City of the Future

Kate embodies the idea that cities have to change to remain vital. Our city is growing and has to address mobility for all of our residents as well as their housing needs. This includes replacing automobile trips with alternative modes such as walking, biking or taking transit and well as making it possible for motor vehicles, when needed, to be all-electric.

Promoting Walking and Biking Throughout Berkeley

The transportation sector accounts for over 60 percent of Berkeley’s direct greenhouse gas emissions. But to get people out of their cars, they need to feel safe and have convenient alternatives. Kate supported the City’s bike plan and helped secure state funding for the Milvia bikeway, sponsored local funding for traffic calming at Dwight and California, Grant and University, and Allston and California. She also worked with the Transportation Department to install pedestrian crossing signs at other unsafe intersections around the City. Kate authored legislation to completely reorient the City’s criteria for stop sign installation toward protecting bicyclists and pedestrians near schools and in bike lanes instead of being based solely on vehicle traffic volumes. She worked with members of the Sierra Club to promote use of bikes by city employees.

Expanding Transit Options

Kate’s proposal for a free AC Transit pilot program to increase bus ridership through an investment in reliable zero-emissions public transportation is before the Council this year. She is also proposing allocating the $2 million in Uber and Lyft tax revenues to prioritize transit upgrades (like efficient bus lanes and better bus shelters) as well as quick build bike and pedestrian improvements.

For our city’s older population, taxi vouchers are vital for living an active life. We are working with the state’s Public Utilities Commission and Alameda County to explore the legal viability of mandating that rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft accept this subsidy.

The Future of Motorized Transportation

Not everyone can at all times use alternatives to cars. Kate’s 2020 legislation requires that the municipal fleet become all-electric by 2035, with all passenger vehicles transitioned by 2030.   She has secured an agreement with East Bay Community Energy to install 90 electric vehicle (EV) fast-charging spots in the City. These ”gas stations of the future” will help us overcome the biggest barrier to wider EV adoption with publicly accessible and reliable charging infrastructure for residents without garages or driveways. For a small upfront City investment, within ten years the City will recoup revenues from the charging stations, revenues that can be reinvested into other climate and infrastructure upgrades. This is a triple win for our residents, the climate and City finances.