City of Berkeley, California 2016 Measure T1 - Bonds to Improve Existing City Infrastructure and Facilities

On November 8, 2016 Berkeley voters passed Measure T1 with an 86.5% approval.  This measure authorizes the City to sell $100 million of General Obligation Bonds (GO Bonds) to repair, renovate, replace, or reconstruct the City’s aging infrastructure and facilities, such as sidewalks and streets, senior and recreation centers, and other important City facilities and buildings. The first round of funding includes the use of green infrastructure for storm drains and parks, and is focused on advancing social equity across projects. City staff prioritized potential T1 projects using Berkeley’s Resilience Strategy criteria, which focus on addressing safety, financial, social, and environmental criteria to provide multiple benefits from infrastructure investments.  

The T1 funding will be applied in phases, projected through 2029, and the first phase of the bond is expected to be about $32 million. City Staff applied the following criteria to determine proposed T1 projects (Each project meets at least one or more of the criteria):

  • Prioritizes safety improvements: for example, upgrades to building alarms, sprinklers, mechanical and electrical systems that pose safety concerns.
  • Addresses critical infrastructure needs: for example, prioritizing improvements to infrastructure whose life cycle is long-expired.
  • Meets community needs: impacts the greatest number of Berkeley residents, and considers Berkeley’s changing demographics.
  • Advances equity: creates benefits for all communities, including communities of color; considers geographic and economic equity.
  • Advances environmental sustainability: for example, through increasing energy and water efficiency and renewable energy use.
  • Improves preparedness: contributes to community preparedness for disasters.
  • Leverages funding: uses T1 dollars to compete for or compete grant-funded projects or projects using other financing.

One of the goals of T1 funding is to support projects that advance equity. It has been used for a wide range of projects, including renovating park facilities in low-income neighborhoods, adding permeable pavers along a bus stop to decrease flood risk and capture trash, and funding seismic retrofits for senior centers. 

Phase 1 funding includes approximately $1 million for the development of green infrastructure. Proposed projects are located in high-use areas to achieve the multiple benefits of cleaning and slowing stormwater runoff, preventing trash from entering storm drains, and educating the community about environmental stewardship. Bioswales are slated to be installed in Civic Center Park, Willard Park, San Pablo Park, North Branch Berkeley Library, and King School Park. Educational signage will be included on each site to foster stewardship within the community. 

An interactive map of these projects and their location in Berkeley is available at the following website:


Publication Date: November 8, 2016

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