I accepted an invitation from Sebastopol City Planner Kenyon Webster to be part of an informal committee of downtown property owners, tenants and user reps to help identify issues, provide feedback on design and priorities, and spread the word about the City’s Downtown Core Streetscape Project.
The project involves developing a comprehensive plan for streetscape improvements in the downtown area–basically trying to extend the street tree/bench/lighting/trash receptacle improvements that the City made around the Plaza and part of Main Street; and to address issues like cracked sidewalks, news racks, outmoded light fixtures, etc.  The plan will also identify ‘priority’ improvements that the City should try to implement first and we are hoping for some kind of artistic element to the project design.  The focus is strictly on streetscape issues to improve the pedestrian environment and aesthetics, and does not include circulation or land use issues (definitely the bigger issues).
The city has retained a consultant team (RBF/Gates) who will put the plan together.
There will be a general community meeting on April 21, 6:30 p.m. at the Independent Charter School.
The many dirty and abandoned newspaper/brochure racks are one of the main things that jump out at me when I go downtown, as well as not enough street trees that will actually provide shade in the summer and the lack of bike racks despite the bike rack grant program available to businesses in town. I’m soliciting ideas from folks on the Bike & Walk Sebastopol mailing list, as well as various personal contacts so that I can bring them to the planning meeting this Thursday, April 7. I’m looking forward to taking part.