Grand Central Art Center hosted another great gathering on Thursday, April 14th, as community members came together to discuss and vote on a design for new City of Santa Ana Downtown Walking Path, schedule to be installed in the coming months. A project initiated by the outstanding work of Latino Health Access through their Wellness Corridor Outreach and Strategic Plan, the City was able to secure a Partnership to Improve Community Health grant in financial support to help realize and install this vision.
Why downtown Santa Ana? As Cory Wilkerson, Active Transportation Coordinator in the Public Works Agency for the City of Santa Ana pointed out during his presentation: the downtown lacks open space and there is a need for a physical activity alternative; the path provides access to cultural amenities and businesses; and it’s a beautiful place to walk!
Mr. Wilkerson also provided a brief definition of an urban walking path, which includes: a path within a built environment; clearly defined by signage of markers; for the purpose of recreation walking and physical activity.
Hours of research was done in the development and inspiration for the new markers, looking at how walking paths are marked in both urban and rural area in other communities. Much went into the planning of the route the Downtown Walking Path will traverse through our city center, creating a flow that will highlight businesses, landmark historic building, community centrals, cultural institutions, and health resources.
Three marker designs were presented to the community in attendance and a lively discussion occurred about each of the designs, with their pluses and minuses debated. After all questions we sufficiently answered, a vote was taken on the three designs.
When the vote was concluded, there was a clear winner, the colorful design of marker #3!
Grand Central Art Center is truly excited that the fountain on our front 2nd Street Plaza has been selected to be mile marker zero, the designated starting point for the new City of Santa Ana Downtown Walking Path. We are looking forward to seeing the new markers installed and encouraging individuals to walk out our doors to take the journey through the wonderful neighborhood we call home!