Downtown Streetscape Project
A look at the Downtown Streetscape Project at Broadway and Second streets in King City. The project includes new and expanded corner bulbouts, decorative crosswalks and reconstructed medians. (Contributed)

KING CITY — City of King’s Downtown Streetscape Project was among this year’s winners of the 22nd Annual Transportation Excellence Awards, presented by the Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC).

“It is great that our city was recognized by TAMC for our Downtown Streetscape Project,” said King City Mayor Mike LeBarre. “This is an important project for our community, enhancing economic vibrancy and beautifying our historic downtown corridor.”

Each year the Transportation Agency honors community members, programs and projects that make a significant contribution to improve transportation in Monterey County.

The Downtown Streetscape Project is a comprehensive placemaking and beautification project on Broadway Street in King City’s core historic downtown area. It implements the major components of the downtown Streetscape Master Plan developed through years of planning and public input efforts.

Transportation Excellence Awards
TAMC Chair Chris Lopez (from left), King City Mayor and TAMC Past Chair Mike LeBarre and King City’s Public Works Director/City Engineer Octavio Hurtado accept the award on behalf of the City of King’s Downtown Streetscape Project from TAMC Executive Director Todd Muck. (Contributed)

“The design concepts are also associated with Blue Zones Project Monterey County, which incorporates build environment enhancements to improve public health through the creation of a more active pedestrian-oriented environment,” according to TAMC.

The project included new and expanded corner bulb-outs, decorative crosswalks and reconstructed medians, resulting in a more pedestrian-oriented area that improves safety and access to a revitalized downtown.

Landscaping and public art adds to the beautification of the area.

“The Streetscape Project offers an enriched streetscape experience for those users who currently ventured to downtown King City, while attracting more people to visit the historic Broadway Street neighborhood,” stated the Transportation Agency.

The project is nearing completion, with crews still finishing up crosswalks and corner details.

Downtown Streetscape Project
Crews work on the decorated crosswalks as part of the Downtown Streetscape Project in King City. (Courtesy of Karen Jernigan)

Awards honor traffic garden designers

Other honorees of the 22nd Annual Transportation Excellence Awards included Amir Attia, associate professor of graphic design at California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB), along with CSUMB graphic design students Gabby Lazarcheff and Monica Ocampo, for developing designs for the first traffic gardens in Monterey County.

Attia worked with Lazarcheff and Ocampo to develop designs for the traffic gardens, including the King City Traffic Garden at San Antonio Park.

In addition to meeting regularly with the Transportation Agency and other Safe Routes to School partners over a two-year period, Attia attended the King City Steering Committee meeting to hear direct feedback from community members.

King City Traffic Garden
Children ride in the lanes on the traffic garden at San Antonio Park in King City. (Contributed)

The project was done in partnership through the Sustainable City Year Program designed to give students real-world experience and help local agencies with projects.

“The traffic gardens designed by Amir and his students, Gabby Lazarcheff and Monica Ocampo, will help teach traffic safety and driving skills to hundreds of students across Monterey County,” according to TAMC.

Traffic gardens feature small-sized streets with scaled-down traffic features to teach youth how to navigate streets and traffic. Their purpose is to be a place where children can learn the rules of the road and practice bicycling and driving skills in a safe environment.

Transportation Excellence Awards
CSUMB Associate Professor Amir Attia (third from left) accepts the award presented by TAMC officials for developing designs for the first traffic gardens in Monterey County. (Contributed)

The King City Traffic Garden was one of 13 traffic gardens installed last year at various locations throughout Monterey County. In South Monterey County, other traffic gardens are located at Oak Avenue Elementary School in Greenfield, Gabilan Elementary School in Soledad and La Gloria Elementary School in Gonzales.

Also honored with an Excellence Award was Boyd’s Asphalt Services, which provided the striping for all 13 traffic gardens across Monterey County.

“Boyd’s prioritized the traffic garden project to get it done in a narrow timeframe to help meet the Transportation Agency’s grant deadline,” stated the Transportation Agency. “They also worked side-by-side with TAMC staff to adjust traffic garden designs in the field as needed.”

Transportation Excellence Awards
Justin Estassi (third from left) accepts the award presented by TAMC officials on behalf of Boyd’s Asphalt Services for striping all 13 traffic gardens across Monterey County. (Contributed)
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Ryan Cronk is the managing editor for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for South Monterey County and the surrounding communities.


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