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Paseo Santa Fe Project in Vista was honored with an award from Circulate San Diego. Courtesy photo
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City of Vista project wins countywide award

VISTA — The city of Vista’s Paseo Santa Fe Project received a Circulate San Diego Momentum Award during an Oct. 25 ceremony at the San Diego History Museum. The awards identify projects within San Diego County that reflect a more vibrant community at various levels. 

Vista Councilman John Aguilera was on hand to receive the award.

Aguilera explained how the Paseo Santa Fe Project had been a vision for the city of Vista for more than 20 years.

“The completion of the first phase of the Streetscape Improvements Project has moved us closer to achieving our goal of creating a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly, shopping and dining district in our downtown core,” Aguilera said.

“Equally significant, the public investment in Paseo Santa Fe has helped generate new, private development in the area. “Thank you for recognizing the transformation of our community in our Paseo Santa Fe Project,” he said. “It is an honor to be recognized by Circulate San Diego for the work we have accomplished and to be among this select group of recipients.”

The Paseo Santa Fe Project is located along South Santa Fe Avenue, between Vista Village Drive and Civic Center Drive. The city adopted a visioning document named the Downtown Specific Plan, which included the Paseo Santa Fe Project and the movie theater area in downtown Vista.

Skip Hammann, a consultant project manager for the city of Vista, shared that the purpose of the visioning document was to help improve the economic viability and livability of the area.

There is a total of three phases.

“Phase one included the Gateway arch, the street improvements, upgrading and relocating existing underground infrastructure such as sewer water and storm drain facilities to be the master plans for those facilities,” he said.

According to Hammann, surface improvements consisted of enhanced landscaping and hardscaping to create a more walkable, livable street corridor to enhance all forms of transportation for pedestrians, bicycles and vehicles.

The construction of phase one took roughly two years and finished in June 2016.

Hammann went on to say that complete streets offer a different philosophy or approach to transportation. 

“In the past, transportation officials and professionals looked at the road corridors mainly just from the point of view of moving vehicles through the area as quick as possible with travel time as basically the criteria for evaluating the performance of these roadway corridors,” he said. “So now, with the shift to looking at complete streets, it takes a more holistic approach to viewing the success of a transportation corridor — instead of just looking at how fast vehicles move through a corridor, they also look at all modes of transportation.”

Phase two of the project is anticipated to start in December. Part of phase two extends from Ocean View Drive to Terrace Drive. A roundabout is planned at the current traffic signal located at Guajome and Terrace Drive.

Upgrades to sewer and water pipes are on the list as well as storm drain improvements, Hammann said. He also wants residents to know how overhead power lines and cables will be installed underground from Ocean View to Civic Center Drive. 

Construction of phase two is also anticipated to last a couple of years.

“The streetscape improvements are already benefitting the existing businesses and are attracting new development into the area,” Councilman Aguilera said when accepting the award. “This investment is already paying off with the Flying Pig, Belching Beaver Brewery and the other building renovations currently taking place in the downtown area. The next two phases will continue these efforts.”

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