Angela Swartz/Daily Journal
A mock-up of the sidewalk pavers was completed in front of Copenhagen Bakery & Café on the 1200 block of Burlingame Avenue a few days ago.
Next week, the next phase of the Burlingame Avenue Streetscape Burlingame is set to begin and things are going as planned, say city staff and project supervisors.
So far, the focus of the work has been between Lorton Avenue and Park Road, along the north side of Burlingame Avenue. This portion of the construction is expected to last until Aug. 23. Sidewalk demolition is anticipated to begin next Sunday, Aug. 25 between Park Road and Primrose Road on the south side of Burlingame Avenue. The eastbound lane of Burlingame Avenue, toward California Avenue, will also be closed at that time.
Matt Zucca, streetscape project supervisor with EKI Consulting, said that so far the construction is on schedule.
“All people have seen is the impact,” Zucca said. “They haven’t seen the positive side. We certainly hope by the time things open up, the benefits will be obvious.”
The Park Road to Primrose Road section will be likely completed, with the exception of trees, bike racks and newsstands around Thanksgiving.
One local retired resident, who chose to withhold their name, has daily breakfast meetings in Burlingame and has seen the impact of the construction on businesses.
“Most of the town fathers think it’s going to slowly,” they said. “When you talk to some of those shop owners out there, small merchants are beginning to feel the lack of walking traffic. It just seems to me in this day and age, a project like that ought to go a lot faster. I don’t see why they can’t run heavy duty crews; it could go a whole lot faster and be less disruptive.”
Ben Nielsen, an owner of Copenhagen Bakery & Café at 1216 Burlingame Ave., hopes business will improve once construction is completed on his portion of the block.
“They’re doing a nice job, it’s just way, way, way behind,” Nielsen said. “It’s killing outside [sitting] business during the summer and nobody’s going to want to sit out there in the fall. Business hasn’t picked up any since it started. The feedback from customers is they don’t want to hassle with construction.”
Syed Murtuza, Burlingame’s public works director, said the recent feedback has been positive.
“When the fences come down, people are seeing the parking lanes laid out and the paving constructed,” Murtuza said. “We’re pushing to get the block completed.”
Murtuza said it’s a misnomer that there will be parking lost with the move from slanted to parallel parking spaces on the avenue.
“We’re only reducing the parking spot number by 10 spaces on Burlingame Avenue,” Murtuza said. “We added spaces on Primrose Road and Highland Avenue, so there’s parking in close proximity.”
The beautification of Burlingame Avenue includes more pedestrian-friendly features, with sidewalks widened from 10 to 16 feet, more landscaping and outside dining space. Parking will move from slanted to parallel and the street’s two lanes will be thinned to a total of 20 feet.
Construction began in April and will be suspended during the holiday season. The project is expected to be completed by the end of the summer 2014.
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