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Overview

History of Project

Background
In 2005, the City adopted the Downtown Specific Plan to “fulfill the community’s intention for the Downtown to remain the heart of the Brentwood community as the City goes through a period of explosive growth and change.” The Specific Plan contains a number of goals focused on maintaining Downtown as a central community destination with commercial, civic, and recreational uses. These goals include:

  • Promoting new shopping, eating, and entertainment venues
  • Encouraging the use of Downtown for living, working, shopping, entertainment, or as a central gathering place
  • Enhancing the performance of the district for festivals, markets, and other civic and cultural events
  • Increasing the visibility and accessibility of Downtown and ensuring that walking is a pleasure throughout the district
  • Maintaining Downtown’s aesthetic qualities and characteristics
  • Preserving the public realm of Downtown by conserving and improving public plazas and street spaces

As part of the City’s action to implement the Downtown Specific Plan, the Council directed staff to prepare a Master Plan to improve and revitalize the streetscape in an effort to strengthen the Downtown as a destination district.  Key issues included coordination with Civic Center project, sidewalk and street widths, on-street parking and construction implications.

Design and Planning Process
Several workshops were held over a two-year period with the community (business owners and citizens). The following are the list of meetings and comments received during those meetings:

Community Meeting #1 - February 13th, 2008
Overall

The first community workshop was primarily to identify existing conditions, opportunities and constraints, and to identify the elements of the ‘sidewalk café’ environment envisioned by the community.

- Keep quadrant nature of downtown
- Balance landscaping with traffic movement
- Encourage outdoor dining and shopping
- Create a “beehive” effect
- Identify retail gaps
- Improvements should be done in phases to protect funding Parking
- Provide parking options for handicapped and seniors
- Parallel parking is a good idea
- Fit the parking into the streetscape
- Sidewalks should be widened
- Weigh trade-offs of wider sidewalks with loss of parking

Lighting

  • Ornamental street lights good idea
  • Street lights should be attractive
  • Wrap trees in lights

Trees

  • Provide summer shade
  • Palm trees are clean and require little maintenance
  • Should not litter

Gateways

  • Archways good
  • Palm trees could provide good drama at entrances

Alleys

  • Use alleys more
  • Use alleys for art

Bikes

  • Add bike trails to get downtown
  • Encourage bike use to school, work
  • Add bike crossings to crosswalks

Street-Specific

  • Oak
  • Bus turning movement to/from Second Street is constrained
  • Fountain at First Street a waste
  • Fountain at First Street used to attract people-- quaint
  • Chestnut
  • Treat like First and Oak
  • Wider sidewalks on south side
  • Brentwood Boulevard
  • Wider sidewalks preferred to median landscaping (x2)
  • Need to slow down the traffic
  • Add pedestrian street light in crosswalks
  • Is a bus drop-off zone necessary?
  • Consider traffic impact of bypass opening
  • Timing/sequencing of traffic signals should be improved for better circulation

Community Meeting #2 - March 27th, 2008
In the second workshop, the community and merchants discussed various street, sidewalk, corner and parking configurations as well as features.

Comments for this meeting were elicited from the community both verbally and in the form of a questionnaire.

Verbal Comments:

  • Like idea of flexibility of different street configurations
  • Like lots of trees/double row
  • Keep angled parking theater side
  • Include murals on walls
  • Build bollards in street
  • Keep mid-block/theatre bulb out
  • Parking on Oak Street:
    - Retail side – angled
    - Restaurant side – parallel
  • Stay versatile for what may?
  • Include outdoor stage on DTN Street
  • Add new fountain at Second/Oak/City Park
  • Prefer raised seating planters for bulb-outs
  • Extend streetscape to other areas of DTN
  • Need better lighting in alleys
  • Set the stage for future activity/vitality
  • First Street fountain has cooling effect. Do not eliminate fountain; okay to replace existing
  • Water conservation concerns
  • Hanging baskets are good but high maintenance
  • 2nd Street median fence prohibits crossing in middle of street-good thing
  • Need pedestrian control at 2nd & Pine
  • Sidewalk materials are important

Community Meeting #3 – September 8, 2008
The community and merchants shaped final recommendations to the Council of ideas, concepts and treatment elements to enhance and refine the historic character and style of Downtown Brentwood by reinforcing the ‘sidewalk café’ environment.

Core Street parking/roadway reconfiguration:

  • Re-affirmation of merchants for installation of wider sidewalks.
  • Consider angled to accommodate handicap.
  • Angled parking on Brentwood Press/fountain side of Oak Street.
  • Angled parking on theater side of First Street.
  • Maybe stagger the angled and parallel parking by block.
  • Single row of trees on both sides of Oak, with double row of
    trees on Grazie-side of First Street to deflect the afternoon heat when sitting outdoors.
  • Will there be sufficient ADA clearance when car doors or shop doors are open?
  • Will there be more fountains or water features?

Tree characteristics:

  • All in agreement for large canopy trees.
  • Concern that trees may take awhile to grow. Consider planting largest tree that budget can support.

Brentwood Boulevard – Town Center segment:

  • All in agreement with new concept as shown.

First Phase Concept:

  • All in agreement with proposed first phase of streetscape installation.
  • Why wider sidewalks on Chestnut Street?

Second Street:

  • How will median on Second Street impact parades and events?
  • Like the median idea on Second Street to keep students from crossing and allows better traffic flow.

Gateway Monuments:

  • Prefer garden-style columns more than masonry columns.
  • Diablo Way is good location for gateway.
  • Both gateways should say Downtown Brentwood.
  • Concern over height of monument at Second Street; consider something lower like an entry to a subdivision.
  • Thicker or non-tapered top for garden-style columns on Diablo Way.
  • Consider some level of enhancements on Oak Street from BB to Diablo Way.