Berkeley Public Works Fee discusses Division of Transportation

The Metropolis of Berkeley Public Works Committee mentioned its visions for the Berkeley Division of Transportation, or BerkDOT, at its common assembly Thursday.

Farid Javandel, Director of Berkeley’s Public Works Transportation Division, made a presentation on the assembly outlining BerkDOT’s objectives: public and environmental well being, racial justice, truthful mobility and security.

Javandel mentioned that for some low-income individuals, a quotation may very well be the distinction between with the ability to purchase groceries and paying for the quotation.

“In the end, the quotes aren’t about elevating cash,” Javandel mentioned on the assembly. “It is about conduct change, so if we are able to discover higher methods to vary conduct than elevating cash from quotes, that is one thing we have to significantly contemplate.”

Liam Garland, town’s director of public works, mentioned three organizational approaches of BerkDOT in the course of the assembly.

The primary, which Garland says has the bottom value and threat to implement, would set up a BerkDOT division inside the Berkeley Public Works Division.

In line with Garland, the second strategy would create a Berkeley Transportation and Infrastructure Division, or BerkDOTI, which might oversee the engineering and transportation divisions. Garland added in the course of the assembly that this strategy is modeled on the Denver Metropolis Division of Transportation.

The latter strategy would create a BerkDOT service impartial of the general public works service and reporting on to town supervisor.

Garland mentioned the three organizational approaches must be assessed based mostly on their capability to align with the imaginative and prescient set out in Berkeley Metropolis Council’s Reimagining Public Security omnibus bundle of July 14, 2020, for the event of coverage, packages and improvement. transportation infrastructure, ”in response to a memo from Berkeley Metropolis Supervisor Dee Williams-Ridley.

“(This imaginative and prescient) would imply that every one selections, procedures and pointers that govern transportation on this metropolis would positively contribute to lowering the burden of racial inequalities and mitigating structural injury on individuals of colour and creating streets the place individuals of colour are affected. individuals are secure, expertise belonging and may thrive, ”Garland mentioned on the assembly.

BerkDOT would consolidate six policing capabilities at present carried out by the Berkeley Police Division: an unarmed site visitors unit, crossing guards, parking forces, paving, collision investigation and site visitors management. In line with Garland, BerkDOT would offer round 100 seats and value $ 50 million.

On the assembly, members of the general public who recognized themselves as parking enforcement officers for town expressed their opposition to the proposed switch of the Police Division’s Parking Management Unit to a division below BerkDOT.

Katherine Navarrete, a metropolis parking police officer for 15 years, mentioned she was “completely in opposition to” the transfer, citing “critical” issues in regards to the security of officers.

“It appears to be like like a smokescreen,” Navarrete mentioned on the assembly. “As should you had been to take us away so the police division’s price range may very well be lower.”

In line with Navarrete, having a visual connection to the BPD, together with carrying police division badges and radios, helped her mitigate the harmful circumstances.

Kailen Palmer, one other metropolis parking enforcement officer, famous on the assembly that individuals of colour make up “about 90% of the parking zone division” of BPD.

“I simply do not perceive how a remedy for racial injustice takes extra faces of colour out of our police division,” Palmer mentioned. “Personally, I’m not for the motion.”

Contact Iris Kwok at [email protected] and observe her on Twitter at @iriskkwok.

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