Grand Boulevard wins ABAG planning award
The Association of Bay Area Governments has presented Joint Venture's Grand Boulevard initiative with its 2012 Growing Smarter Together Award in the Public-Private Partnership category for excellence in planning and development. This video describes the vision for Grand Boulevard.
What are we doing?
The Grand Boulevard Initiative is an historic collaboration of more than 30 different cities, agencies and other organizations working together to improve the look and feel of one of our region’s major thoroughfares, El Camino Real.
Why are we doing it?
We want El Camino Real to achieve its full potential as a place for residents to work, live and shop, creating links between communities that promote walking and transit and an improved and meaningful quality of life.
Joint Venture coordinates this effort with four partners: City/County Association of Governments of San Mateo County (C/CAG), San Mateo County Transit District (SamTrans), Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), and SAMCEDA (San Mateo County Economic Development Association). The work is overseen by the Grand Boulevard Task Force, which includes every city on El Camino between San Jose and San Francisco, housing advocates, the developer community, transit providers and all of the regional and state agencies having partial responsibility for the street. SamTrans General Manager Mike Scanlon and Joint Venture CEO Russell Hancock co-chair the Task Force. 17 public agencies and 5 supporting organizations have adopted the GBI Guiding Principles, which articulate the shared values of the group for development along El Camino Real.
What are the latest developments?
- On August 7, 2012, El Camino Real celebrated the 100th anniversary of its first paving, leading to the essential role the "Royal Road" plays in the regional economy today. Read Congresswoman Jackie Speier's remarks at the anniversary ceremonies.
- The Initiative received two grants of $70,000 and $60,000 from Silicon Valley Community Foundation to develop Grand Boulevard messaging and outreach to local communities.
- The Task Force recently provided comments to Caltrans on proposed revisions to the state's Highway Design Manual, which dictates everything from speed to street trees on El Camino Real. The group was encouraged that more flexibility will be granted to the cities to make positive changes on the boulevard.
- Received $75,000 in grant support from Silicon Valley Community Foundation and $100,000 in local government support from C/CAG for Phase I of the Economic and Housing Opportunities Assessment (ECHO). This assessment helped determine El Camino Real’s overall housing and commercial development potential and examine the economic opportunities available along the corridor.
- The GBI was one of 33 recipients nationwide of TIGERII grant monies from the U.S. Department of Transportation for its Removing Barriers to Livable Communities project. The $1.1 million award will be used for integrated engineering and planning activities and was matched by $600K in local funds.
- An additional $365,000 was awarded by the Federal Highway Administration to continue work begun under the Removing Barriers project. This funding will allow one of the “Complete Street” design plans, which apply the Guiding Principles and elements from the Street Design Toolbox, to move toward completion.
- A major grant of more than $1 million was awarded by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to pilot a variety of methods to connect residents and employees to transit. The "Making the Last Mile Connection" program will begin in Redwood City soon.
- An update to the Existing Conditions Report, originally publshed in 2006, has been completed - this and other project reports are available on the Grand Boulevard website.
What are the next steps?
- Work has commenced on Phase II of the ECHO Study and other important infrastructure and planning activities funded by TIGER II
- Transportation demand management programs will roll out in late spring in and around Redwood City
- Local Community Forums are being held in corridor cities
- The Task Force continues to meet quarterly to discuss policy and planning issues and to receive updates on the GBI work program and priority initiatives
Where do I find out more?
- Progress on this initiative is reported in detail on the Grand Boulevard website.
- Contact Kara Gross at or (408) 204-1464.