University Avenue Strategic Plan


Berkeley, California

Berkeley’s University Avenue had developed an image of being a physically rundown and unsafe street characterized by crime, vacant lots, sparse pedestrian activity and fast-moving traffic. Recognizing its potential as the ‘front-door’ to the city, the Strategic Corridor Plan has enabled University Avenue to better meet the needs of its residents and regain its stature as Berkeley’s Main Street, stretching from the San Francisco Bay to the U C Berkeley campus.

Through a series of community workshops, issues were prioritized and goals formulated. With the key objective of creating mixed-use, walkable destinations, the Strategic Plan clustered urban housing, retail and office uses to form a series of regional and local-serving nodes along University Avenue. It advocated appropriate land uses to enliven the street, provide affordable housing and support local business. To reinforce University Avenue as a transit corridor and alleviate conflicts between auto-users and pedestrians, street improvements were made and new greenway connections created.

The University Avenue Strategic Corridor Plan has provided a framework for incremental change that has reestablished a safe, pedestrian-friendly environment and furthered Berkeley’s affordable housing goals. It has strengthened the corridor’s urban form and created an inviting ‘gateway’ to Berkeley.

University is a primary transit throughfare. Bike streets run perpendicular.
Pedestrian activity on University Avenue is encouraged by new first floor retail
Infill at Acton and University Avenues
Transit node at San Pablo and University Avenues
Mid-block pedestrian crosswalk
Identification of primary transportation nodes

Project Summary



City of Berkeley, California


Corridor Plan | Urban Infill


Strategic revitalization plan for Berkeley’s main multi-use corridor


Design completed and plan adopted by city in 1996