League Helps Build Consensus for Streets and Watershed

Measure MMeasure M, a $30 million Berkeley bond measure, was passed in 2012 to improve streets and related watersheds in Berkeley.  The discussion on the measure before it was put on the ballot was very polarized, so there were concerns about how to best implement the measure.  For nearly the entire past year, a public process, led by the Berkeley Public Works Commission and co-sponsored by the LWVBAE, has been underway to determine how the money will be spent.  Also participating in the collaborative process were Berkeley’s Community Environmental Advisory Commission (CEAC), the Transportation Commission (TC) and the Parks & Waterfront Commission (P&WC).

As described in the report of the PWC, presented to the City Council on October 1, the community engagement process has resulted in a series of recommendations for investing in Berkeley’s most heavily used civic space – our street network. The outcome of the community dialogue is a set of criteria and a process for supporting a more integrated and sustainable street network. The specific recommendations include:

  • Goals and Outcome Targets
  • Evaluation Criteria and Scorecard
  • Planning Process
  • Monitoring and Oversight

Members of the City Council were very complimentary of the process and the consensus reached; two Councilmembers singled out the LWVBAE for praise for our participation and monitoring of the process.  The City Council passed the resulting paving plan by consent at their meeting November 19, 2013, with implementation to begin January, 2014.

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