In an effort to promote connectivity within the City of San Carlos and to enhance accessibility to residents, the East Side Connect Project was developed along the entire length of Old County Road. This stretch of road is now a complete street, meaning that it provides safe and comfortable environment for many modes of transportation, including walking and biking.
Old County Road and the adjacent elevated Caltrain rail corridor became real and perceived barriers to residents who wanted to access the Caltrain Station and the downtown core from the east side of the City of San Carlos. The 2.2-mile long Old County Road was focused on vehicular circulation rather than pedestrians and bicyclists. Narrow and incomplete sidewalks, numerous utility pole obstructions, difficult crossings, and limited lighting were just a few challenges faced by pedestrians and bicyclists navigating the street. To address these issues, the East Side Connect Project was developed.
Comprising the entire length of Old County Road within City limits, as well as East San Carlos Avenue, the City of San Carlos utilized an extensive community and stakeholder outreach process to develop a complete street balancing the needs of a diverse user group. The project components include:
- Narrowing lanes along Old County Road to promote traffic calming and to allow for wider, more accessible, sidewalks and bicycle facilities including bike lanes (where right-of-way allowed) as well as sharrows
- Enlarging sidewalks to create more generous and inviting walking surfaces
- Utility undergrounding, which eliminated sidewalk obstructions and allowed for the planting of large evergreen street trees
- Improving pedestrian crossings through bulb-outs, curb ramps, speed tables, and high-visibility cross walks
- Installing rain gardens and flow through planters at bulb-outs providing stormwater treatment and greening of the corridor
These improvements promote multi-modal circulation by dramatically improving pedestrian and bicycle circulation. The improvements create more direct, safe, and inviting access to the local Caltrain Station, downtown, and businesses for residents and workers. Finished in the Fall 2014, this project illustrates a successful model of community based planning efforts and innovative solutions to creating more complete streets for other communities. Take a look at the pictures to see these enhancements along Old County Road!