Last week, the Redwood City Planning Commission unanimously endorsed The El Camino Corrdior Plan, which aims to improve travel and business along the city’s main thoroughfare. The plan was launched by City Council in January of 2016, and took form over 6 public meetings led by a 10-member citizens advisory panel. It prioritizes improving all forms of travel along El Camino- car, bike, public, and foot – without removing any existing car lanes, and calls for additional ground floor retail and affordable housing.
The recommendations for improving transportation include: adding a bike lane separated by a barrier from vehicles (which would involve removing some street parking), making sidewalks continuous, and adding more trees and pedestrian lights along the street for better walkability.
While the plan doesn’t currently call for any zoning amendments that would allow taller buildings, the El Camino corridor could be an ideal location for the higher density housing that many people feel Redwood City needs in order to adequately address demand for rental units. The ease of access to public transit along El Camino has the potential to mitigate some of the traffic concerns higher density housing can bring, especially after improvements are made to the corridor to facilitate smoother travel.
The Planning Commission’s recent endorsement of the El Camino Corridor Plan is not an official approval. It will be brought to City Council on December 4th for official consideration and possible adoption.