The Vision Sonora design and marketing subcommittee has unveiled proposed changes to the eastern section of Linoberg Street if leaders decide to close it off to vehicles permanently or periodically.
A public meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday at City Hall, 94 N. Washington St., where the full Vision Sonora Committee will consider making a recommendation to the Sonora City Council on the proposed changes to East Linoberg Street between South Washington and South Stewart streets, as well as whether the section should be permanently closed to vehicles or turned into a convertible street.
“The design was put together based upon the historical character of downtown Sonora,” said Mayor Connie Williams, chairwoman of both the Vision Sonora Committee and design subcommittee. “That’s always been very important to this committee.”
As proposed, both designs would provide zig-zagging overhead lighting along the length of the short street. There would also be a brick entryway and murals adorning the wall on the south side of the street.
Shade would be added through the addition of trees in planters if the street was closed to vehicles permanently, while the convertible would have an overhead shade structure that could be driven under.
Notably absent is the “Linoberg Paseo” sign facing South Washington Street in earlier renderings created by consultants as part of the Vision Sonora Plan, which the council approved in 2013 to improve mobility and aesthetics in the downtown area.
Williams said the core design team included Laurie Lehmann, Connie O’Connor, Lisette Sweetland, Jan Huzen, Betty Hobbs, Judy Grossman, Sarah Rogers Nesper, Lauren Hoffman, Charles Segerstrom, Mary Jo Stanley, and Sharon Marovich.
All of those who participated are volunteers.
There hasn’t been a cost analysis conducted to determine the estimated price tag for the proposed changes in either case. Williams said the cost would be determined at a later date if the council ultimately decides to pursue the project.
“If something gets approved, whatever it may be, we’ll start looking for funding,” Williams said, before adding, “or maybe there is a community member out there who would like to help us.”
The proposal to shut down the street has divided some of the community.
A large crowd attended a public meeting in September when the council accepted a study completed earlier in the year that concluded there would little impact to traffic in the downtown area by closing off the street to vehicles.
Some were opposed because of concerns about traffic and felt there were better ways for the city spend taxpayer money.
Others supported the project because they believed it will bring more people to downtown by having more places to sit outside and host events, including one of the owners of the Sonora Tap Room, which is the only business with an entrance on that section of Linoberg Street.
Contact Alex MacLean at email@example.com or (209) 588-4530.