded concerns about parking is that the East Bay is paralyzed in traffic jams right now. BRT is the best solution to free up the gridlock and provide a speedy and affordable form of public transportation. In fact, it could be up and running as soon as 2013, and fully implemented in 2015.
Given that the lanes are in the middle of the road, that concern is confusing at best. But AC Transit needs to deal with the misunderstanding before it becomes an issue that clouds the improvement program its embarked on.
Meanwhile someone explain how delivery trucks are going to be stopped in the photo above? The fact is that BRT is good for business, and this decision is puzzling to me. Leaving things the way they are now should be a non - issue, and Oakland's elected officials said that by expressing their unanimous support for BRT.