City eyes Freedom Blvd. improvements


Public input sought at meeting

WATSONVILLE — Vehicle-friendly Freedom Boulevard is one of the busiest streets in Watsonville, but for those hoping to traverse it by bike or on foot, they may find themselves in a precarious position.

That is most apparent on the section of the boulevard between Green Valley Road and Buena Vista Drive, where sidewalks are inconsistent and bike lanes are narrow in some areas, if there are any at all.

On Tuesday, city officials will hold a meeting to gather input from the public on what future improvements they would like to see on that stretch of Freedom Boulevard. The input will then be implemented into a plan that will be up for approval by the Watsonville City Council, according to Principal Engineer Murray Fontes.

Once the plan is approved, city staff will then seek funding for construction.

Fontes said many cities across the nation, including Watsonville, are moving forward with what are known as “complete streets,” which provide adequate facilities for cars, bikes, pedestrians, buses and more.

“The goal is for streets to focus on all of these groups, and not just cars,” he said.

Fontes said the city is hoping to hear from everyone affected by the project, such as businesses and property owners as well as residents who use it frequently.

The work is part of an overall project to repair the crumbling Freedom Boulevard. In late 2017, crews reconstructed the road between Broadis Street and Alta Vista Avenue.

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The Freedom Boulevard project community meeting is scheduled for Tuesday from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Watsonville Civic Plaza Community Room, 275 Main St., fourth floor. For information, call Fontes at 768-3117 or email [email protected]

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