• Place type

    Corridors (directly related)

  • Location

    Livermore, California

  • Site

    First Street corridor

  • Program

    Streetscape improvements, town green, road narrowing

In 1960 First Street, Livermore’s main street, was designated a state highway. Its 4 lanes became congested with car and truck traffic and local businesses suffered. Crossing the street on foot was challenging. In 2004, the city wrote a new downtown plan that called for returning First Street to its traditional Main Street status. It called for ambitious streetscape improvements, including complete reconstruction of 1,700 linear feet of First Street, portions of side streets and 3 major intersections. The city also identified a parallel arterial to be the permanent detour route for through traffic formerly traveling on First Street. To improve pedestrian experiences and reinvigorate the city’s downtown, the city narrowed the street to 2 travel lanes. Space formerly devoted to outside lanes and parallel parking became diagonal parking (increasing total parking available) and extra rows of street trees. Other improvements included a series of trellises and information kiosks, a plaza, benches, planters, landscaping, and outdoor eating areas. The style of the design elements, such as the trellises, draws on Livermore’s wine culture. Ongoing public outreach and communication with local merchants was essential to the project’s success. Since the improvements, First Street has received significant new investment in downtown housing, retail, and entertainment venues.