Construction on the outer downtown core to begin Summer 2021

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The City of San Luis Obispo is preparing to repair and reseal streets in the Downtown core while adding new safety enhancements for bicyclists and pedestrians. The two-part project will begin with the outer core improvements starting this summer (highlighted in orange below), while segments in the inner downtown core (Marsh and Higuera between Santa Rosa and Nipomo) will be constructed starting in summer of 2022. The paving within the inner downtown core is planned for 2022 to reduce further disruptions to downtown businesses following the impact of COVID-19 in 2020. The total project duration will last approximately five months, with the main construction-related impacts to each street segment occurring over an approximately two-month period. The estimated cost of this project is $2.85 million. Funding for the improvements will primarily come from the Local Revenue Measure and Road Repair and Accountability Act (SB1) funds.

“Investing in Downtown infrastructure is part of the City’s goal to maintain and improve Downtown Vitality. This project will improve access for vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists and continues the City’s commitment to supporting local businesses and welcoming community members to the Downtown,” said Public Works Director Matt Horn. 

The overall project goal of the Downtown Paving 2021-2022 Project is to repair and reseal Higuera and Marsh Streets through the downtown while increasing accessibility and safety for all roadway users. 

Improvements will include new curb ramps, crosswalk improvements and hi-visibility markings, a buffered bike lane, a parking-protected bike lane, and repaired and resealed roadways. New ADA on-street parking spaces will also be provided throughout the project area consistent with current guidance. 

Consistent with the Downtown Concept Plan, the paving project proposes removing one auto travel lane on Marsh and Higuera, which will reduce vehicle speeds and provide more street width for bicycle facilities, as well as existing and future parklets. These modifications would retain sufficient traffic capacity to accommodate existing and future auto traffic volumes. These plans would extend the current pilot lane reductions and bikeway enhancements on Higuera Street (Santa Rosa to Nipomo) to a permanent configuration. Existing pilot parklet installations will be retained and may become permanent pending City Council approval.

The City is asking for community feedback and input on the project to ensure its success. A virtual meeting will be held Feb. 25, 2021 at 6 p.m. Visit slocity.org/downtownpavingproject for more information and how to access the meeting. Additional virtual meeting opportunities will be announced on the webpage as well. Click here to leave comments and questions regarding the Downtown Paving Project.

For more information, contact Jennifer Rice, Transportation Planner/Engineer at 805-781-7058 and jrice@slocity.org or Brian Rodriguez, CIP Engineer and Project Manager at 805-781-7226 and brodriguez@slocity.org directly. To be included on project-specific email distributions, please contact jrice@slocity.org. Community members who prefer to communicate in Spanish may contact the City to request project materials and provide input directly to staff in Spanish.

To receive updates from the City, please register for City News e-notifications on the City’s website at slocity.org or follow the City of San Luis Obispo on social media.

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