Left to right cutting the ceremonial ribbon opening the Green Street Alley are: Rochelle Margolin, Suzi Skutley, Ginger Gherardi, Debbie Johnson, Vice-Mayor Ray Luna, Mayor Rick Cook, Cliff Finley, City Councilmember Mary Ann Krause, Norm Wilkinson, and Clara Behrens. Photo by Don Johnson

Downtown Green Street Alley opened with ribbon cutting

November 01, 2006
Green Street Alley transformed into welcome stroll to Main Street
Santa Paula News
By Peggy Kelly Santa Paula TimesAt night the attractive vintage lights, vine entwined pergolas, trees, seating areas and bubbling fountain are even more inviting, but it was broad daylight when the Green Street Alley project was dedicated.And it looked just as good to the dozens of people drawn to the celebration of Santa Paula’s latest Downtown improvement.For years the then undedicated alley linking the South Alley parking lot with Main Street located just east of 8th Street, was “In horrible shape,” noted Mayor Cook. “In those days it was only a dream,” to transform the alley into a welcoming stroll connecting downtown merchants with off-street parking.Cook noted that with the help of Ventura County Transportation Executive Director Ginger Gherardi and city staff funding was secured for the $473,500 project, first identified in the 1996 Downtown Plan.“…there was great support from the Council,” to finally complete the project he noted, an effort that benefits the community overall as well as downtown merchants.“With the opening of this and the South Paseo, the major projects identified in the plan have been completed,” said Cook.Vice Mayor Ray Luna and Councilwoman Mary Ann Krause also attended the ribbon cutting of what could almost be considered a gift to the city.“This project’s funding primarily was federal dollars set aside specifically to enhance pedestrian traffic to get people out of their cars,” said Public Works Director/City Engineer Cliff Finley. “Now they can park and feel comfortable walking up the path,” leading to Main Street that before was riddled with potholes and trash.
“This wouldn’t have been possible without Ginger,” Finley noted.“I’m really pleased that this project was brought to the VCTC,” by former City Engineer Norm Wilkinson, said Gherardi. “Cliff made it happen…and as a resident of Santa Paula I think it’s wonderful!”The project took about three months to complete: “We’ve got plenty of seating and the project also provides the opportunity for the business” located immediately east of the parking lot entry area to do something with its open space if desired said Finley.Pacific Coast Land Design is “real artists,” he added as several pedestrians walked along admiring the alley’s transformation.Police Chief Steve MacKinnon said SPPD Officers will be regularly patrolling the area and safety features include lights and soon to be placed surveillance cameras.Although there’s not a crime problem in the downtown area such safeguards will encourage use of the pathway, Chief MacKinnon added.The major funding, $355,351, was from a Federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grant obtained with the assistance of the VCTC. The city’s Redevelopment Agency contributed about $50,000 and a state Traffic Congestion grant and Gas Tax funds provided the balance needed for the project.

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