Dear LNBL Colleagues-
It’s no secret that parking on the hill is tough, and as we continue to grow with new opportunities for scientific and infrastructure development, it’s going to get tougher. While that growth is exciting, it also means more construction, more people, and more vehicles.
This is the first in a series of communications about transportation at Berkeley Lab. I want to share what the Lab is doing, hear your suggestions and concerns, and foster an open dialogue on this critical topic.
Several years ago there was talk about fees to fund parking solutions. Parking fees are not part of the current plan. Instead, the Lab is working to improve non-solo transportation options and make them more attractive. To make this work, we’re asking each of you to examine your own commuting options and make choices that minimize your use of on-site parking.
The goal of our transportation program is to offer a variety of commute options so everyone has choices that meet their individual needs. We’ll continue to look for creative, cost-effective ways to improve commute alternatives.
Here’s what the Lab is doing thus far based on your feedback:
- Expanding the number and frequency of Lab shuttle services. We’ve increased the frequency of shuttles to and from the Rockridge BART station, added Blue Route shuttles to make BART commuting easier, and introduced a new shuttle route serving North Berkeley. We’ll continue to find ways to improve our shuttle offerings.
- Promoting telecommuting. For those who can work from home, telecommuting on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday is helpful. For more information, managers and staff should review the Lab’s approved telecommuting policy to see if it can work for them.
- Focusing on non-solo driving options. We’ve developed preferential parking for carpoolers and provided additional support for bicycle commuters.
- Reviewing the possibility of building a parking garage. We’ve determined that building a parking garage is not feasible due to the high cost (approximately $50,000 per space), environmental concerns, the topography of the site, and the requirement to build only on previously developed sites.
- Filling the position of Transportation Manager. Effective January 2, John Chernowski has stepped into the Interim Transportation Manager position while a search is conducted for a full-time replacement. John will spearhead the continued search for more commuting solutions.
- Re-engaging the Lab-wide Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) to provide input and participate in planning and implementing transportation improvements.
- Launching a series of local brown bag sessions later this month with members of the Lab community and the TAC to dive deeper into transportation topics and exchange ideas.
- Ongoing reviews of all modes of transportation — bikes, carpools, shuttles, walking — to see how each can be optimized to make it easier and safer for everyone to get to work.
- Updating the commute.lbl.gov site to make it easier for all LBNL employees to find parking and transportation resources.
We recognize that there is a lot more to do, and the Lab is working hard on this challenge. At the same time, each of us needs to take on a share of this responsibility and see what we can do together by making changes in our own transportation choices.
Many of you have already contributed ideas on this important topic. And, if you have a great idea, contact me or John Chernowski. We’ll be sharing your comments and findings in future emails and articles.
We look forward to hearing from you and working together as a community to help ensure that we can offer effective and practical parking and transportation solutions.