This post is about two closely-related topics. Most of you are aware that the Berkeley part of the Hill has its own Zoning Ordinance. We’re zoned ES-R, while all other residential neighborhoods in Berkeley are zoned R-1 through R-5. The ordinance was recently amended, but I suspect that very few of you know that the Council did not fully adopt the Amendments. A key part was remanded back to the Planning Commission, who will discuss the issue in November. I urge you all to take an interest in the upcoming hearing.
The second topic is the traffic on lower Panoramic Way. I’m sure you will all agree that it’s dangerous, and potentially hinders emergency vehicle access. The City of Berkeley has made it clear that it is not going to consider any major improvements – widening the street, or building a second, everyday-use access road. However, there are a few possible “quick fixes”. One of them is to consolidate the Oakland and Berkeley refuse/recycling services. Every Monday morning, 6 (yes Six) separate trucks come up and down Panoramic Way. Most of them can’t turn around the steep bends and reverse very slowly between them. If the Big One strikes on a Monday morning, we’re all cooked. I’ve written everybody – our Council Member, the whole Council, the Planning Commission .. with no result. For example. I suggested to our Council Member that he might propose a resolution to the Council, requiring the City’s Public Works Department to discuss consolidation of services with their Oakland counterparts. His reply was pure evasiveness, which I interpreted to mean: “Don’t you realize that would mean work on my part?” I seriously considered approaching a Council Member from another District, who would have proposed the resolution as a general public safety issue. Does anyone else have any thoughts on this matter?