Businesses, property owners to meet over J Street

The Downtown Modesto Partnership plans to talk with J Street businesses and property owners Tuesday over potential changes that could make the street better for those who do business along it and use it.

The meeting starts at 2:30 p.m. at the Kirk Lindsey Center, 1020 10th St. Partnership CEO Josh Bridegroom said the meeting will focus on J Street businesses and property owners, but the public can attend. He said the partnership plans to hold at least one meeting for the public.

Modesto has $1.5 million in federal funds to repave J Street from Ninth to 17th streets. Bridegroom said as part of that effort the partnership is taking the lead on soliciting public input on potential modifications to the street. One suggestion is for angled parking along part of the street to provide more parking.

He said J acts as a main street for downtown with plenty of restaurants, stores and other businesses lining it, but the street itself gets lots of fast-moving traffic, much of it trying to reach Highway 99. Bridegroom said there also will be an effort to look at other funding sources to pay for other improvements along the street, if there is consensus for them.

He said he expects any potential changes to come to the City Council for approval. For instance, the council recently approved angled parking along a stretch of Eighth Street at the request of a business owner. The council resolution for that request said Modesto’s Municipal Code authorizes the council to establish angled parking.

City Engineer Vickey Dion said in an email Modesto expects to secure the $1.5 million in federal funds in spring or summer 2017 for the repaving and similar work, such as upgrading curbs to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. She expects the work would start in fall 2017. “We are awaiting feedback from the upcoming community meetings before we begin the design,” she said.