The C Street Enhancement Project will take another step forward on Sept. 9, when the public is invited to see various options for the renovation.
The workshop will run 6-7:30 p.m. at the Chabolla Community Center. The first half-hour is an opportunity for community members and business owners to peruse the options on their own and ask questions. At 6:30 p.m., city staff will make a 15-minute presentation. The rest of the time will be open for questions and comments.
In assembling these alternatives, the city and its contractors considered feedback that they received during a tour of C Street and an open house held on July 22.
Public Works Director Mike Selling said the process of incorporating the feedback required balancing competing interests. As an example, he cited the desire for aesthetic improvements and the access needs of the many businesses along the stretch of road, which runs from Civic Drive to Sixth Street.
“If we put a bunch of medians in the middle of the roadway to where we could plant trees in or shrubs and whatnot, kind of like what’s out on Carillion, then those would block some of the driveways,” Selling said.
Additionally, the city has struggled to pay for the upkeep of its existing landscaping.
However, Selling saw possible ways of meeting some of these challenges while also fulfilling the terms of the Sacramento Area Council of Governments grant that is financing the project.
Besides beautifying the street, the grant calls for adding protected bike lanes, which, in some designs, place a physical barrier between cyclists and cars. The barriers could be designed, with or without plants, to improve the look of the road.
“So it doesn’t all necessarily have to be trees and landscaping,” Selling said.
If attendees at the upcoming workshop appear to strongly favor a particular option, Selling said, that option would likely be brought to City Council for consideration. If opinion is more mixed, city staff may make further edits to the alternatives, either bringing them back for another workshop or presenting them to Council for a decision.
Selling emphasized the importance of community input for the project.
“C Street is a gateway for the city … These improvements that are made are going to be there for decades to come,” Selling said. Given that long-term significance, he continued, the city wants as many people as possible to give feedback, “so that it can truly reflect what the community was wanting for this gateway entrance.”