Guiding Principles

The Grand Boulevard Guiding Principles have been adopted by the Task Force as well as a number of member agencies. The Guiding Principles define the GBI vision, that "El Camino Real will achieve its full potential for residents to work, live, shop, and play, creating links between communities that promote walking and transit and an improved and meaningful quality of life." Following each of the Guiding Principles is a non-exhaustive list of potential strategies.

To learn more about the Grand Boulevard Initiative Vision and Challenge, click here.  To download a complete PDF of the Grand Boulevard Initiative Vision, Challenge, and Guiding Principles, click here.

1. Target housing and job growth in strategic areas along the corridor

  • Amend General Plans and implement zoning and Specific Plans that facilitate increases in density, particularly around transit stations and key intersections.
  • In accordance with city goals, encourage more housing and business opportunities, with a greater range of affordability and choices, exemplifying high-quality architecture and urban design.
  • Preserve significant buildings.
  • Provide a system of local and corridor-wide incentives to attract private development and economic investment along the corridor.

2. Encourage compact mixed-use development and high-quality urban design and construction

  • Develop design guidelines to assist in the attainment of the Grand Boulevard vision and challenge statements.
  • Accommodate housing.
  • Implement zoning and precise plans with design-specific elements that address street orientation, facades, parking and setbacks
  • Provide planning aides and design guidelines, such as the Community Design and Transportation Manual, to developers

3. Create a pedestrian-oriented environment and improve streetscapes, ensuring full access to and between public areas and private developments

  • Provide an integrated pedestrian environment with wide, continuous sidewalks, landscaping, lighting, and signage, all with human-scale details, with a commitment to maintain those amenities. Such amenities should conform to Caltrans standards.
  • Continuously clean and maintain the Grand Boulevard streetscape and public spaces.
  • Preserve sightlines between activity areas.
  • Create landmarks and signature buildings to shape the street environment to a pedestrian orientation.
  • Repair barriers between activity areas such as discontinuous sidewalks.
  • Reduce street crossing distances where appropriate.

4. Develop a balanced multimodal corridor to maintain and improve mobility of people and vehicles along the corridor

  • Support transit-oriented development (TOD) and increased density around station areas.
  • Orient buildings toward transit stops.
  • Design transit stops for easy passenger loading, unloading and fare payment.
  • Improve signal timing.
  • Implement transit-preferential street treatments such as signal priority, bulb out stops, bus by-pass lanes and high occupancy vehicle (HOV)/Bus-only lanes where needed and feasible.
  • Implement programs designed to reduce auto trips during congestion periods.

5. Manage Parking Assets

  • Consider trip reduction due to transit when designing parking requirements.
  • Pursue the development of public/public and public/private partnerships to develop multiuse parking structures in strategic locations along the corridor.
  • Consider shared parking facilities (I.e. for business during the day, restaurants at night).
  • Consider the trade-offs between TOD and parking at rail stations.
  • Preserve street frontage for active uses by placing parking behind buildings.
  • Develop and use a network of alleys to access parking and limit vehicular crossings of sidewalks.
  • Where appropriate, install parking meters or time-limited parking spaces to encourage turnover.
  • Review parking requirements when considering new developments, possibly substituting reliance on Transportation Demand Management (TDM) strategies and reducing required parking.

6. Provide vibrant public spaces and gathering places

  • Create public spaces of all sizes that will stand the test of time and provide lasting value for future generations.
  • Design public areas to attract usage.
  • Orient new development around existing or new gathering places and transit stations.
  • Design public spaces to be functional as well as decorative through the careful use of space and amenities.
  • Encourage the development of small public spaces and pocket parks.

7. Preserve and accentuate unique and desirable community character and the existing quality of life in adjacent neighborhoods

  • Encourage design that is compatible with or shares design elements with adjacent development and neighborhoods.
  • Identify local themes and express them through landscape, architecture and urban design guidelines.
  • Preserve diverse local small businesses and create economic opportunities for their continued presence in the revitalized corridor.

8. Improve safety and public health

  • Design intersections for a balance between the needs of autos and pedestrians.
  • Design parallel access routes where needed to separate pedestrian and bike movements.
  • Provide high-quality pedestrian amenities such as distinct crosswalks, countdown signals and curb ramps.
  • Ensure adequate public and private facilities for disabled individuals.

9. Strengthen pedestrian and bicycle connections with the corridor

  • Reduce the distance between corridor crossings to improve connectivity with adjacent neighborhoods where appropriate.
  • For projects near the corridor, encourage design that provides easy access to the corridor or to cross streets.
  • Provide pedestrian cut-through linkages to access parking lots, alleys and neighborhood routes between blocks, including additions to “Safe Route to Schools” paths.

10. Pursue environmentally sustainable and economically viable development patterns

  • Provide incentives for LEED (leadership in energy and environmental design) certified projects.
  • Pursue design, engineering and construction techniques that assist with the management of storm water runoff, preserve (and possibly increase) soil permeability, and reduce heat island and other negative effects of urban development.
  • Pursue cross-jurisdictional shared revenue projects, such as parking structures, that provide mutual benefits to all partners.
  • Provide a system of local and corridor-wide incentives to attract private development and economic investment along the corridor.

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