The Downtown Master Plan is beginning to gain momentum. This past June, the City Council approved hiring an outside consultant Opticos Design
for $210,000 to aid in the creation of this plan. Two big projects that are already underway are the building of the new 8-story court house and the expansion of the Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) rail line to Modesto. ACE is a commuter train connecting the central valley to the Bay Area. Both of these projects – among many other economic prospects – have influenced the creation and push for the Downtown Master Plan to ensure that Modesto is positioned to experience their benefits.
Along with those two new major developments, the plan will focus on how to improve transportation downtown. The idea to revamp J Street is part of why transportation will be a big focus in this plan. The Opticos team has already begun their research on how to efficiently and effectively improve downtown transportation. The funding for this portion of the plan is coming from Measure L which is the half cent sales tax increase in our area.
Keep in mind that this plan is in its beginning stages. Right now the focus is on gathering stakeholders and listening to the Modesto community. On July 22 there will be an opportunity for the people of Modesto to come share their ideas and opinions about the downtown area and what is to come of it. The day will start at the McHenry Museum with a walking tour at 9am and then at 6pm there will be a Visioning Workshop.
It is both my and Director of Community & Economic Development Jaylen French’s belief that this plan can become a living document that will evolve and change with the growth and development of Modesto. So come out July 22 to the McHenry Museum and tell us what is important to you about downtown Modesto.