The City of Newman will host the second community workshop to present the updated Highway 33 reenvisioned plan on Nov. 10.

The community workshop will be held virtually and will focus on an overview of the efforts thus far to update the corridor running through Newman. The workshop will also be a recap of the results from previous community outreach efforts, and present the Preferred Highway Corridor Concept, based on feedback received from previous outreach efforts.

The Preferred Highway Corridor Concept includes bike, pedestrian, and parking related improvements and beautification.

The City of Newman has been awarded a California Department of Transportation Grant to update the 1996 Newman Highway 33 Specific Plan document. The Specific Plan document acts as a planning tool to guide future development along the Highway 33 corridor for the next 20 years. The plan creates a vision for the corridor and gives developers and property owners an idea of the overall aesthetic.

The update effort will address land use and City growth patterns, include new and current projects along the Highway 33 corridor, and will focus on pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicular transportation improvements. These improvements will address transit needs, safety and lighting issues, intersections, as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

From the first workshop in April and subsequent surveys, the majority of the respondents favored a multi-use path in the first segment, from E. Stuhr Road to Sherman Parkway, rather than a bicycle route with wide shoulders. Workshop attendees and those responding to the survey said the multi-use option seemed to be a safer option that put some distance from the heavy traffic on Highway 33.

For segment 2, from Sherman Parkway to Yolo Street, the majority of the respondents said they again a multi-use path along the railroad right-of-way with a buffer between the path and Highway 33, as opposed to a multi-use path along Highway 33 with a paved buffer between path and highway.

For segment 3, which extends from Yolo Street to Inyo Street, respondents were asked if they prefer parking next to the curb, or a bike lane next to curb, or lastly no parking and wider sidewalks. Thirty-eight percent opted for the bike lane next to curb, with the other two options getting 25 percent of the votes each. The remaining 13 percent had other write-in ideas. Because the vote was so close, other options for this segment will continue to be considered.

In the fourth segment from Inyo to the southern City limit line, respondents were asked if they preferred a bicycle lane with wide shoulders, or a bicycle lane with wide shoulders and a striped buffer, or a separated multi-use path. Ninety percent preferred the multi-use path, while 10 percent wanted the wide shoulders with a striped buffer. One person, who liked the wide shoulders with a striped buffer option, said “there’s no point in putting a multi-use path out to nowhere.”

In regards to beautification, the responses were split on whether or not Newman should have additional gateways signs in key locations. Of those that attended the first workshopon Zoom, 71 percent said no other gateway signs were needed and 29 percent wanted to see more at key locations. In a survey after the workshop, 45 percent said no other gateway signs were needed and 55 percent said newman should have more gateway signs in various spots. 

The majority of respondents did want to see more directional signage off Highway 33 to guide people to key destinations. They also voted in favor of new paving and crosswalk enhancements in key locations.

In the Zoom workshop, 75 percent of respondents wanted to see utility box art, while in the survey after the workshop, 53 percent said they did not want any art on utility boxes.

The majority of respondents in both forums were in favor of adding more planters and hanging baskets at key locations near downtown along the corridor.

Most of the respondents want to see bike racks included in the plan, but were split on whether they should have a traditional look or a more artistic look. 

The second workshop will start at 6 p.m. Nov. 10. It will be held virtually, but the City of Newman has not yet stated what platform will be used or posted any relevant links. Visit http://www.cityofnewman.com/news-and-information.html for link information for the workshop.