Safety for All on
All of Hopkins

Whether you live or shop on Hopkins and whether you walk, bike, roll or drive, you know the current situation is chaotic and unsafe. Safety and access improvements for people walking and biking -- as well as better parking management for businesses -- will go a long way to make it less frustrating and dangerous.

Something must be done, as soon as possible. Luckily, when the street is repaved in late 2023 there is a plan to install protected bike lanes, bus loading islands, bulbouts and more methods for slowing down traffic and easing the way for all. Because those come at the expense of storage for some residents' private vehicles, there's opposition to the plan.

The plan to enact pedestrian and cyclist safety improvements on Hopkins is not new. It is consistent with the city's Pedestrian Plan, Bicycle Plan, and Complete Streets Policy, written with direct input from the community and approved with a strong majority by our elected city councilmembers and mayor. Read the original budget referral here, which cites 2 lives lost to traffic violence as impetus for this effort.

Read more on the city's website: Hopkins Corridor Traffic and Placemaking Study

Want to help out with bike lane projects all over Berkeley? Sign up here

Print your own signs to show support!

Here's what's next:

New! Feb 2 meeting pushed to April 18

As of 1/25/2023, word has it the Feb 2 special meeting on Hopkins will be delayed. Check your inboxes soon for more details.

Scroll down to learn about previous Hopkins events (most recent at the top, oldest at the bottom)

Saturday, January 21
Ride to Support Bike Lanes on Hopkins

Saturday, January 21st at noon
Berkeley North Branch Library

While Berkeley City Council has approved adding protected bike lanes to Hopkins in two separate sessions, a group of opponents is trying to derail the final contract approval. They're organizing to demand that pedestrians, cyclists, road safety, and climate action take a lesser role in the city's priorities than preserving existing parking spaces and car priority.

On Saturday, January 21st at noon, meet at the Berkeley North Branch Library to join a bike ride in support of protected bike lanes. Our goal is to show support from cyclists of all ages and abilities—kids and families who bike to school, people who bike for fun, people who choose cycling to help fight climate change and make our city more livable. We'll show up at Gioia Pizza, helmets in hand, to show support for local businesses (and have some delicious pizza); we'll ride the length of the project area and talk about the planned improvements; and we'll rally to build community and make people aware that many across Berkeley want better support for active transportation.

Please join — we hope to see you there! All ages welcome. (Write to marc@precipice.org for more information.)

Thursday, January 19, 2023
Transportation & Infrastructure Commission

Read the agenda here (including the presentation from 12/12/22 about Hopkins west of Gilman)

Show up on Thursday, January 19 at 7pm to support Option 3: Join via Zoom


Read Walk Bike Berkeley, North Berkeley Now!, and Bike East Bay's letter to this commission here + Telegraph for People and Cal Berkeley Democrats letter here for the best and most up-to-date talking points.

Wednesday, January 18

If you have personal experience with aging or disability, please share during public comment at the meetings outlined below.

1:30pm Commission on Aging

Read the agenda here | Join via Zoom

3pm Commission on Disability

Read the agenda here | Join via Zoom

Read Walk Bike Berkeley's letter to these 2 commissions here

What’s Next for Hopkins?

The “reconsideration” of bike lanes on certain stretches of Hopkins was rejected in October (coverage here). The next step for that section is a perfunctory vote January 2023 on the contractor who will do the work later that year. Learn more about the reconsideration here

December 12, 2022 at 5:30pm: Community Meeting about bike and pedestrian safety improvements for the section of Hopkins between Gilman and San Pablo.

Literature has been distributed to a few houses that say bike lanes lead to more injuries. There is no evidence to support this. In fact, protected bike lanes are safer because they can:

  • Reduce car speeds, preventing crashes and injuries to cyclists and pedestrians

  • Keep bikes and scooters off the sidewalk

  • Provide a safe way for kids to get to and from school, reducing the amount of cars on the road and shortening the school pick up line

Sources for the above points and much more can be found here.

October 11: Hopkins safety improvements under “reconsideration”

Read the item | Read the Agenda | Join via Zoom | Send a letter Now

Back in May after a multi-year community input process, including consultants, studies and numerous meetings and presentations, the city council voted 8-1 to move forward with a 2-way cycle track on Hopkins St from Sutter to Gilman. Now the councilmember for that area wants to “place on hold” any changes between McGee and Gilman in order to do a completely new study.

In practice this means no pedestrian or bike safety improvements for that extremely busy strip (with two fatalities since 2017) for many more years. And why delay improvements intended to protect walkers and bikers? In order to protect parking spots.

Click the button below to send an email to Berkeley city council NOW, telling them to put people over parking.

Please join us once again to remind our leaders that people are more important than parking:

As with most city council meetings, it’s not known ahead of time when the item will come up, but you can follow along on Twitter to track how the meeting is progressing.

Read on for some talking points to help guide your public comment and conversations with neighbors:

  • Some stubborn pieces of misinformation must be corrected:

  • Both verbally and in presentations, city staff have been transparent about the trade-off between parking and bike lanes. Parking is not more important than safety.

  • There’s been a robust community input process for the past 2 years on this topic, more studies and meetings are a total waste of limited funds.

  • Parking management strategies will ensure more availability, so customers who drive can come and go and not be frustrated by spots occupied for long stretches of time.

  • Repaving without approved safety improvements will lead to more speeding, more crashes, more injuries.

  • The original plan was a compromise that tried to balance different priorities as much as possible. It was approved by council 8-1— let’s stick with it.

  • It is not equitable to give historically wealthy neighborhoods safe facilities while leaving historically redlined neighborhoods behind.

  • CM Hahn said it best herself: it’s for the children. Read some of her words from May 10 in an op-ed here.

  • More good talking points in this recent Berkeleyside op-ed.

Send a letter and make a public comment at the meeting on October 11!

May 10: Safety for all on Hopkins St

Full agenda here | Read the Hopkins item | Join meeting via Zoom

Whether you live or shop on Hopkins and whether you walk, bike, roll or drive, you know the current situation is chaotic and unsafe. Safety and access improvements for people walking and biking, and better parking management for businesses, will go a long way to make it less frustrating and dangerous. The city knows this and has a plan!

After multiple community meetings and several rounds of design proposals, the final design is set to be voted on by city council on May 10 (Item #33 on the action calendar). But there is still a lot of opposition and misinformation, so we need your voice!

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Send a letter now to make sure decisionmakers know there are a lot of us who support the plan (the designs are good but not perfect, so the template letter requests a few improvements)

  2. Chat with your neighbors and dispel the misinformation out there (talking points below)

  3. Show up (via Zoom) on May 10 and give public comment to approve item #33, the Hopkins Corridor plan

Here’s some asks to hit in your comments:

  • Please approve the plan with Walk Bike Berkeley’s suggested changes

  • We ask that the 2-way cycle track be extended all the way to Sutter so cyclists do not have to mix with car traffic

  • Narrow car travel lanes and widen bike lanes. Narrow streets are slow streets!

  • I support CM Kesarwani's supplemental item to look into extending these bike lanes all the way down Hopkins! Connecting to the bike boulevard on Ninth Street would be beneficial to neighbors and create a more complete bike network

If you live on Hopkins and would walk or bike more because of these changes, please mention that!

Join the meeting May 10 at 6pm, but remember this item won’t be heard until later in the evening. Following #berkmtg on Twitter can help if you want to comment on an item but you’re not sure when it’ll come up.

  • Replacing parking with bike lanes does not kill local businesses. In fact, making it safe for all people to visit your business can boost sales! (source)

  • Paint doesn't protect. Bike lanes need a physical barrier between humans and cars to make sure we don't have more cyclist deaths in this area. Protected bike lanes save lives (source).

  • Protected bike lanes are bike lanes that get used (source). Give us safe bike lanes and we will use them.

  • Traffic will continue to worsen if there are no other options other than driving. People who don't need to drive will find another way.

  • Why Hopkins Street? It's the heart of a thriving commercial district (which people want to get to), it's a gentle incline, close to multiple schools, and it's in the city's Bike Plan.

  • Why stop at Gilman? There should be bike lanes the entire length of Hopkins.

Our pals at Walk Bike Berkeley have some news and talking points as well, go check it out.