September 30, 2019

Council is meeting on October 15th and our agenda includes:

  • A proposal that Mayor Arreguin, Council members Robinson and Harrison and I authored to develop a bike lane and pedestrian improvement policy that would better coordinate the timing of bicycle improvement projects with the City’s paving plan, and prioritize streets to be paved that also serve our bicycle network. In the past month Berkeley has seen several major bicycle crashes, including one fatality. We need to improve our infrastructure to ensure everyone, including cyclists and pedestrians, can enjoy our streets.
  • A proposal to create a sanctioned homeless encampment (page 203 of the link) in Berkeley. Passage of this proposal would allow the City to purchase tents, a portable toilet, and a handwashing station to be located on a chosen city parcel. The City would release an RFP for an agency to manage and oversee the encampment. 
  • Council will also be discussing a traffic circle policy put forward by the newly created traffic circle task force. I strongly support grandfathering in existing traffic circle trees in our district and don’t support their removal.
  •  A discussion and one year review of the City’s Pathways STAIR Center which helps  house and find permanent housing for our homeless population. Results from this pilot are positive: the STAIR Center shelter assisted 82 clients into housing within an average of a three month timeline. Of the 160 total clients to utilize the STAIR Center, 4 out of 5 slept in an encampment the night before. Council will also receive an update on a mobile shower pilot program that I advocated for in 2015. The pilot currently operates in two Berkeley locations.  

I encourage you to write to me [email protected] or [email protected] with comments regarding the Council agenda.

Updates on Fire Prevention Measures

The City of Berkeley’s Vegetation Management Crew (VMC) is a collaborative light duty workforce consisting of Berkeley Fire Dept. personnel and Berkeley YouthWorks.  This collaborative project is progressing with a commitment from both department heads (Fire & YouthWorks). VMC personnel will be focusing on supporting defensible space projects and the Safe Passages program, including collaboration with Berkeley Path Wanderers Association.  Path Wanderers have identified over twenty routes needing immediate attention. In addition to the regularly used hand tools in wildfire mitigation, the VMC will be utilizing commercial grade electric power tools.  

Early Bird Office Hours

Since Monday October 14th is Indigenous People’s Day, my office hours for October will now take place on October 24th from 7:30am - 9am. I’ll be at Espresso Roma on the corner of College Ave. and Ashby Ave. 

Lori Droste
Berkeley City Councilmember, District 8

Want to request a City service? 

Use Berkeley's online 311 form (either through the General Request form or a specific topic) or call 311 from a landline, or 510-981-2489. Please note that my office routes all the service requests we receive through this customer service center, so your request will be handled most efficiently by directly contacting 311. 

Sign up for emergency notifications on AC Alert  and crime prevention/updates on Nixle.  

10/12 - East Bay Community Disaster Prep Fair, 10-3pm, James Kenney Park – Quake Shake Truck, First Aid Learning, Disaster Supplies, Pet Preparedness and more.  For more info email: [email protected]


Spread the word about the City of Berkeley's new crisis line that connects community members with an experienced mental health professional during mental health crises.

This new crisis line offers support, consultation, and resources with a call to (510) 981-5244, Monday through Friday 11:30 AM - 4:00 PM. This new crisis line is a pilot program that leverages staffing within our Berkeley Mental Health Division to address a community identified need for additional mental health crisis response services.

Community Meeting: Willard Clubhouse 

Please join City staff for a community meeting to discuss the planning and conceptual design for a new Willard Clubhouse. Come meet the design team and provide feedback to help shape the future of the new clubhouse. If you can’t make it, feel free to share your thoughts with our office and we will pass them along.

10/2/2019, 5:00 PM - 7:30 PM, Willard Clubhouse, 2720 Hillegass Ave @ Derby

 Session 1:  5:00pm - 6:00pm 

Community meeting with a focus on the Willard Clubhouse Afterschool Program

Session 2: 6:15pm - 7:30pm

Community meeting and open house workshops

Community Forum to Save Alta Bates in Berkeley

WHAT: Contra Costa Community Forum to Save Alta Bates Medical Center in Berkeley

WHEN: Saturday, November 16th,2019 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

WHERE: El Cerrito Community Center, 7007 Moeser Lane, El Cerrito

RSVP: [email protected]

Learn about the Health Impact Assessment and the potential impact of an Alta Bates closure.

Oct. 6 Elmwood Wine Walk: Enjoy A Leisurely Sunday Afternoon Stroll In The Elmwood And Sample Over 70 Wines!

Tickets are available for $35. If we do not sell out, tickets will be available day of at the ticket table on the lawn next to Wells Fargo Bank on Ashby Ave. Bring your ticket and ID to one of the check-in locations: Anton Salon or the table on the lawn next to Wells Fargo. Pick up your wine glass and program. The program has a map with the participating locations and information about the wines being poured. 50% of the event’s net proceeds will be donated to Emerson Elementary School (BUSD).

For more information on wines, participating retailers and restaurants, transportation, parking suggestions and more, go to

Sunday 1-5 pm, October 6, 2019 For more information and to buy tickets:


Come learn about and give feedback on plans to install a protected bikeway, increase safety at intersections, and calm traffic along Milvia Street - Berkeley's busiest north-south bikeway.

At an October 1st open house, you'll have the opportunity to speak with City staff and provide input on the project to improve the Milvia Street Bicycle Boulevard between Hearst and Blake streets. The City will share the preferred design alternative for the street to look at and comment upon.  

This project proposes to build a protected bikeway - a bicycle lane physically protected from vehicle traffic. The preferred design alternative includes a continuous protected bikeway on either side of Milvia.

To make this happen, the reconfigured street would create several one-way sections. Milvia would be one-way for southbound cars between University Avenue and Center Street as well as between Channing Way and Blake Street. Northbound cars would be one-way between University and Hearst avenues. 

The space created by these one-way sections would prioritize safety improvements for all types of users. Factors we're considering include:

  • reducing conflicts between vehicles and those between vehicles and bikes;
  • creating shorter and more visible pedestrian crossings;
  • improving the pick-up/drop-off area alongside Berkeley High School;
  • accessible parking for people with disabilities; and
  • loading and parking for businesses

At the intersection of Milvia Street and University Avenue, the proposed traffic signal would provide separate crossing times for people driving and people walking and biking. This change would eliminate existing user conflicts at this difficult intersection where Milvia jags as it crosses University. The Milvia Bikeway Project is part of the City's engineering approach to traffic safety, supported by public awareness and enforcement efforts.

Join us in person for the Open House:

Milvia Bikeway Open House #2,  Tuesday, October 1st, 5:00pm to 7:00pm, Berkeley Public Library Community Room - 3rd Floor, 2090 Kittredge St, Berkeley