Angela Swartz/Daily Journal
Pedestrians have more room to roam on certain blocks of Burlingame Avenue as work is completed on a $16.5 million streetscape project.
The 1200 block of Burlingame Avenue opened with new renovations for both pedestrians and cars in September and city officials say they are seeing more positive feedback about the Burlingame Avenue Streetscape project.
Work is currently being conducted on Burlingame Avenue between Park and Primrose roads on both the north and south sides of Burlingame Avenue. Both lanes are currently closed to vehicle traffic there. The 1300 block of Burlingame Avenue between Park and Primrose roads will be closed to vehicular traffic until late November and will reopen before Thanksgiving.
Syed Murtuza, Burlingame’s public works director, said the construction has been coming along very well and is on track to finish on time. The project is expected to be completed by the end of the summer 2014.
“We’ve been getting good feedback because people see improvements,” he said. “Merchants have graciously been commending the improvements.”
Merchants hosted a block party to celebrate the completion of the 1200 block of Burlingame Avenue at Pottery Barn Oct. 17. The merchants themselves, along with the Downtown Burlingame Business Association, put on the event.
“It was a very festive event,” Murtuza said.
The streetscape process has kind of been like delivering a baby, said Councilman Jerry Deal.
“It’s bad when you’re waiting for it, but it’s great when it’s done,” he said.
The fears of parallel parking being a struggle are turning out not to be a problem, he added.
Matt Zucca, streetscape project supervisor with EKI Consulting, said he has seen much more positive feedback from business owners since the 1200 block opened.
“At the beginning it was all impact, impact, impact and all they see is negative,” Zucca said. “Once we opened 1200 block and people saw what it was going to look like, there were not as many complaints. I did hear by word of mouth that the construction on the 1200 block led to businesses seeing substantial decreases in revenue.”
Since the opening, one business said they exceeded its historical sales revenue, Zucca said.
“There was a little pain during the construction, but they’re reaping the benefits now,” he said.
The $16.5 million beautification of the avenue includes more pedestrian-friendly features, with sidewalks widened from 10 to 16 feet, more landscaping and outside dining space. Parking is being moved from slanted to parallel and the street’s two lanes are being thinned to a total of 20 feet. Of the $16.5 million, approximately $5.2 million is being spent on water, sewer and storm drainage utility upgrades on a 100-year-old infrastructure that the city was required to do.
Moving forward, from Oct. 27 to Nov. 1, there will be streetscape work on the both sides of Burlingame Avenue between Park and Primrose roads. There will also be utility work at the intersection of Burlingame Avenue and California Drive.
Construction began in April and will be suspended during the holiday season. The 1100 and 1400 blocks will undergo construction in 2014.
(650) 344-5200 ext. 105