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Mayor Gloria Opens First Walkable Downtown Greenway

UNDERUSED STREET TRANSFORMED INTO ENHANCED PATHWAY, ADDING GREEN SPACE AND WALKABILITY

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 11, 2021

CONTACT: MayorPress@sandiego.gov

 

SAN DIEGO – Continuing his pledge to create high-quality public spaces that encourage walkability and enhance the quality of life for all, Mayor Todd Gloria today celebrated the completion of the first block of 14th Street Greenway project. He was joined by San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) Chair Catherine S. Blakespear, Civic San Diego Chair Maddy Kilkenny and Downtown San Diego Partnership President and CEO Betsy Brennan.

The $2.08 million urban greenspace project is the first of six interconnected greenways along 14th Street in East Village. Once completely implemented, the 14th Street Greenway will extend 11 blocks from C Street to Commercial Street. The five other greenways will be located along Eighth Avenue, Cedar Street, E Street, Island Avenue and Union Street.

”These welcoming greenways are inviting and safe and create a much-needed walkable space for the Downtown community, which is forecasted to double in size in the next two decades,” Mayor Gloria said. “Spaces like this encourage residents to get out of their cars, which helps us achieve our climate-action goals. I look forward to creating more projects like this across our city.”

The City will construct a second and third block of the 14th Street Greenway immediately to the south between Market Street and Island Avenue and within the East Village Green park to the north. Both blocks will start construction later this year. Private developers will construct the two other blocks along 14th Street in the next two years. 

“There is no more perfect place to launch the greenway program than in Downtown,” said Council President pro Tem Stephen Whitburn. “With San Diego’s nearly year-round perfect weather and as we move closer toward reaching our climate action goals, I am excited to see more and more projects like this that improve walkability come to life in District 3 and throughout the City.”

This new 300-foot-long greenway is a joint project with Civic San Diego, which led the project's planning and design work. Civic San Diego also provided construction oversight of the project, which removed a vehicle travel lane and eight parking spaces on the east side of 14th Street to create the new greenspace in the East Village. New angled parking spaces will replace parallel parking on several streets in the neighborhood, and a 185-space underground parking garage is planned with the future East Village Green park's construction directly to the north. 

"We are very proud to be a part of the project team that worked to create this linear park,” Civic San Diego Board Chair Maddy Kilkenny said. “This block is the first of many blocks which will help create a vibrant and walkable path along 14th Street, and other parts of Downtown, connecting existing and future parks within the East Village neighborhood." 

In addition to establishing 4,500 square feet of useable park space, the 14th Street Greenway installed improved LED lighting and curb ramps. A new double row of Chinese Elm and Western Redbud trees was planted, along with landscaping featuring a total of 200 plants, creating a safety buffer between pedestrians and vehicle traffic.

Four industrial artifacts were donated by the family of late East Village pioneer Bob Sinclair and were displayed along the greenway along with centrally placed panels showcasing historical images of the iconic San Diego neighborhood.  

In addition to helping transform Downtown San Diego into a world-class urban center, it aligns the goals of the City’s Climate Action Plan and the PDF icon Downtown San Diego Mobility Plan. The Climate Action Plans calls for eliminating half of all greenhouse gas emissions in the City and aims for all electricity to be from renewable sources by 2035. The Mobility Plan envisions repurposing Downtown's roadways with landscaping and greenery and integrating a safe, multi-modal transportation network within the surrounding communities.

“The Downtown San Diego Partnership Clean & Safe program is proud to partner with the City of San Diego to keep the historical elements that tie this new park to Downtown’s rich history looking as beautiful as they do today,” said Betsy Brennan, President & CEO of the Downtown San Diego Partnership. “We know firsthand how important thoughtful public spaces are to our Downtown neighborhoods and commend the City, Civic San Diego and SANDAG on this example of how to create opportunities for green space in unexpected places.”

Construction of this first phase of the 14th Street Greenway was funded by a SANDAG PDF icon Transnet Smart Growth Incentive Program grant and the Floor Area Ratio Bonus Payment Fund fees that developers pay to increase density on projects and promote civic benefits.  

“The 14th Street Greenway in East Village will provide a welcoming space for people to bike, walk, and enjoy the outdoors, which is more important than ever amid the pandemic,” said Encinitas Mayor and SANDAG Board Chair Catherine Blakespear. “This is the latest of more than 40 projects funded through the SANDAG TransNet Smart Growth Incentive program that have improved the health and quality of life of local communities.” 

 

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