Observation: Bancroft Way West Of Bowditch

Decent Essays
Assignment 3: Urban Design Sketchbook Narrative
My observation focuses around Berkeley, with an emphasis on streets on the perimeter of campus. The first section is on Bancroft Way west of Bowditch. The street is a two-lane one-way street, with parking available each side. The parking spaces are regulated not by parking meters, but rather by a parking permit dispenser. There are metal poles next to each parking space, which most likely used to be parking meters. The parking fee is a whopping $3.25/hour rate, discouraging motorists from long-term parking. The parking spots are divided and marked; studies show that unmarked parking spots will fit a higher total number of cars, whereas spots with paint delineating boundaries will fit less. One
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In the center of this intersections situates a triangular grassy space. It is a dead-zone, a void that has no functionality other than to be used as a medium for pedestrian crossing. It is not a third space, because no one wants to converse on its grounds; it is not a recreational space, because the space is not welcoming. It is too loud from the surrounding traffic. The space is too small for comfortable gathering, too transparent, and too inaccessible. There is opportunity for development on this land, but the lack of amenities in the surround area means that it will never be as popular as a courtyard plaza or a…show more content…
The bike lane is marked by green paint and is about 10 feet in width. Reflective Safe-Hit posts divide the bike lane from the vehicular lane. Supposedly the posts can withstand vehicular collisions and also soften the impact of bikers in the event of an accident. Interestingly, the middle lane is a parking lane, allowing cars to be parked on the left of the bike lane, providing an additional layer of barrier between bikers and cars. The bike lane is well used; I counted at least 7 bikers in the span of my observation period. On Channing Way, the bike lane is different. The bike lanes are situated on the left of street parking, with no division in between. This is a hazard to bikers because negligent drivers will not check their blind spots before opening their doors. There are also multiple paratransit and Bear Transit bus stops on Channing Way, where temporary stops will impede the bike traffic, forcing bikers to navigate around the busses. There is no perfect solution; It is impractical to establish protected bike lane everywhere. The protected bike lane is only 3 blocks in length on Fulton. Channing’s bike lane spans all the way to the
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