Since the City assumed control of 16th Street, the focus has been on transforming the neighborhoods through which it passes into vibrant commercial and residential districts. CADA has led the effort to develop state-owned infill sites between L and S streets and to involve stakeholders in identifying opportunities for improvements to the streetscape. Drive down 16th Street today, and you’ll pass an eclectic array of restaurants serving everything from sushi to pizza, Mexican food, Indian food and many versions of American cuisine. New office buildings and housing share the street, with Fremont Park a prominent landmark. The Fremont Park neighborhood, in particular, contintues to transform, with several architecturally significant projects scheduled to come online soon.
16th Street’s heavy traffic and irregular sidewalks have long presented problems for pedestrians walking between work, home, restaurants and shops. That’s about to change, thanks to a major grant from the California Resources Agency that will allow CADA to begin the first phase of a two-phase makeover of the streetscape. The changes are intended to make 16th Street the most significant and “green” street in the region.
The portion of 16th Street between L and S streets is slated to get new trees, better lighting, landscaping that is cutting-edge due to its sustainability features such as an innovative storm water capture system. Improved crosswalks will improve pedestrian safety and enhance walkabiity;. “Placemaking” features will include new crosswalks at five intersections with art work stamped into the asphalt, along with traffic-calming “bulb-outs” at the intersections of N, O, P, Q and S streets. The ADA-compliant construction, which will replace existing curbs, gutters and sidewalks, are intended to reduce travel distance for pedestrians and prompt drivers to reduce speed. When it’s all done, 16th Street will be a model conversion of a busy vehicular thoroughfare into a neighborhood friendly boulevard.