Streets around the Bay Area seeing major improvements

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Starting this week a dramatic transformation is underway on the most congested part of Downtown Berkeley.

A two-year project will transform Shattuck Avenue between Allston Way and University into a two-way street. City officials say it will improve safety for drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists.

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The change will eliminate a complicated and circuitous dog-leg that drivers now need to navigate when driving north on Shattuck. All the turns added 25 seconds of delay for drivers and made walking and biking a challenge.

The work on Shattuck Avenue will also include wider sidewalks, replacing old water mains and new light poles.

But it's not just Berkeley's downtown seeing improvements-- San Francisco's Van Ness Avenue is in the middle of a $316-million makeover. The project is now a year and nine months behind schedule and $21-million over budget.

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It's also caused increasing frustration for commuters and nearby businesses. Its predicted completion date-- not until 20-21.

In the South Bay, San Jose is in the midst of a major redesign of downtown streets to improve bike safety.

Called Better Bikeways SJ, the project involves removing parking, reconfiguring lanes and redirecting traffic.

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The cost is about $1.5 million and it's expected to be completed this year.

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