Downtown Berkeley Positive Change – June 15, 2020

Downtown Ready for Partial “Reopening” on Friday, June 19 Join Us for Zoom Briefing Monday, June 22, 4-5pm

The DBA team is ready for partial “reopening” of the Downtown. On March 16 the City declared Shelter-In-Place order, but allowed “essential” businesses to stay open as well as restaurants to do delivery and take-out. We helped get the word out of who was open. Then on May 18 the City allowed curbside retail pickup. Now the City announced on June 12, that they expect to allow all retail and outdoor dining to resume on June 19. While it may be months before we return to “normal” (with inside dining and reactivated arts and entertainment venues), these are important steps in gradual reopening of our Downtown. Please join us for online for “Reopening Briefing”, Monday, June 22, 4-5pm with Mayor Arreguin, Councilmember Kate Harrison and City staff where will discuss our plans for welcoming folks back to our Downtown. We will send out ZOOM link in our enews later this week, or email us at if you would like to attend online briefing.

Shattuck Reconfiguration Almost Complete

Over two years in the making, the Shattuck Reconfiguration Project will be mostly completed by late June/early July with extensive landscaping/planters, streetscape/benches, and increase angled parking:

  • Paving began the night of May 31 and continues at night from 9pm to 6am for three weeks.
  • Landscaping is scheduled to start June 22 and should be completed by June 29, including over 50 new planters.
  • Signal work will extend into early July because of limited subcontractor staffing.
  • Final punch list will probably extend into mid-August


180 New “Self-Watering” Hanging Flower Baskets

On March 31 the DBA Ambassadors installed 180 new “self-watering” flower baskets in the Downtown. Back in November we ordered new 180 self-watering hanging baskets for Earth Planter. These patented baskets have a water reservoir on the bottom, and a fill valve on the side, allowing less frequent and easier watering by our Ambassadors. Moreover, there is no wasted water! Additionally, County Garden Nursery started planting the baskets in their greenhouse in January, with pest resistant flowers, so we got a jump start on color, and should have healthy baskets into the early fall. These beautiful baskets are here to welcome residents and visitors as shelter-in-place restrictions are eased and lifted.

19 More BigBelly’s Smart Waste Stations on the Way

On April 14, Berkeley City Council approved the co-funding with the DBA of 19 additional Big Belly Smart Waste and Recycling Systems for the Downtown. This was after the successful pilot of six BigBelly stations in and around BART Plaza in October 2018. The new stations will include side and back message panels for Downtown events and marketing, and also foot pedals for sanitary use of stations. Moreover, DBA staff has already upgraded the current stations with foot pedals to deal with sanitation concerns during the COVID pandemic. Big Belly smart stations have solar powered compactors that provide tremendous capacity. Moreover, the stations are leak proof also. Goodbye overflowing leaking trash bins, and hello neat clean BigBellys!

Clean & Safe Downtown

Later this month we will be deploying two new pieces of equipment in the Downtown to keep us clean and safe in the age of COVID-19. The first is a Victory Cordless Backback Electrostatic Sprayer that our Ambassadors will use to uniformly spray City fixtures with sanitizer and do not require time consuming wipe down. The second, are four (4) Plum Grove Automatic Hand Sanitizer Stations that the DBA will be deploying at key pedestrian corners, that will encourage and allow visitors to the Downtown keep their hands clean safe. The message panel will remind folks to “Clean Your Hands” with Downtown Berkeley branding. If successful we will look at expanding program.