Does Downtown Berkeley Really Need a Lovely Little Plaza?

How should the one-block chunk of downtown Berkeley on Center St. between Shattuck and Oxford (directly across from the Western entrance to UC Berkeley) ideally be redesigned? As “a world-class public open space” with “opportunities for people to stop and gather,” as an advisory committee comprised of residents has suggested? SF Chron writer John King, ostensibly in response to a rah-rah article about the future of the block published in the Chron last week, gives a good summation of what some local groups are angling for (a car-free zone? a creek?) and raises a critical question: does anyone hustling from BART to campus and back during daylight hours want to stop and gather in downtown Berkeley?

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