How Infrastructure Improvements Spur Economic Development

A formerly underutilized corridor in Citrus Heights, California is being transformed into a vibrant, walkable street—and stimulating economic growth in the process.

2 minute read

February 22, 2022, 7:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

An article from the California League of Cities highlights the successes of Citrus Heights, a town in the Sacramento area where "City officials embrace a transportation philosophy known as complete streets, meaning that mobility for all users, including transit users, pedestrians, and cyclists, is incorporated into infrastructure projects, along with greenhouse emission goals."

As the article states, "Investments in local infrastructure can yield benefits that extend far beyond the curb. A 2021 report found that upcoming spending on federal, state, and local infrastructure will generate nearly $200 billion in economic activity in California alone." Citrus Heights provides an example of how local investments generate further investment and economic development. 

For starters, the number of conflict points, such as fewer left-hand turns, has been reduced, which lowered the area’s crash rate by 9%. Travel lanes are also narrower, and the roadway was constructed with the extra protection of vertical curbs, which also reduces the likelihood of a crash.

Additionally, the medians and sidewalks are lined with trees, providing much-needed shade for pedestrians and cyclists, as well as a barrier from oncoming traffic. Utility wires have been placed underground, reducing the number of sidewalk obstructions for pedestrians.

According to the article, the infrastructure improvements along the city's Auburn Boulevard have spurred $23 million in new investment and new businesses, creating hundreds of jobs. The article praises Citrus Heights for its commitment to encouraging infill development and making improvements to pedestrian and bike infrastructure that "provide a sense of community vibrancy that has really been lacking in this corridor."

Wednesday, February 16, 2022 in California League of Cities

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