Imagine the aging Prospect Avenue, the one-time main drag through Santee, revitalized with new sidewalks, trees and landscaping, street lights, street widening, parking, improved storm drains and more. It's coming soon.
A public , which will upgrade a mile-long section of Prospect Avenue between Magnolia Avenue and Cuyamaca Street, was held recently at It was a chance for residents and business owners to see maps and plans, ask city staff and consultants questions, and give input to the project.
It is one of the final city projects being paid with redevelopment funds, since the redevelopment program was .
The Santee Review summarizes the improvements:
"Proposed improvements include adding sidewalks, curbs and gutters, along with attractive but water-wise landscaping. Overhead utility wires will be undergrounded and utility poles removed. New street lighting will be installed and storm drains will be upgraded to eliminate flooding. On-street parking and bicycle lanes will be provided on both sides of the street. Traffic signals will be upgraded and a dual left-turn lane will be added."
According to the project timeline, construction is scheduled to begin in the winter of 2013 and last until fall of 2015 (see timeline in photos).
Here are some notes on the project taken in speaking with the city's Principal Civil Engineer for the project, Carl Schmitz:
- Historically, Prospect Ave. revitalization was focused on traffic improvements, but with , there is no need for traffic improvements. The city has been discussing Prospect improvements about as long as Santee has existed as a city.
- The new goals are safety, enhancements, accessibility, and to stimulate the area economically.
- A big problem now is inconsistent sidewalks, which force pedestrians into uncomfortable places to walk, and overhead powerlines with poles that are sometimes in street. Both issues will be fixed, overhead utilities will be put underground.
- They are focusing on bicycle and pedestrian access, especially because there is no bicycle friendly corridor east to west, as Mission Gorge Road is not safe.
- The hope is to encourage industrial zone growth in the area and bring in new companies with new jobs.
- Before this redevelopment, if a business wanted to build or redevelop their land, the city would make them fix up the front area and give up any land that extended into what is now the public right of way, creating parts of Prospect that look better than others. Now, the businesses will get improved frontage and street access at no cost, and the city will pay fair market value for any land businesses own that might jut out into the street or sidewalk.
- Areas where driveways and parking lots stick out into the street, the city will work with property owners to find different alternatives to coordinate the right of way.
- Plans call for a dedicated eight foot parking lane for parallel street parking, a five foot bike lane, five feet of sidewalk that will be part of an 11 foot parkway and a consistent 36 foot wide street.
Another public meeting is scheduled for sometime in the fall, where more detailed plans will be available. Santee Patch will announce that meeting when it is set.