The Downtown Revitalization Project was initiated by the City of Sandpoint in December 2000 to engage the community in discussions about the future of its downtown. Efforts included pedestrian crossing safety improvements, improved lighting, the plaza and splash fountain at Jeff Jones Town Square, park improvements and the waterfront boardwalk and boat launch along Sand Creek. These improvements, coupled with private building investments and successful year-round events have given Sandpoint national recognition as one of “America’s Most Beautiful Small Towns” and “Best Places to Live,” and have established Downtown Sandpoint as the heart of the region.
A plan for future improvements known as The Downtown Streets Plan and Design Guide was published in December 2012 after a significant community input process that took place over a two-year period. The construction phase of this plan is now underway. Most of the funding for the final design and construction costs for the streets is being supported through the Sandpoint Urban Renewal Agency. Grant funding and other sources will be sought for the construction at Farmin’s Landing.
The City of Sandpoint will revise the way traffic operates in Downtown Sandpoint and include the complete reconstruction of First Avenue and Cedar Street in the downtown area. The current one-way traffic on First Avenue, Cedar Street, Pine and Church streets will change from one-way to two-way traffic with diagonal and/or parallel parking on each block. The revision also includes the removal of traffic signals at Second/Cedar; Pine/First; and Pine/Fifth. A new signal at Church and Fifth will be activated. The current date for the revision is the end of April 2017 after ITD finishes the Fifth Avenue project.
The City of Sandpoint in conjunction with Century West Engineering, the engineering firm contracted to manage and design the construction project, held a Public Open House on January 19 at the Columbia Bank Building, to provide an overview of the history of the project, review the traffic and parking revisions that will change many of the streets in the Downtown area to two-way traffic and provide diagonal and/or parallel parking on block faces. This revision will coincide with the completion of the Fifth Avenue project by the Idaho Transportation Department. Public input was also provided on the change to Church Street to two-way traffic with revised parallel and diagonal parking; and scheduling and design options for Phase I of the construction project to rebuild the street, sidewalks and other improvements on Cedar Street between Fifth and Second Avenues.
The second public open house was held February 23 from 4:30-6:30 PM on the second floor balcony of Columbia Bank Building, 414 Church Street in Sandpoint. The focus for this meeting was to show the public a refined design for the roadway improvements and streetscape on Cedar Street between Fifth and First Avenues. Streetscape for the Cedar Street includes landscaping, bike rack locations, and stormwater gardens. Approximately 73 people went through the exhibits and many provided input for the final design of the Phase 1 project, which will be constructed this summer and fall. Farmin’s Landing is the City-owned shoreline between Bridge Street Bridge and the Panida Theater along Sand Creek. The Final Design of the project, construction staging and detours, and Farmin’s Landing will be a focus of the third Public Open House tentatively scheduled for June 8, 2017 at the Columbia Bank Building. Our goal for the project will be to minimize impacts to the downtown businesses, community events and City Beach access during construction.