The Grand Boulevard Initiative (GBI) recently received a state grant of nearly $350,000 to design improvements on El Camino Real in Redwood City and Palo Alto to improve safety and accessibility for all roadway users.

The Grand Boulevard Initiative (GBI) is a unique coalition of public agencies and organizations working to reinvent El Camino Real into a people-friendly boulevard where residents can live, shop, work and play.

The grant, awarded by Caltrans as part of its Sustainable Transportation Planning program, will improve portions of El Camino Real near the downtown areas of Redwood City and Palo Alto. Combined with a local funding contribution, the total improvement investments will be $394,300.

The improvements will include traffic calming measures, upgrades to pedestrian facilities, considerations for bicycles, and enhanced streetscape designs to make the area more livable for residents. The areas in Redwood City and Palo Alto were chosen based on their high opportunity to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety and access on El Camino Real. With the improvements, the GBI hopes to make the areas more socially and economically connected with their surrounding communities.

Conceptual design for the improvement projects will begin in late 2016.

The GBI has no binding resolutions, but its goal is to transform the Peninsula’s most important arterial into a pedestrian-friendly boulevard that hosts mixed-use, transit-oriented development.

The GBI includes cities, counties, transit agencies, labor, environmentalists, business, developers and community leaders in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. The San Mateo County Transit District staffs the Grand Boulevard Initiative with support from co-sponsors the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, City/County Association of Governments of San Mateo County, Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network, and San Mateo Economic Development Association.

El Camino Real is 43-mile stretch of state highway that connects San Mateo and Santa Clara counties in the Peninsula. To find out more about the GBI, visit


The Grand Boulevard is a collaboration of 19 cities, counties, local and regional agencies united to improve the performance, safety and aesthetics of El Camino Real. Starting at the northern Daly City city limit (where it is named Mission Street) and ending near the Diridon Caltrain Station in central San Jose (where it is named The Alameda), the initiative brings together for the first time all of the agencies having responsibility for the condition, use and performance of the street.

Will Reisman
Public Relations Specialist
O: (650) 508-7704
M: 415-420-0905


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