W00t! The Mercury News reports that the San Jose Department of Transportation has been awarded a $3.1 million dollar grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to work on improving The Alameda! The city will begin implementing The Alameda: A Plan for “The Beautiful Way” which was developed in the series of community meetings which my friend Elena and I enjoyed participating in over the past year.

Work will begin on Phase One of the plan which calls for widening sidewalks, planting a raised median, creating safer pedestrian access, and generally beautifying and unifying the character of the “Town Center,” the southern stretch of mostly commercial buildings from Fremont Street down to the train  tracks. The goal is to enhance The Alameda’s appeal as a hip, strollable destination that showcases San Jose’s charm and history.

CIMG0164Elena and I go way back to her freshman orientation at Stanford my senior year. She recently moved to San Jose and quickly came to appreciate The Alameda, especially its casual and fine dining. At the community meetings she offered many thoughtful suggestions such as making it safer for bicyclists, and catering to families with young children the way Lincoln Avenue in Willow Glen has done. Me on the other hand…well my best suggestion was to save the historic El Camino bell marker. Um, that was before I even realized there are three bells on The Alameda, not one. Gold star for trying.

This is exciting news for the community and it will be fun to watch all the planning become a Beautiful reality.

What are your favorite spots on The Alameda? What’s your opinion of controversial features like the Hester Avenue pedestrian underpass, Babe the giant muffler guy, and the Race Street billboard? Should they stay or should they go? Have you ever crossed The Alameda on foot at any of the crosswalks without traffic lights, or does your life insurance policy prohibit it?

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