Downtown Complete Streets Plan
The Downtown Watsonville Complete Streets Plan was accepted and approved by the City Council at its October 22, 2019 through Council Resolution #164-19 (CM).
The Downtown Complete Streets Plan provides a vision of a multi-modal, revitalized Downtown that is safer and more accessible for all users and modes of transportation, including pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders and motorists. Through an extensive bilingual public outreach process spanning two years, it was determined that the community:
- Expressed a need for changes to be made in the Downtown that would provide a safer and more comfortable environment for people walking and on bicycles;
- Strongly supported developing a more walkable and bikeable Downtown with greater streetscape amenities and opportunities to access Downtown without the need for a car;
- Was split on whether implementing a road diet on Main Street and Rodriguez Street to incorporate bicycle lanes was desirable.
The Complete Streets Plan describes improvements that would improve safety, provide greater access and add amenities for those traveling in the Downtown. To implement these, Council directed staff to do the following:
● Conduct a traffic study to determine the impact of the proposed road diet and address the concerns of the community and of Caltrans, as portions of Main Street, East Beach Street and East Lake Avenue are part of State Route 152. The traffic study will be done in coordination with the Environmental Impact Report being prepared as part of the current Downtown Specific Plan which is scheduled to be completed by 2022. For more information about the Downtown Specific Plan, go to the following link: Downtown Specific Plan.
● Prepare a Phased Implementation Plan of improvements that are not contingent on the Traffic Study and identify funding sources to design and construct the improvements. Implementation of the Plan will take place over many years.
The City will be upgrading traffic markings and signage on Rodriguez St., Union St., and Brenna St., as recommended in the Complete Streets Plan. The work is scheduled for Spring 2021 and will include the installation of high visibility crosswalks.
The public discussion concerning pedestrian and bicycle improvements within the downtown area has continued with the Downtown Watsonville Specific Plan. Use the Downtown Specific Plan link given above to view the concepts being developed.
For additional information, see the following links:
Extensive public outreach was done, including providing booths at various Downtown events including the Farmers' Market (April 13, 2018, August 17, 2018), Earth Day/Day of the Child (April 22, 2018, April 28, 2019), Open Streets Watsonville (June 3, 2018, June 2, 2019) and the Watsonville Strawberry Festival (August 4, 2018).
The Plan was done in partnership with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission. The City contracted with CALA of San Jose, California to assist with the preparation of the Plan.