A rendering of the 14th Street promenade. Courtesy of the city

In an effort to create more green space in urban areas, San Diego began work this week on the first of six “promenades” planned throughout downtown.

The first will extend for 11 city blocks along 14th Street, from C Street to Commercial Street, in the East Village. Addition promenades will be will be located along Eighth Avenue, Cedar Street, E Street, Island Avenue and Union Street.

“These promenades will create a more welcoming, open and walkable downtown while planning for the population to more than double there over the next 20 years,” said Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer. “Providing more mobility options and access to parks and green space helps us achieve our climate action goals and supports the economic vitality of this prominent neighborhood and our entire city.”

Construction on the 14th Street Promenade will begin between G and Market streets by removing one vehicle lane and eight parking spaces on the east side and expanding the sidewalk. Additional improvements include better lighting and a double row of trees and landscaping.

The promenade will feature industrial artifacts donated by the family of late East Village pioneer Bob Sinclair and panels showing historical images of the neighborhood.

The loss of existing on-street parking will be offset by the creation of additional angled spaces replacing parallel parking on several streets. A 185-space underground parking garage is also planned for the future East Village Green park.

“Promenades, when designed thoughtfully, can increase economic activity and public opportunities within our communities,” said City Councilmember Chris Ward, who represents the area. “These promenades are a central feature of the Downtown Mobility Plan and overall efforts to invest in walkable neighborhoods connected to our open spaces and parks.”

The mobility plan was approved by the City Council in 2016 to transform downtown San Diego into a world-class urban center while supporting the city’s Climate Action Plan. By 2040, downtown’s population is expected to grow from about 38,000 to 90,000 people, with a majority of residential units planned for East Village.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.