The dust has almost settled. There are more pedestrians out and about. The Highway 89 Rehabilitation Project is close to its end. It’s all over but a few fixes and the landscaping.
Visitors and residents to downtown Greenville might notice wood chips in place and rock formations in the bulb-out planter areas. Now comes the next the phase. Planters and planter buddies.
The plants, according to the Streetscape Committee, should be salt and drought resistant plants that can live “happily” in a container. They’ve settled on a mix of native and non-native plants, which will probably be a mix of yarrow, lupines, local grasses and California poppies.
The planter areas will follow Caltrans rules for plants along highways.
While an object of ridicule to some, the planters and bulb-outs are designed to slow traffic down as motorists go through town. Traditionally, trucks especially, take the Main Street block much faster than what’s posted on the signs.
“It visually slows people down; makes the streets safer for pedestrians and other drivers,” said Streetscape Committee member LeeAnne Schramel of the bulb-outs and planters. Pedestrians now have specifically marked (and bright white) crosswalks throughout the downtown corridor and downtown businesses do report slower driving through the Main Street intersection.
The Community Services District and the Streetscape Committee are developing a planter buddy program with groups and businesses to keep the planter areas weeded, free from litter and watered when necessary.
They plan to roll out the planter buddy program in late fall when there is more moisture in the air and a better time to plant.
Money for this program so far has come from the committee and personal donors. They are also applying for grant funding.
Additional fine-tuning is ongoing, such as a few signs on the sidewalks at a couple of locations that now need to be moved for better wheelchair access.