The sidewalk under the freeway on Washington is for pedestrians. Lately it is more for people who are living on the street, in tents or in structures.
City Staff proposes to make the sidewalk bigger so pedestrians have a place to walk. They would walk closer to traffic because the new pedestrian sidewalk would take the place of 15 parking spots. The bicycle lanes in this section would also be removed.
A rail in between the makeshift housing and the new sidewalk would supposedly keep the two worlds separate.
The problems here are many: How are we helping to get people off the street and into homes? How are we helping people to park their cars in that area? How are the bicyclists and pedestrians safe when moved into car traffic? How does a railing help keep pedestrians safe from people who may be struggling with drug addiction or mental illness?
The cost is proposed at $100,000 and the loss of parking revenue over $30,000. What else could we do with those funds? Could we provide services to proactively help house the unhoused? And anyhow, Caltrans must be consulted to approve this proposal, so if we have money to spend that could help people put their lives back together . . .
Finally, why isn’t this first being shared as a discussion item? The public should have ample opportunity to give feedback before this goes to the consent calendar. We recommend that you join the City Council meeting 03/28/22 and also send email to the City Clerk and City Manager.