The city on Sept. 9 presented two proposals for the revamp of C Street. The two suggested different strategies for balancing aesthetics with access for businesses.
The alternatives for the C Street Enhancement Project share some common features.
Both would introduce protected bike lanes, landscaped medians and stamped-concrete crosswalks. More lighting would be added along the stretch of road from Civic Drive to Sixth Street, and a gateway feature on the eastern end of the section would welcome people into town.
Additionally, a pedestrian crossing outside of Denny’s would shift to the other side of a nearby driveway, keeping pedestrians out of the way of cars turning right to exit the shopping center.
The proposals differ mainly in how they handle the section between Civic Drive and South Lincoln Way. Option 1 provides more landscaped area but has fewer points where motorists can turn into driveways. Option 2 favors access for businesses, with more generous turn opportunities and less room for landscaping.
After presenting the options to the dozen or so attendees, Tim Hayes, project director with contractor Psomas, wrote thoughts on sticky notes as he and other project representatives talked with community members.
Hayes said he appreciated the number of people at the workshop who had also attended the street tour and open house in July.
“I think we listened to them well. I think they liked what they saw,” Hayes told the Herald.
Mayor Shawn Farmer attended the event, voicing a preference for the business access in Option 2.
Among other things, Farmer wanted more landscaping added to the western stretch of road to ease the transition into Old Town Galt. He felt that the protected bike lanes in both options would help slow down traffic.
Gilbert Valencia attended the workshop because he feels that there is “no connection” between the businesses on C Street and Old Town. And the street isn’t always safe for pedestrians, said Valencia, who lives a few blocks away.
Option 1, with fewer turn opportunities, satisfied his desire to protect people on foot, Valencia said.
“The less places that there are for car to cross, I feel like it’s safer for people to anticipate where the cars are going to come from,” he explained.
Maribel Escalera grew up in Galt and recently graduated from UC Davis with a degree in community and regional development. She attended the workshop to learn about what new projects are happening in her community.
“I learned that there’s a lot of different people that you have to consider, especially business owners, and how a street could really impact people’s livelihoods, just based on parking alone and bike lanes,” she said.
With the latest feedback, city staff and contractors will make some adjustments and give a presentation to City Council for final consideration in October.