Bay Rd. improvement project phase 1 completed

October 24, 2008 3:50:58 PM PDT
The first phase of East Palo Alto's Bay Road Improvement Project has been completed, marking the first step in the city's efforts to create a Main Street feel to the gateway of the future Ravenswood Business District, senior project manager Kamal Fallaha said today.

The $2 million Phase I project improved Bay Road from University Avenue to Clarke Avenue by widening sidewalks, adding bicycle lanes, creating bus stops and bus shelters, and creating an overall better experience for residents to walk, bike and take public transportation, Fallaha said.

Bay Road is "a gateway to the future Ravenswood Business District," Fallaha said.

"East Palo Alto doesn't have Main Street, so we're trying to create a main street in the city, which includes pedestrian safety," he added.

The project was started in January, and a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday morning marked the completion of the first part of the project, which will continue with Phases II and III.

East Palo Alto Mayor Patricia Foster and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, spoke at Thursday's ceremony and toured Bay Road, Fallaha said.

Eshoo "was very amazed by the potential," he said.

Phase I was funded by federal grants and supplemented by local sources such as the California Department of Transportation, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

Phase II will rely on 90 percent federal money and 10 percent funding from the city of East Palo Alto. The second phase will concentrate on Bay Road from Clarke Avenue to Tara Street, and project leaders are working to hire a consultant and begin a design.

Eventually, city planners hope to extend the revamped Bay Road to Cooley Landing.

"Bay Road will be used to serve not just commuters, it's for residents to enjoy and walk on this nice sidewalk and landscaped area all the way to Cooley Landing," Fallaha said. "There is so much potential for enhancing that area."


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