The City of Concord will be installing a welded steel
fence on Todos Santos Plaza next year
and placing decorative arches over the entrances. City Council unanimously approved on Tuesday
using $124,650 from city’s Art in Public Places fund to bolster the project.
The fence itself is expected to cost about $75,000, according to public records. Those funds will come from the Landscape Maintenance District fund. The project has total budget of $199,650.
Concord resident Adam Foster says he loves the ideas of placing arches at the entrances to the park. But placing a fence in the park could have unforeseen impacts on downtown businesses.
“A city’s success hinges on the little projects it takes on and how those projects resonate with the public,” Foster said. “We need to be mindful that this is a pedestrian environment,” he said during a discussion of the project at the Sept. 3 Concord City Council meeting.
Councilmember Laura Hoffmeister acknowledged his
position and said the fences would be “a great enhancement.”
Mayor Dan Helix also supported the fences.
“Robert Frost says ‘good fences make good neighbors,’” Helix said, highlighting that the physical barrier would be good for the children who visit downtown. “Sometimes children get away from their parents and they go wandering. During concerts, cars on Willow Pass Road don’t slow down very much,” he said.
Foster, member of the Downtown Specific Plan Steering Committee, offered an alternative to the fences. “Landscaping or bushes is an alternative that wouldn’t be as permanent,” he said.
Councilmember Hoffmeister disagreed with the notion of replacing the fences with shrubbery. “I know it would take a while to mature and grow and it’s not a permanent barrier,” Hoffmeister said. “I’d hate to think of the kid who goes through a gap in the shrubbery and ends up on the street. Then the person sitting in the park can’t see that their kid is out on Willow Pass Road,” she said.
Ultimately the Council decided to move
forward with placing the fence at the edge of Todos Santos Plaza along Willow Pass
Road between Grant and Mount Diablo Streets. Two archways will be installed. One will be placed over the entrance at Mount
Diablo Street and Willow Pass Road. The
other will be placed at the entrance located at Grant Street and Willow Pass
Road, according to artists’ rendition of the project.
Contractors can start bidding on the project in about two weeks, according to a city staff report. Construction on the fences is scheduled to start in January 2014. The arches are scheduled for installation in February 2014. City staff says that the entire project should conclude before the start of the 2014 downtown events.
To see the archway designs and fence, look at the photos attached to these words.