Thursday, November 21, 2013

Community and Job Transformation in Moreno Valley

It is beginning to look like a presidential election in the place "Where Dreams Soar". The Press Enterprise published a detailed story continuing the coverage of the contraverial issues that continue to plague the city. Stay tuned for an updated analysis on what's going in Moreno Valley.

On top of the big name issues addressed by residents, there are other goals like getting better high paying jobs into the city, getting rid of crime and gangs, and making the city streets safer. What could this smart growth look like? How can this be integrated into the existing community without disrupting the quality of life? Take a look a the photos below of Alessandro and Perris Boulevards, two of the major commercial corridors for the city.

Alessandro Boulevard Existing Conditions:

This is Alessandro Boulevard facing west. The area is very blighted and can use some attention. Bicycles lack a dedicated lane. The public sidewalk is very uninviting. The private properties are long overdue for investments. Renovations don't necessarily mean driving businesses elsewhere. Displacement of the existing businesses in the shopping center can also be minimal, allowing their owners to support revitalization efforts.

Alessandro Boulevard - Conceptual Future Vision:


In this concept, Alessandro is re-striped with street parking and a bicycle lane. The public sidewalk is beautified. Street lamps and palm trees are added and the sidewalk is colored which makes it more inviting.

Shopping Center Transformation: By designating existing commercial land areas of Alessandro Boulevard as specific plans, landowners can invest private capital into their properties, convert front parking lots into pedestrian plazas and develop multilevel parking structures in the back while keeping the displacement of existing businesses to a minimum. Note how the existing buildings can be renovated and expanded so that existing tenants are not driven out. The property can support a high paying job hub and a youth center as well as additional retail outlets. In this concept, a small fictitious local news outlet offers 100 skilled-based jobs.
 
Perris Boulevard at Cottonwood Existing Conditions:



Conceptual Future Vision:


Perris Boulevard can be a corridor "Where Dreams Soar." This concept adds pedestrian amenities, bike lanes, street parking, and shows an expansion of the Hometown Square shopping center. With proper land use zoning, investors can put private capital into Hometown Square and transform it into a true village center complete with an engineering firm (50 jobs) or other high paying job site.  Parking is underground or in the back; stores face the street. In addition, an existing open space is transformed into a park with a separate pedestrian bridge further down Perris Boulevard going into Hometown Square.

These simulations show how these two Moreno Valley commercial corridors can be revitalized, made safer and more livable with high paying local jobs on top of logistics. Urban sprawl is not the only choice Moreno Valley has!
 
Urban Design: The Transit Coalition

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