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Grand Boulevard Task Force releases progress report on improvements to El Camino Real Corridor

New Grand Boulevard report highlights cities and agencies improving El Camino Real Corridor with transformative projects and planning


SAN JOSE, Calif. – March 19, 2009 – El Camino Real is being transformed into a “Grand Boulevard” from Daly City to San Jose by some two dozen projects and policies highlighted in the first Grand Boulevard Initiative Progress Report issued today by the Grand Boulevard Task Force.

From Daly City’s new War Memorial Community Center and expanded John Daly Library to Sunnyvale’s visionary Precise Plan for mixed-use projects at four key intersections and transit centers, the El Camino Real corridor is taking on a fresh, efficient look. The report cites progress in several communities on such projects as tree planting, traffic signal timing, congestion relief, bicycle and pedestrian safety, commercial beautification and coordinated land use and transportation planning.

The 55-page report is the first detailed public update on the two-year-old initiative that brings together 19 cities, San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties, the San Mateo County Transit District, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, City/County Association of Governments of San Mateo County, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network and representatives of the business, environmental and labor communities to make the El Camino Real a more urban, pedestrian-friendly, transit-oriented corridor for residents to live, work, shop and play.

“This progress is the result of a remarkable collaboration of local and regional agencies,” said Russell Hancock, president and CEO of Joint Venture and co-chair of the Grand Boulevard Task Force with Michael Scanlon, general manager/CEO of the San Mateo County Transit District. “These are important first steps in a joint civic endeavor that will transform this arterial into a regional asset for generations to come.”

“The Task Force has made exemplary progress creating projects and policies in keeping with the guiding principles of the initiative,” said Scanlon. “The multimodal transportation planning in particular will strengthen El Camino Real as the backbone of the Peninsula and Silicon Valley.”

Launched in 2006, the Grand Boulevard Initiative operates by 10 guiding principles that emphasize housing and job growth in strategic areas, mixed-used development and high-quality urban design, a balanced corridor for improved mobility of people and vehicles, vibrant public spaces, community character, public safety and health, improved pedestrian and bicycle connections and environmentally sustainable and economically viable development.

Among specific city achievements noted in the progress report are: the 88 South Broadway mixed-use project, pedestrian countdown signals and 325 trees planted in Millbrae; the Downtown Precise Plan, Courthouse Square and Villa Montgomery affordable apartment complex in Redwood City; the Specific Plan for The Crossing in San Bruno; the San Carlos Climate Action Plan; and the City of Sunnyvale’s Precise Plan for El Camino Real.

Singled out in the report are achievements by Grand Boulevard partners that contribute to transforming the corridor, including: the Grand Boulevard Recognition Award Program; the C/CAG’s Congestion Relief Plan; the San Mateo County Transit District Transit-oriented Development Opportunity Study; and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority’s Transit Sustainability Policy, Service Design Guidelines, and Bicycle Technical Guidelines for local agencies in Santa Clara County.

The report also outlines 79 proposed projects and plans in 16 of the Grand Boulevard cities, and two dozen others currently planned by regional transit, planning, and community agencies. These include new residential, commercial and mixed-use developments, improved public spaces, potential transit improvements, and new bicycle and pedestrian pathways along the corridor in both counties.

The projects highlighted in the new progress report also are displayed on Google Maps and can be reached via the project website at www.grandboulevard.net.

About the Grand Boulevard Initiative

The Grand Boulevard is a collaboration of 19 cities, counties, local and regional agencies united to improve the performance, safety and aesthetics of El Camino Real. Starting at the northern Daly City city limit (where it is named Mission Street) and ending near the Diridon Caltrain Station in central San Jose (where it is named The Alameda), the initiative brings together—for the first time—all of the agencies having responsibility for the condition, use and performance of the street.

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