West Street Improvements Multi-Use Path

Berkeley, California

City of Berkeley

Lead Consultant

2003 - 2004
2010 - 2013

In 2002, the City of Berkeley allocated funding received from the TLC/HIP program of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to the construction of a multi-use path on West Street (the former Santa Fe Railroad right-of-way) between University Avenue and Delaware Street. The project was aimed at implementing the central segment of a multi-use path route that will eventually connect the Ohlone Greenway to the north and Strawberry Creek Park to the south; the path also provides an important linkage between this revitalizing area of University Avenue with the North Berkeley BART Station. Community Design + Architecture led a team that included Hood Design - landscape architects, LCC, Inc. - civil engineers, and Fehr & Peers - transportation planners and traffic engineers. In addition to the Public Works Engineering Division, which managed the project, the City's Transportation, Planning, and Parks and Recreation Departments, as well as the Fire and Police Departments were closely involved with the project.

The project included a series of three Community Workshops, which helped the Team to determine the community's concerns, expectations, and ideas regarding design and operations of the path and its associated landscaping. In addition, two rounds of separate meetings were held with adjacent property owners to discuss concerns and possible solutions to particular access and privacy issues along West Street. The project included the challenging design and traffic engineering for a signalized mid-block crossing across busy University Avenue, which improves safety and access for children and parents of the nearby Berkeley School, as well as unsignalized crossings at five residential streets. The project combines pedestrian and bicycling uses on an 18-foot wide pathway with a striped centerline. Pedestrian-scale lighting and landscaping that focuses on trees and ground cover create an environment that combines sense-of-safety and visual attractiveness. The southern end of the path is integrated with an adjacent neighborhood pocket park.

Construction of the first phase of the project was completed in October of 2006. Based on the success of the initial segment, a new CD+A Team, including Green Valley civil engineers, was retained by the City of Berkeley and completed the design, construction documents, specifications, and estimate of probable costs of the remaining phases of the project, which includes the extension of the pathway from Delaware Street to the Ohlone Greenway and between University Avenue and Addison Street, creating an important link in this well-traveled bicycle and pedestrian corridor. This work included several community workshops and on-site meetings with neighboring stakeholders, including a Montessori School which is providing an easement for construction of a segment of the pathway that requires additional screening and security treatments. These last segments were constructed in early-2013.