Concord Poised to Achieve Great Changes
Written by Joel Devalcourt, Regional Representative, East Bay, Greenbelt Alliance
Concord is poised to achieve great changes for its communities. Following on the heels of its visionary Concord Naval Weapons Station Reuse Plan, the City is already moving forward on One Bay Area Grant program-funded projects that will make streets downtown safer for walking and biking.
The Downtown Concord Specific Plan, which the City is currently developing, presents an opportunity to create a unique downtown that has new homes, more jobs, thriving businesses, and safer streets. While the current iteration of the plan includes several policies that improve safety for bikers and pedestrians, decreases reliance on parking, and provides connections to public transit and rich open spaces, Greenbelt Alliance and our Community Coalition for a Sustainable Concord partners believe the plan needs to be strengthened to create the vibrant downtown that residents deserve.
Struggling to compete regionally for investment, Concord needs to do more to help downtown thrive. For example, the City should ensure that safe and walkable streets are enlivened by new homes that are affordable to current and future residents at a range of income levels. The City can also work with BART to convert underutilized surface parking lots into equitable communities near quality jobs and transit.
The Community Coalition for a Sustainable Concord, along with Bike East Bay and the Monument Community Partnership / Michael Chavez Center, recently submitted a detailed comment letter of our recommendations to shape the plan for downtown Concord so that it lays the foundation for a safe and thriving neighborhood that residents can enjoy for decades to come. Read the letter here.
In order to achieve this vision, the City needs to encourage public participation from residents of downtown and adjacent communities by not rushing the planning process. Concord should also take full advantage of the upcoming opportunity on April 25 to hear recommendations from some of the Bay Area’s brightest planners, developers, architects, and economists. The Urban Land Institute is hosting this panel to detail the recommendations for creating a great community in downtown Concord. This special event is open to the public details forthcoming. If you are interested in attending, contact Joel Devalcourt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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