Why is the Corridor Access Plan needed?
BART is planning to develop its property at three stations along the Richmond line: El Cerrito Plaza, North Berkeley, and Ashby stations. Downtown Berkeley is included in this plan because it may be more convenient for some riders to access once these stations are developed. This will bring much needed affordable and market rate homes to the area. These projects will be built on existing BART rider parking lots at these stations, impacting how some BART riders can get to and from those stations.
Supporting existing and future riders
Data shows that people who live immediately adjacent to stations take BART 2.5 times more often than people who live further away, so BART expects a higher number of riders to come from these new developments in the future. BART also understands that some riders are concerned about the loss of parking. The Corridor Access Plan will help BART identify ways to continue serving as many existing riders as possible.
Identifying options for getting to and from BART
The Corridor Access Plan will analyze how people living in Berkeley, El Cerrito, Richmond, Albany, Kensington, Emeryville, and Oakland who currently drive and park at these stations could still access BART. The plan will consider the tradeoffs between providing homes and community amenities, and building garage parking spaces for BART riders who drive. Parking will not be fully replaced due to space and funding constraints, so this Corridor Access Plan will help identify meaningful options for getting to and from BART. These options will reduce the need for people to rely on parking at the BART stations. They will also help BART and the cities invest in walking, rolling, biking, riding transit, driving, and parking more equitably.
The following is an accessible description of the above map. The locations of El Cerrito del Norte, El Cerrito Plaza, North Berkeley and Ashby BART stations are shown. There are circles around El Cerrito Plaza, North Berkeley, Downtown Berkeley, and Ashby BART stations that indicate half-mile and one mile radii around the stations. The map also shows that El Cerrito Plaza, North Berkeley, and Ashby BART stations will include transit-oriented development.
How do residents travel?
Read this UC Berkeley and University of Illinois study to learn more about how residents living closest to BART stations travel compared to residents of other housing developments located more than a mile away from BART stations.
How do people currently access the stations?
Use the arrows on the left and right side of the image below to click through the images and learn about how people currently access each station. Download these infographics with full descriptions.
The state, region, cities of Berkeley and El Cerrito, and BART have shared goals and policies for building new developments. These goals and policies prioritize building developments near high-quality public transportation that provide housing or create jobs. This helps address our global climate crisis and regional housing crisis.
Studies confirm that people who live close to transit are more likely to use it for work, school, errands, and recreational trips than those who live further away. Building high-density housing on BART’s land will:
- Create more BART riders in the long term.
- Strengthen BART’s financial outlook.
- Allow for more people to live in our region without the same amount of increase in traffic and unhealthy emissions.
El Cerrito’s and Berkeley’s adopted plans both support developing land near BART stations because they supply much-needed housing for all income levels while reducing the need to drive and enhancing community vibrancy.
Use the slider bar on the image below to see before and after photos of a transit-oriented development at the Fruitvale BART station.
Most of the options to improve access to BART go well beyond the station areas. BART received funding from the state and federal government to develop this Corridor Access Plan in recognition that improving the transportation network across multiple cities at a larger scale would be more feasible and effective than improving the area around one station alone. The Corridor Access Plan will look at how to make the most of existing transit service, bikeways, walkways, and parking, and at new and innovative technologies to enhance access to BART.
BART will select private developers to build the new developments at each station. The developers are funding a station access plan that will identify circulation and infrastructure needs in the immediate station area and on public streets nearby. The goal of the station access plans is to ensure that when development is built residents and workers in the surrounding communities can continue to access BART. Any options identified in the Corridor Access Plan that require improvements around the station will become part of the station access plans.
The Corridor Access Plan will consider proposals to enhance transportation throughout the corridor, like the bike connections shown on the left image. Station Access Plans will guide specific improvements at each station, like the diagram on the right showing proposed improvements to Lake Merritt station.
We are not starting from scratch! BART, in partnership with the cities of Berkeley and El Cerrito, has already engaged with communities for years to discuss development of the land at Ashby, North Berkeley and El Cerrito Plaza. Our activities with communities have included online community workshops, in person open houses and town halls, and events at the stations. The cities have also adopted plans over the years focused on improving the transportation network for bikes, pedestrians, public transit and cars.
The Corridor Access Plan will incorporate many different plans and policies that already exist. This plan will be consistent with Berkeley’s and El Cerrito’s adopted community plans as well as BART’s Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) and Station Access policy goals and performance metrics. Visit BART’s Corridor Access Plan outreach webpage for a full list of reference material that BART and the cities are using to develop the plan.
BART is involved with many different projects and planning efforts at or near the BART stations along this corridor. The Corridor Access Plan will coordinate with overlapping efforts and incorporate planned changes to access at or near these stations. They are:
- Goals and Objectives for development of the El Cerrito Plaza parking lot, which were developed through more than six community events and City Council meetings in 2019.
- Joint Vision and Priorities for development of the Ashby and North Berkeley parking lots, which are currently in development through the Community Advisory Group process with the City of Berkeley.
- North Berkeley Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements in and around the BART station area, which is anticipated to be completed by Summer 2022.
- A bikeway through BART’s western parking lot at Ashby station, connecting Prince and Woolsey Streets, which is anticipated to be completed by Winter 2023.
- Adeline Corridor Roadway Reconfiguration Feasibility Study funded by a federal grant to support the City of Berkeley in evaluating the feasibility of redesigning the space on Adeline Street next to the Ashby station. The Study will evaluate temporary weekend closures and vehicle lane reductions to potentially accommodate the Flea Market, as conceptualized in the Adeline Corridor Specific Plan.