Could downtown Berkeley be rediscovering its roots? The Berkeley City Council recently endorsed a plan to dig up downtown's Center Street and convert it into a thin park promenade running from the BART station to UC Berkeley. The plan aims to restore Center Street's underground creek, another section of Berkeley's Strawberry Creek. In 1984, a 200-foot section of the creek was dredged up and made into the centerpiece of Strawberry Creek Park in Southern Berkeley, which cost upwards of half a mill. Matt Baume at Streetsblog hopes this project, or one to restore Derby Creek underneath Berkeley's famed People's Park could raise the profile of "daylighting" or redirecting these wee streams back to their original homes -- but no word on where the $15 million for Center Street alone might come from.
Potential drawbacks? More feral cats, who are drawn to the animals that are in turn attracted to the new park area, plus the man-made aspect of the project. Yes, that's right, the plan would not truly restore the waterway but also construct elements that would reroute its flow into the new park. We don't think the linen-pants-and-Birkenstock set will be too upset about a little extra poured concrete, though, if it means a new spot to enjoy a morning yerba-mate.
· Bay Area Cities Rediscover the Creeks Under Their Streets [Streetsblog]