Downtown Concord streets getting bike lanes, new lights and expanded sidewalk
CONCORD, CA (Feb. 17, 2023) — The downtown streets of Concord going in two directions from Todos Santos Plaza will be getting new bike lanes, improved traffic and pedestrian safety measures, an expand sidewalk in front of Salvio Pacheco Square, additional and upgraded streetlights and other enhancements in a $4.2 million project starting early next month with a late October completion date targeted.
And all this work in the Downtown Corridors Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvement Project will be done over 130 working days without daytime street closures anticipated, says City of Concord associate civil engineer Tianjun Cao, who is spearheading the long-anticipated project.
Cao recently gave The Pioneer a walking tour of the downtown area where some of the most visible changes will take place in the next two months. Those changes will be most conspicuous in the heart of the downtown around Todos Santos Plaza.
On the Salvio Pacheco Square side of Salvio St. between Mt. Diablo and Grant streets all 13 parking spaces will be removed and replaced with an expanded sidewalk to match what currently exists on each end of the block. Cao says this will make it possible for additional outdoor seating for the eateries on that block.
Overview of 2023 Downtown Corridors Project
Included in the new sidewalk will be landscaping and bio retention water drainage, matching a similar look on the other side of Salvio between Mt. Diablo and Concord Ave.
In front of Peet’s Coffee there is small gravel area that will have brick pavers installed matching nearby sections along with a planter bench for additional seating across from the plaza. More light poles will be installed throughout the project area as well as upgraded light fixtures on existing poles.
A new bike lane will be added running on the plaza side of Grant St. counter to the one-way vehicular traffic which connects Willow Pass Rd. to Salvio St. There will be buffer zone between the bike lane and new parallel parking on Grant which reduces the number of parking spaces on the street by six. That block of Grant St. will be repaved and restriped over a couple days with all the work planned for the evening after business hours.
That bike lane will tie into the one across Willow Pass towards Concord Blvd. and then running on Grant to Oak St. From there to Galindo St. by the Concord Police Department a new bike path will be added as part of street repaving. That means a bike path loop from Market St. will run through the downtown to Galindo St, with the exception of two blocks on Salvio from Galindo to Grant, which will be a shared route for vehicles and bikes.
The busy intersection on Salvio where Concord Ave. becomes Galindo St. will be getting new left turn signals in each direction off Salvio, matching what already exists off Concord and Galindo in front of the Brenden Theatres.
Added to the safety improvements in the area will be a crosswalk with light flashers which can be triggered by pedestrians added on Salvio between Adobe St. and the theatre parking garage.
Making downtown more accessible
Long-time Concord business leader and Brenden senior vice president Walter Eichinger said, “I am very pleased with the city bike path project and other improvements. It will significantly increase safety for bicyclists, pedestrians and drivers as well throughout the downtown.
“In particular, the new crosswalk at our movie theater along with the new striping and turn lanes have been needed for a long while. I appreciate the city’s efforts to make the downtown more accessible and safer at the same time for visitors and potential customers.”
All the project work is consistent with the 2015 Downtown Corridors Specific Plan and the City’s bike and pedestrian transit plan approved a year later.
A major portion of the project is funded by a Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities grant of $3.8 million, which was formally approved last fall.
Jay Bedecarré is a long-time resident and writer in Concord and Clayton. He began his newspaper writing career while still a senior at Mt. Diablo High School and he has been part of The Pioneer since its inception in 2003. Jay also operates Bay Area Festivals, presenting events around the San Francisco Bay Area including Bay Area KidFest annually in Downtown Concord.