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Artesia ‘Pioneer Pedestrian-Oriented Median Project’ Moving Forward

Artesia project

Artist’s rendition of the proposed “Pioneer Pedestrian-Oriented Median Project” to include outdoor bazaars, coffee shops and carousels where people will shop, dine and enjoy local entertainment.











By Rico Dizon

Imagine a “new” Downtown Artesia along Pioneer Blvd. from 183rd Street to the north flowing to 186th Street to the south with a wide promenade consisting of outdoor bazaars, coffee shops and carousels where people will shop, dine and enjoy local entertainment.

This is the “Pioneer Pedestrian-Oriented Median Project” Artesia City Manager William Rawlings told HMG-CN that he “is extremely excited about.” Rawlings was hired as a full-time city manager late last year after serving 6 months in interim capacity.

“It is a very exciting project that has a high potential of improving the quality of life for Artesia residents,” noted the City Manager. “Making this part of Pioneer Boulevard more pedestrian-friendly has been the majority choice of the City Council, the business community, and the residents from the previous meetings.”

This project that was interrupted more than two years ago has recently resurfaced in the priority list of the City Council due to the return of funding to the Successor Agency of the Artesia Redevelopment Agency (ARA) that amounts to about $5 million.

“This time, we have a more engaged and focused City Council that is ready to move the project forward,” said Rawlings. “As soon as the project gets the go-signal from the City Council, our City Attorney Kevin Ennis estimates it will take 90 days to finalize all the paperwork and legal proceedings. “So I think we have from 6 to 7 months starting this spring or summer to implement the plan and schedule it for completion by the end of 2014,” he explained.
Implementing the project would mean reducing the four-vehicular lane into two lanes; installing a 33-ft. median on Pioneer Boulevard south of 183rd Street with landscaping, fountains, streetscapes and overhead shades; widening the existing sidewalk to 20 ft; installing a 6ft wide median and crosswalk between 186th  Street and 187th  Street; installing variable width landscaped medians between 187th and 188th Streets; and demolishing the bulb-outs and exchanging them for 24 curbside parking stalls from a combined tandem and angled parking scheme.

Presented by Deputy City Manager Justine Menzel during the last Council Meeting, the   uniqueness of the new Artesia Downtown project is expected to attract new shoppers and visitors alike to the business corridors of Pioneer Boulevard and South Street that will provide additional tax revenue for the City. The proposed plan aims to transform downtown Artesia into a vibrant and unique open air shopping, dining and entertaining with international theme for the benefit of residents and merchants alike.
“With the fresh and brand-new image of Artesia, coupled with enticing business incentives like the existing ‘new restaurant incentive program’ and the newly-proposed ‘property consolidation incentive scheme’ offered by the City, we foresee a more vigorous business atmosphere that will make Artesia an irresistible place to invest,” concluded Rawlings.

Another project update is set by the City Council for March 10 at 5:00 P.M.