The Coast News Group
Oceanside Transit Center pedestrian tunnel
The pedestrian tunnel at the Oceanside Transit Center will soon have an artistic makeover. Photo by Samantha Nelson

Caltrans awards grant for transit center pedestrian tunnel art

OCEANSIDE — The California Department of Transportation has awarded the North County Transit District a $144,000 grant for a public art project and enhanced security features in the Oceanside Transit Center pedestrian tunnel.

NCTD will use the funding from Caltrans’ Clean California Local Grant Program to make the tunnel more welcoming and aesthetically pleasing while also improving its safety and overall experience for those who use it.

“Beautifying public spaces with art has been shown to increase safety and security, improve the customer experience, create a sense of place, deter vandalism, and enhance livability for residents,” said NCTD Board Chair and Solana Beach Council Member Jewel Edson. “This project will not only bring significant benefits to transit riders; it will also provide local residents with a cool, new area to enjoy and be proud of.”

NCTD is working with MainStreet Oceanside, a local non-profit, to develop a request for proposals to procure an artist through an in-depth community engagement process. The selected artist will then create a mural along the stairway and ramps of the tunnel’s entryway.

“This tunnel project represents a wonderful collaboration with the local neighborhood, MainStreet Oceanside and NCTD to create a community-inspired representation of Oceanside’s unique history and diverse culture while increasing the space’s desirability and enjoyment for both locals and visitors,” said Jane Marshall, president of the Oceanside Coastal Neighborhood Association and design committee liaison for MainStreet Oceanside.

In addition to the new mural, the grant funding will be used to install cameras, speakers and other security improvements to increase pedestrian safety. Both the art and the new security features will aid in discouraging vandalism within the tunnel.

The total project cost for the Oceanside pedestrian tunnel is estimated to be approximately $231,000.

Oceanside Transit Center is the main transit hub of North County, which represents the intersection of SPRINTER hybrid rail, COASTER commuter rail, Amtrak, Metrolink and BREEZE buses.

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