By Kristin Bender, STAFF WRITER
BERKELEY A meeting to address ways to make People's Park safer and
more accessible to a wide range of people will be held Monday.
The University of California, which owns the 2.8-acre park off
Telegraph Avenue, is holding a community meeting to respond to the
35-page report by MKThink Inc., a San Francisco-based firm hired by
The consultants spent six months and held more than 40 community
meetings to come up with a draft plan to improve the historic park.
In recent years, the park between Haste Street and Dwight Way has
built a reputation as a haven for drug dealers and users and as a
crash pad for homeless people, city and UC Berkeley officials say.
What's more, UC police reported a fair share of petty and violent
crime near the park in recent months.
The draft plan recommends:
-Promoting and expanding special events and recreational activities
in the park.
-Encouraging smaller, community-based events such as theatrical
performances, poetry readings, art installations, farmers' markets
and outdoor workshops.
-Supporting university-sponsored campus programs in the park,
including recreational, educational and ongoing cultural activities.
-Landscaping, thinning and/or removing the vegetation along the
park's corners and in wooded areas and installing better signs.
Installing more trash and recycling receptacles and having more
maintenance resources for park management.
-Looking at ways to connect the park to Telegraph Avenue and its
-Enforcing existing regulations pertaining to camping in the park and
laws pertaining to public behavior and drug and alcohol use.
-Formally recognizing the park's history and its significance to the
community and the city.
The report also recommends improving drainage and lighting and
providing clear, well-marked pathways through the park, with seating
in appropriate locations.
The park was initially built by students and community members who
gathered at the lot on a weekend in April 1969 and planted trees and
flowers. They laid sod and put up playground equipment, benches and
tables and named it People's Park.
A month later, UC Berkeley moved to take back the land for student
housing, calling in hundreds of police to help. What followed was a
battle between police and young people that spread into the streets
and on to the campus. UC backed off and the park has been open space
The meeting is 7 p.m. Monday at Trinity Methodist Church, 2362
Bancroft Way, Berkeley.
The full draft report is available online at
Contact Kristin Bender at firstname.lastname@example.org or 510-208-6453.