Mayor’s Monthly Message - September 2021

Published: 09/02/21

Mayor’s Monthly Message - September 2021

Getting Our Infrastructure Back on Track

There has been much discussion at the national level about infrastructure needs across our country and how infrastructure can enhance the lives of people living in communities both large and small. Infrastructure is an essential factor in determining a city’s quality of life. Hard infrastructure—roads, bridges, sidewalks, signage, and more—is a part of our daily lives. It is the duty of a city to properly maintain its infrastructure so that residents can live comfortably and navigate with ease and convenience. We in Riverside have had similar discussions and have heard the calls from residents for upgrading Riverside’s aging infrastructure.

More than just having these discussions, we have put words into action. Since the start of my term as Mayor just eight months ago, we have made historic investments in road-related infrastructure projects with approximately $20 million approved for road repaving, improvements to sidewalks, curbs, gutters, storm drains, bike lanes, new road signage and more. This type of “hard” infrastructure is often the first impression guests have about a city and is critical to the quality of life of residents.

Infrastructure projects at the city level have included the approval of repaving or otherwise enhancing portions of Adams Street, Arlington Avenue, Brockton Avenue, California Avenue, Indiana Avenue, Jurupa Avenue, La Sierra Avenue, Magnolia Avenue, Monroe Street, Van Buren Boulevard, Washington Street, Wood Street, to name a few, and a host of residential streets in each of Riverside’s seven wards. In all, dozens of miles of roads will soon see improvements based on the actions taken from December through today.

This historic investment in roads and infrastructure is made possible because of voter-approved measures like Measure Z and Measure A; state legislation such as SB-1; along with transportation and infrastructure grants from the state and federal government.

To continue this great momentum, on August 17, 2021 the City Council and I discussed and approved a city blueprint that brings together multiple infrastructure-related plans known as Riverside PACT—Pedestrian Target Safeguarding; Active Transportation Master Plan; Complete Streets Ordinance; and Trail Master Plan Update. The purpose of this blueprint is to create cohesion with all the intersecting plans that guide what our city does to link transportation and recreation with roads, existing trails, employment opportunities, and commercial centers. PACT has the potential to improve safety, reduce collisions and enhance accessibility to parks, schools, libraries, and the workplace. When there is maintained physical access, such as roads-infrastructure, to important community destinations, we provide Riversiders with a heightened quality of life and maintain a fundamental pillar of local government.

On my citywide Big Tent Tour, infrastructure concerns are some of the more frequently asked questions. That is why I am proud of our bold action to improve roadways in our city over the last eight months—and making the structural planning improvements to maintain this long-term. I pledge to continue the work of prioritizing Riverside’s infrastructure—for this generation and for the ones that follow.