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Berkeley is a city on the east shore of San Francisco Bay and is known throughout the world as a center for academic achievement, scientific exploration, free speech and the arts. Berkeley is home to the oldest campus in the UC system, and many of its residents are students, or employed at the university. If you are a student, or just a resident, take the time to explore all of the options for cheap car insurance that Berkeley offers.

About Berkeley

 
The area of Berkeley was first settled by Spanish explorers. A man named Luis Peralta was granted a vast stretch of land here for his service to the King of Spain. The Land was a ranch for raising cattle for meat and hides, although hunting and farming were also important.

In 1868 the College Homestead Association and the State of California began construction on the campus of the University of California, Berkely. At the same time, the surrounding settlements also expanded and various industries grew around the wharf area called “Ocean View”. The first post office opened in 1872, and horse-cars, (animal powered trams) were a convenient mode of transportation.

UC Berkeley students were very active in the Civil Rights Movement, the Free Speech Movement, and the Vietnam War protests. This set up Berkely to be strongly identified with the social change, civic unrest, and political upheaval that dominated the late 1960s. Many people were pushed by the movements to become apolitical drop-outs, also known as hippies, and the hippie movement along with the other movements spilled over the Bay, to influence a whole generation. Berkeley remains one of the most politically liberal and Democratically dominated cities in the United States.

Berkeley is a constantly changing mix of long-time residents and new neighbors. It has an overall crime index that is higher than the national average, but in 2014 the number of fatal car accidents was less than half the national average. This is probably because many, many people take advantage of the extensive public transportation available.

Driving In Berkeley

 
Berkeley is served by Amtrak, AC Transit, BART and the bus shuttles are operated by major employers, including UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The Eastshore Freeway (Interstate 80 and Interstate 580) runs along the bay shoreline. Each day there is an influx of thousands of cars into the city by commuting UC faculty, staff and students.

Berkeley has one of the highest rates of bicycle and pedestrian commuting in the nation. Berkeley maintains a separate grid of arterial streets for bicycles, called Bicycle Boulevards, with bike lanes and lower amounts of car traffic than the major streets they often parallel.

Berkeley hosts car sharing networks run by City CarShare, Uhaul Car Share, and Zipcar. Using alternative transportation is encouraged. Residents who utilize any of these will probably pay a lot less each year in car insurance costs.