A VISION FOR PEOPLE
Telegraph for People has a vision. That vision is a car-free Telegraph with a vibrant public realm, more space and safety for pedestrians and cyclists, faster buses, and revitalized small businesses.
Telegraph is the most historic street in Berkeley, and it's the most important street in Berkeley for students. We walk down Telegraph every day, and we deserve a Telegraph that puts people first. Right now, almost all of the street is given to cars, with pedestrians forced onto cramped and narrow sidewalks.
We want a Telegraph that is safer and more enjoyable for pedestrians, cyclists, and transit riders. We want to be able to walk down Telegraph without being pushed onto cramped sidewalks. We don't want to worry about fast-moving and unpredictable traffic when we cross the street. We want to be able to ride our bikes on Telegraph to get to class.
We want our favorite small businesses to thrive. We want to give them even more space to express themselves and serve their customers. Removing cars from the picture would allow Telegraph's wonderful restaurants to build parklets, serve food outdoors, and let their customers enjoy Telegraph's vibrant street life. We want Telegraph's clothing stores to have space out front to display their clothes outside and show them to the world. We want Telegraph's street vendors to have space to sell jewelry without just being passed by by students trying to escape Telegraph's cramped sidewalks. We want folks to have space to set up a table with a chessboard, play a game with passerbys, and strike up spontaneous conversations. This is what Telegraph's public realm should look like.
We want We NEED to put the environment first! Students have the right to breathe clean air and they have the right to inherit an earth that is not on fire. Climate change is here, and cars cause it. Berkeley's revolutionary Telegraph Avenue must embrace the future and be on the front lines of fighting climate change.
The Southside Complete Streets Project is going to shape more streets than just Telegraph! Bancroft Way, Dana St., and Fulton St. will all get redesigns.
For Bancroft Way, we endorse Option 2. We urge you to advocate for a bus lane along the entire segment of Bancroft Way and the best safety for cyclists and pedestrians. We also urge you to support pedestrianization on the south side of Bancroft Way. Charles Siegel has put together an excellent showcase of what's wrong with Bancroft's south sidewalk and how to fix it.
What happens when we give streets back to people?
People flock to them.
The leaders of this movement are Urban Studies students. We know what makes pedestrianized streets work, and it's already having lots of pedestrians. College towns are perfect for pedestrianized streets (see some examples below). Telegraph Avenue is especially well-positioned because so many students take Telegraph when they're going to and from campus.
Church Street Marketplace - Burlington, VT
Image courtesy Church Street Marketplace
Downtown Mall - Charlottesville, VA
Image courtesy Daily Progress
3rd Street Promenade - Santa Monica, CA
Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons
Newark Ave. - Jersey City, NJ
Image courtesy Tony Cenicola, New York Times
Pearl Street - Boulder, CO
(Image courtesy Pearl Street Mall)
Ithaca Commons - Ithaca, NY
Image courtesy Downtown Ithaca Alliance
State Street - Madison, WI
Image courtesy Andrea Roemhild Selbig
Savannah City Market - Savannah, GA
Image courtesy Visit Savannah