3rd Street Bridge – Gateway Transformation
Greet Visitors with New 3rd St Gateway
The Third Street bridge is perhaps Downtowns largest piece of infrastructure, providing much needed safety improvement and allowing the construction of the Oxnard Transportation Center and it’s train platform, but disrupts the simple downtown street pattern and does not make any particularly positive contributions to the design character of the Downtown.
Yet the bridge marks the north entry to the heart of Downtown, forming literally a “gateway” through which visitors enter. With the addition of some simple graphic devices and signage, it can provide a strong branding and identity statement that you have arrived in Downtown. An illustration of one possible design it provided on the right, with a landscaped median extended
northward from the bridge, with palms in it and on both sides of the street to emphasize this important gateway.
The open space on the right, immediately north of the bridge, is the parking lot for the Oxnard Public Library, and a wide area that could be landscaped abuts the Boulevard. As travel speeds on the Boulevard are moderated, a direct entry to the library (either in-only or right-in, right-out) might be added, giving the library a new address on the Boulevard.
At the scale of the pedestrian, a stair from the bridge descends to the ground on the left (east) side of the Boulevard, and additional landscaping could make this a more pleasant route for pedestrians. Some potential for a mid-block crosswalk – with appropriate striping, lighting and signals – may also exist here, connecting the train station, the library, and the bridge.
A sidewalk might also be extended from the library along the north side of the library parking lot, so a potential outdoor dining area that could be developed if the existing auto service building were to transition to retail or restaurant use in the future. Casual observation of the library parking lot suggests that it is rarely full, particularly in the evening, and higher levels of activity here might be possible if that parking could be shared with new businesses.
Finally, simple paint and signage improvements to buildings here could add a great deal to the image of Downtown, as they could all along the Boulevard.