Monday, March 12, 2007

Some new ideas, thoughts & pictures

(Originally posted on March 12, 2007 on a different blog)

Together, with honesty and openness, we can create something pleasant for our community. Together we can improve the safety of our district. Together we can improve the appearance and function of our neighborhood. Together we can create an environmental oasis in our part of Berkeley, where currently too many cars and trucks and ugly, impermeable asphalt hold sway.

A classic sidewalk cafe image from Paris in the 1920s.
Please note the traffic on the street at left, including public transportation.
Also see the closely clustered cafe tables, all within a short distance from the several cafes.

And then by way of comparison, here is what the corner heart of our little community looks like, seen from Shattuck at Vine.

I do believe we can do better.

Unfortunately up to this point the process of has been tainted by unrestrained arrogance and bald-faced dishonesty. While we have good reason not to trust at least one of the people behind this plaza, that's not a good reason for us to turn our backs on improved safety, improved accessibility and environmental enhancements, especially if those can come about without harming the merchants or costing the residents.

Look now at the sidewalk we're hoping to improve.

Here is what a sidewalk looks like when it's abandoned by it community, when the merchants and shoppers and neighbors don't own the heart of their neighborhood.

There are many designers, landscape architects and city planners in our neighborhood. We're not stuck with only one plan if we are engaged in the process. And the results are worth working for.

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