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Smart Street Modifications Lead to a Revitalized Downtown
An $11.5 million project to transform nine-blocks of Lancaster Boulevard, running through the heart of the city of Lancaster, California's downtown continues to pay dividends with new businesses, economic development and crowds of people helping to revitalize the area. Writing in the Congress for New Urbanism's Public Square Journal, Robert Steuteville reports that the dramatic changes to its primary downtown thoroughfare - reducing five lanes of traffic to two, divided by "a wide, tree-shaded public ramblas" down the middle of the busiest blocks and angles parking occupying other areas.
The design, with its unusual tree-lined ramblas that is perfect for festivals, farmer’s markets, or just hanging out, was a key element in the success of the project, [deputy city manager Jason Caudle] says. The public sector outreach was also important, as was private sector support.
Steuteville reports that the investment in the street improvements has resulted in $130 million in new private investment in the city's downtown and $273 million in economic output. The project was designed by Pasadena firm Moule & Polyzoides.