Main Street Makeover

The makeover of Main Street, between Second and Third streets, has begun.  The sidewalks will be widened for outside dining, eliminating on-street parking.

The makeover of Main Street between Second and Third streets roared into high gear this week, with workers ripping out the old sidewalk in front of the row of restaurants facing Veterans Memorial Park.

Over the next three months, the block will be reconfigured into a more pedestrian-friendly thoroughfare, with the sidewalk doubled in width to accommodate outdoor dining. The city hopes to accomplish the bulk of the work by mid-March so the street can be reopened to traffic. Businesses remain open during construction.

Napa plans to spend $1.7 million on the block’s reconstruction. Besides getting a wider sidewalk, the street’s “hump” will be eliminated, creating a level pass-through.

The street is often closed for special events centered at Veterans Memorial Park, with food vendors setting up on Main Street.

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Street parking is being eliminated — a total of 17 spaces — which will require some motorists to park farther away. A truck loading zone will be built in the center of the street to serve the adjacent businesses.

Craig Smith, executive director of the Napa Downtown Association, said the reconfigured block will be a good thing for the central business district. “It will create a place where people want to be,” he said.

One of the project’s novel features will be the “pedestrian scramble” at the intersection of Main and Second. Traffic signals will turn red at the same time, allowing pedestrians to cross the intersection in any direction while vehicles are stopped.

To ease traffic congestion, left-turn lanes will be built at both Main and Second and at Main and Third.

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City Editor

Kevin has been city editor since September 2010. He joined the Register in 1973 as a reporter. He covered Napa City Hall and assorted other beats over the years. Kevin has been writing his Napa Journal column on Sundays since 1989.