The launch of the ConnectOrinda project – formerly known as the Downtown Orinda Streetscape Master Plan – will take place in an outdoor community celebration on Saturday, Oct. 13, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. in Library Plaza. Orinda residents can join in on this open-house-style event any time.
ConnectOrinda is a city-led process to work with the community to identify streetscape and transportation projects that beautify, improve travel through and preserve the uniqueness of downtown Orinda. The objectives of ConnectOrinda are:
• Connect the two sides of downtown for all users;
• Support future pedestrian access along San Pablo Creek;
• Preserve Orinda’s unique sense of place;
• Beautify downtown Orinda;
• Build consensus for the final plan through robust community engagement; and
• Produce grant-eligible projects that can be funded.
The Oct. 13 event will feature free refreshments and walking tours to give interested residents and business-owners a chance to discuss particular locations with the project team. There will also be a downtown-themed scavenger hunt to engage children and highlight some of the hidden gems in the Village, Theatre District and area in between, and opportunities all day to discuss ideas for improving Orinda’s downtown with city staff and their consultant team. People can also share their ideas via an online survey, which includes general questions and an interactive map (http://connectorindasurvey.fehrandpeers.net).
Following the Oct. 13 launch, the City will install two or three “pop-ups”: temporary, experimental demonstration projects that will let the public experience and the City evaluate some ideas suggested at the launch. The project team will distill the feedback received at the launch, responses to the project survey and feedback about the pop-ups into three-to-five sets of projects that represent the range of ideas that the public suggested. These sets of projects will be presented at a community workshop in early 2019.
The final stage of ConnectOrinda will combine the public’s responses to the sets of projects presented at the workshop into a single set of recommendations for the Village, Theatre District and connections between them and the BART station. The project team will present this vision to the community at the third and final Connect Orinda event in late spring 2019 and solicit the public’s final suggested tweaks to the recommended package of projects.
Visit www.cityoforinda.org/connectorinda for more information about the project and for opportunities to get involved and submit your ideas.
Drummond Buckley is the planning director for the City of Orinda and Victoria Eisen is ConnectOrinda consulting project manager.