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7846Re: In Berkeley, sitting outside eating pizza is now illegal

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  • dearleb
    Dec 1, 2004
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      --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "emccaughrin"
      <emccaughrin@y...> wrote:
      >
      > A grand tradition might be coming to an end in Berkeley. Along
      > Shattuck ave is the popular Cheeseboard cheese shop, bakery, and
      > pizzeria. It is customary, on a nice sunny day, to sit
      > outside on the traffic median with your friends sharing a pizza.
      >
      > Now, I realize that a traffic median might not sound
      > like a great place to hang out, but this particular median
      > is quite wide, with large trees and other landscaping,
      > and the traffic is not too heavy.
      >
      > But all that might be coming to an end. The city
      > has installed signs telling people to stay off the
      > median, and the police dept. has let it be known
      > that they are going to start ticketing people for
      > doing something that is commonplace in more
      > enlightened cities. We don't have too many ped
      > areas left in CA, and it would be a shame to lose
      > this one.
      >
      > Ironically, this upscale north Shattuck neighborhood
      > generates significant tax revenue for the cash-strapped
      > city. Killing off pedestrian activity is going to
      > be a lose-lose proposition, which just goes to show
      > that Berkeley city staff never, ever miss an opportunity
      > to screw something up.

      The dilemma here is that this very popular place, which serves
      absolutely the best pizza in the entire world (one flavor per day
      only)never puts more than about 3 tables on the sidewalk, when it
      needs 10-20. The inevitable spillover crowd looks for a place to go.
      Having been understandably booted out of the neighboring flower
      stall, people logically choose the traffic median. It is fairly
      pleasant as such places go, but still a bit dodgy. The city
      administration, probably worried about grisly accidents and
      liability, chooses to play scrooge rather than the more enlightened
      idea of blocking two of the four lanes, or even all four. The irony
      is that the city has set the traffic lights on this stretch to
      impede traffic flow to the maximum extent, making the street all but
      useless as a thoroughfare. It would be an ideal place to start an
      anti-car revolt, this being Berkeley, with pizza-eaters evicting the
      cars.
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