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Frequently Asked Questions


What is the Grand Boulevard Initiative?

How will the Grand Boulevard Initiative benefit our communities?

What is the El Camino Real "Corridor"?

Why El Camino Real?

How will the Grand Boulevard Initiative help communities maintain their unique identities?

How will the Grand Boulevard Initiative benefit the environment?

How will the Grand Boulevard Initiative impact our local economy?

How does the Grand Boulevard Initiative work?

How will the Grand Boulevard Initiative projects affect traffic along El Camino Real?

How will new housing development affect traffic and congestion?

What is the Grand Boulevard Initiative?

The Grand Boulevard Initiative supports work to make El Camino more friendly to the people who live and work along it, from Daly City to San Jose. The Grand Boulevard Initiative aims to help El Camino Real match the creativity and high quality of life that Peninsula communities are so proud of.

We are creating people friendly places, through projects like safer sidewalks and crosswalks, parks and green spaces, improved transportation options, and reasonably-priced home and apartment development. The Grand Boulevard Initiative is working to create beautiful and accessible destinations along El Camino Real, so it can be a place people come to enjoy, rather than just a highway.

How will the Grand Boulevard Initiative benefit our communities?

The Grand Boulevard Initiative supports work to make the El Camino corridor more friendly to the people who live and work here: Parents. Kids. Commuters. Homeowners. Local businesses.

El Camino improvements are making it safer and easier for people to walk and bike to school or the store, easier for people to get to and from work and easier for people to live close to where they work and play. And as communities add new shops, restaurants and parks along El Camino Real, it’s becoming a destination full of places to see and explore—not just a thruway.

Projects we support will help Peninsula residents and visitors commute without sitting in gridlocked traffic, walk to restaurants, shop locally, and enjoy all our communities have to offer.

Learn more and get involved: http://grandboulevard.net/friends.html

What is the El Camino Real "Corridor"?

The "El Camino Real Corridor" includes the 43-mile stretch of the El Camino Real roadway between Daly City and downtown San Jose as well as the ½-mile area of surrounding streets and neighborhoods on either side of the roadway.

Why El Camino Real?

The Peninsula is like no place on earth. Our positive spirit is matched by a high quality of life. But the El Camino Real does not currently live up to those standards—it is sorely out of date. El Camino Real was built a hundred years ago to be a thruway, first for wagons and later cars. Today, even though it passes through the heart of so many Peninsula communities, El Camino is pretty inhospitable to people. We can change that. The Grand Boulevard Initiative will help make more of what our communities need and love: vibrant neighborhoods, a thriving business community, and a strong system of public transportation.

How will the Grand Boulevard Initiative help communities maintain their unique identities?

It is up to each individual city to implement the Grand Boulevard Initiative in the ways that best serve their community. According to local needs, projects will vary. Each of the 19 cities along El Camino Real adopted its own plan with input from community members. Project decisions are all made locally, even though the guiding vision—of people friendly places—serves as the common spirit behind each city’s effort.

As important as any other goal of the Grand Boulevard initiative is the effort to help communities draw on what they are already proud of, so that the unique local flavor of each community can continue to stand out. The Grand Boulevard Initiative aims to help the bright spots in each community shine even brighter, while creating new points of pride for the future.

How will Grand Boulevard Initiative benefit the environment?

People friendly places are healthier places for many reasons, including helping people be more active, as well as improving air quality. When people can easily get around on foot, bike or bus, they’ll rely less on their cars. Fewer cars in the road mean cleaner air and reduced emissions. Greater access to new parks and green spaces means that kids, parents, residents and pet owners will have more attractive, convenient places to enjoy fresh air and sunshine.

How will the Grand Boulevard Initiative impact our local economy?

People friendly places mean a more prosperous future for our communities. The kinds of walkable and bike-friendly communities that the Grand Boulevard Initiative supports will result in a stronger customer base for local businesses, increased access to businesses, as well as a stronger pool of employees who will be able to live and shop locally. People friendly communities near big companies will make it easier to recruit top talent and reduce job turnover.

Walkable and bike-friendly neighborhoods near businesses, restaurants, and green spaces are great for home values in our communities.

Plus, new consumer and tax money means more resources for community improvement. Reducing sprawl also has the benefit of reducing the need to build costly new infrastructure—consider the costs and long term benefits of a massive highway overpass lane addition project, versus a new apartment community near an existing train station.

How does the Grand Boulevard Initiative work?

The Grand Boulevard Initiative is a team effort. Our team includes local government leaders, business groups, and nonprofit organizations dedicated to making the El Camino corridor more people friendly. Everyone involved in the initiative participates on a voluntary basis.

The Grand Boulevard Task Force is the main policy-making body for the Initiative. The Task Force is made up of elected officials from each city and county along the roadway, developers, private businesses, labor groups, and representatives of government agencies like transit and regional planning agencies. The leaders of our Task Force are the General Manager of the San Mateo County Transit District and the president of Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network. The Grand Boulevard is a voluntary coalition, not a legal entity. All decision-making rests with member organizations (individual cities, counties, and other participating government agencies). The Grand Boulevard Initiative is not a top-down organization—action happens on the local level.

How will the Grand Boulevard Initiative projects affect traffic along El Camino Real?

Traffic is a real problem, but as the Grand Boulevard Initiative vision continues to come to life, the burden of traffic on El Camino Real will reduce. Right now, El Camino Real is very car-centric, mostly out of necessity for the people who live and work along it. People drive because it is convenient, and because other options (like public transportation, walking, or biking) are either unsafe or inaccessible.

As more Grand Boulevard Initiative projects are implemented, biking and walking will become safer options, and public transportation will become faster and more convenient. Once walking, biking, and public transportation are safe and easy options for residents and commuters who are looking for alternatives to driving, we’ll see fewer cars on the road, less congestion, and cleaner air (especially during peak traffic times).

How will new housing development affect traffic and congestion?

In Peninsula communities, lack of reasonably-priced housing options is a major issue that has led to increased local and regional traffic congestion and reduced air quality.

Grand Boulevard Initiative projects are working to make it easier for people to live closer to the places they work. Nobody wants a long commute, but right now most people who live in the Peninsula are forced to commute (mostly by car) to other places in order to work, and most people employed in Peninsula communities have to commute in from other places.

The Grand Boulevard Initiative aims to help create more local jobs, as well as develop reasonably-priced housing options, so that the teachers, librarians, restaurant hosts, and clothing store attendants we interact with every day are able to call these communities home as well. With more reasonably priced housing options close by, and new job opportunities at thriving local businesses, we can gradually reduce commute times and traffic congestion.

New home and apartment developments will be have easy access to transportation, helping reduce commute times and keep cars off the roads, resulting in cleaner air and a more sustainable future for our children.
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