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What's New

An Evolving Grand Boulevard Initiative


Executive Summary of Report

For thirteen years, communities along El Camino Real (State Route 82) have participated in the Grand Boulevard Initiative (GBI) to revitalize the roadway into a vibrant, people-friendly place. GBI has fostered the development of ten Guiding Principles and has seen the endorsement of those principles by every community along the corridor. Numerous studies and plans have been designed to give cities, counties and other agencies a path forward to upgrade land uses, public services and infrastructure; and, well-managed higher density development. Since roadway and development projects are aligned with GBI’s vision and the guiding principles in the implementation process, GBI has reached a crossroads in which the group will evolve to refocus its efforts on mobility along the corridor. The purpose of this paper is to recognize the achievements of GBI and its partner agencies and to describe a new approach for GBI, designed to assure its continued effectiveness in a changing environment.

Moving Foward

Task Force

Moving forward, the Task Force will no longer meet quarterly. In lieu of regular meetings, there will be annual convening(s) on specific topics that are trending and/or of interest to the members. Corridor tours may also be held in lieu of regular meetings. These events will engage the GBI Task Force members in addition to new stakeholders that are interested in El Camino Real topics.

Working Committee

In order to continue to share best practices along the corridor and explore ways to improve the mobility and transportation options along the corridor, the GBI Working Committee will transition to a similarly-structured El Camino Real Mobility Working Committee with less frequent meetings. The effort will be led by SamTrans (and any other interested agencies) and comprised of similar membership to the current Working Committee including transportation planners and engineers from San Mateo County and Santa Clara County jurisdictions along the ECR corridor. The group will meet quarterly, rather than monthly, and all in-person meetings will offer webinar/remote options.

Read more here

Creating Safe and Healthy Corridor Communities


The Grand Boulevard Initiative: Creating Safe and Healthy Corridor Communities Project facilitated the design of multimodal streetscape improvements for two case study locations on El Camino Real in Redwood City and Palo Alto. This project was a critical first step toward implementing multimodal improvements, addressing safety issues in the El Camino Real Corridor, and realizing the Grand Boulevard Initiative Vision of people friendly places. Planning work began in the summer of 2017 and focused on the development of conceptual streetscape designs that could not only bring the Grand Boulevard Initiative Vision to reality but also provide Corridor guidance for future multimodal improvements.

Final Reports and Designs

The project was completed on February 28, 2019. A Final Report was developed for each case study segment detailing the local vision, community outreach results, case study designs, 3D concepts, and next steps. In addition, the final deliverables include a lessons learned memo that includes best practices, implantation strategies and design library. These documents are linked below.

 For more information on the individual case study cities please visit the following links: Redwood CityPalo Alto.

Grand Boulevard Initiative Corridor Tour



In lieu of the September 26th Grand Boulevard Initiative Task Force Meeting GBI staff will be hosting a tour of exemplary development projects along El Camino Real in San Mateo County. The event will include guided walking tours of downtown Redwood City and Bay Meadows in San Mateo. SamTrans will be providing transportation to and from the tour sites as well as light refreshments before the event.

For more information or if you are interested in attending the event, please visit the event registration page here. Seating is limited!

Grand Boulevard Initiative Interactive Partner Session


The Grand Boulevard Initiative Partner Sessions were a series of interactive meetings to engage local representatives and discuss emerging opportunities to make El Camino Real a more urban, pedestrian-friendly, transit-oriented corridor for residents to live, work, shop and play. Read more about the sessions and view the session documents here.

Grand Boulevard Initiative Task Force Selects Award Winners

Awards TF 12 14 15Six Peninsula cities recently received top honors for development projects and plans in the El Camino Real corridor that exemplifies the Grand Boulevard Initiative (GBI) Guiding Principles. This year, two awards were granted – a 2016 Grand Boulevard Initiative Award and 10-Year Legacy Award, which commemorates a previously awarded project as an exemplary legacy project of the 10 years of the Grand Boulevard Initiative.

At an awards ceremony and special luncheon held last week sponsored by San Mateo County Economic Development Association (SAMCEDA) and Dostart Development Company, LLC, GBI’s Task Force selected the following cities for the 2016 Grand Boulevard Initiative Award:

Recipients of the 10-Year Legacy Award include:

A total of 15 projects were nominated for the 2016 Grand Boulevard Initiative Awards and 17 projects nominated for the 10-Year Legacy Awards, for a total of 32 projects nominated and scored. Members scored each of the nominated projects based upon how well each project met the 10 Grand Boulevard Guiding Principles

Grand Boulevard Initiative Receives Grant for Streetscape Improvement Projects

RWCPaloAltoPhotoThe Grand Boulevard Initiative received a state grant of nearly $350,000 to design improvements on El Camino Real in Redwood City and Palo Alto to improve safety and accessibility for all roadway users. The grant, awarded by Caltrans as part of its Sustainable Transportation Planning program, will improve portions of El Camino Real near the downtown areas of Redwood City and Palo Alto. Combined with a local funding contribution, the total improvement investments will be $394,300.

The improvements will include traffic calming measures, upgrades to pedestrian facilities, considerations for bicycles, and enhanced streetscape designs to make the area more livable for residents. The areas in Redwood City and Palo Alto were chosen based on their high opportunity to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety and access on El Camino Real. With the improvements, the Grand Boulevard Initiative hopes to make the areas more socially and economically connected with their surrounding communities.

Conceptual design for the improvement projects will begin in late 2016.

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