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Posted on: September 21, 2022

Downtown Project Design Creates Expanded Plaza Space - City Seeks Community Input

A green speech bubble says September 21, 2022

The City invites community members to share ideas for the future use of the space by taking this survey.

The Downtown Project has focused on upgrading our Downtown’s sewer and storm drain infrastructure and improving the overall flow and safety of car, bike, and pedestrian travel. The project is broken into three separate phases. The first phase, completed in October 2020, included improvements to the sanitary sewer and storm drain systems, as well as street repaving. The second phase, completed in the summer of 2021, included sidewalk bulb-outs, ADA curb ramps, and sidewalk enhancements.

The City is now poised to begin Phase 3 in the Spring of 2023, with a primary focus on paving and curb ramp improvements along Throckmorton Avenue and Miller Avenue.  

Staff have emphasized community engagement through numerous public meetings and the work of the Design Advisory Committee (DAC). The members of the DAC were appointed in 2019 and have reviewed and given their input on design concepts throughout the project. See the PowerPoint Presentation from their most recent August 24, 2022 meeting here.

On Monday, September 19, 2022 Council adopted resolutions to approve the Downtown Rehabilitation Phase 3 project plans, specifications, and estimate, the filing of a CEQA Notice of Exemption for this project and authorizing the City Manager to award the bid and execute the contract with the lowest responsive/responsible bidder.

Downtown Plaza - Expanded Plaza 3Conceptual Layout of Future Plaza Expansion

One of the possible new design features of the Downtown area is an expanded Plaza, created by the redesign of the right turn lane from Sunnyside Avenue onto Miller Avenue. See the green shaded area in image.

Your Input Is Needed!

The City invites community members to share ideas for the future use of the space by taking this survey, which will be open until October 7. Staff will then collate the data and present response trends to the Parks and Recreation Commission, who will receive the information and offer a public forum for a discussion on the use of the new space. 

Parks and Recreation Commission Chair Vanessa Justice discussed the idea of gathering feedback at the Commission’s September meeting: “There is support for different ideas about what we should do with this new space,” she said. “I feel that it is important to give the entire community an opportunity to give their own feedback on how to best design and utilize the space, how to integrate it with the current surroundings, and continue to make our plaza an inclusive and inviting place to spend time.”

Below is a timeline with an overview of actions to-date and estimated next steps:

Timeline:

Progress To-Date

Fall 2021 - March 2022

  • Downtown Traffic Circulation Demonstration Study
  • DAC meetings
  • City Council Meeting - review of Phase 3 concept plans

July - September 2022

  • DAC Meeting
  • City Council Meeting - Phase 3 Project Approval
  • Begin community input period on Expanded Plaza - Open survey 

Next Steps

October - December  2022 

  • Close survey - Staff collates data 
  • Parks and Recreation Commission Meeting - Review community input, trends and discuss options

January - March 2023 

  • City Council direction regarding Plaza expansion design and funding
  • Phase 3 Community Construction Meeting

April - October 2023  

  • Phase 3 construction - Paving and curb ramp improvements along Throckmorton Avenue and Miller Avenue, as well as potential sidewalk widening along Miller

Spring 2024

  • Plaza expansion construction - Pending adequate funding

Learn more:

Downtown Project Homepage

Project Documents and Resources

Design Advisory Committee


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