Motor-free event in downtown SJ

SCAG holds ‘Envision San Jacinto’ festival on Main Street last Saturday

Photos by Corey Evan
Downtown Main Street went motor-free on Saturday for the Envision San Jacinto festival.

■ By Corey Evan / Reporter

California may be known for its car culture, but these days more and more of us are asking ourselves, “What about walking?” That’s what the Southern California Association of Governors has asked themselves, to which they’ve answered with their “GoHuman” campaign. As part of this effort to encourage walking and bicycling, GoHuman put on its “Envision San Jacinto” festival on Main Street during the afternoon of Saturday, Sept. 29.
The event saw downtown Main Street crosswalks decorated with splashes of color, and its sidewalks lined with displays which allow residents to test out temporary street improvements and share their feedback for which improvements they’d like to see implemented permanently, according to GoHuman.
These pop-up street improvements on Main Street between San Jacinto Avenue and Jordan Avenue are intended to “make downtown San Jacinto a more enjoyable and inviting place to dine, shop and spend time” according to a press release from the campaign.
The potential improvements demonstrated at the event draw inspiration from the San Jacinto Downtown Specific Plan vision. The development of a more walkable downtown will help drive economic activity by increasing foot traffic and improving access to local businesses.
“San Jacinto is excited to partner with SCAG to bring this phenomenal family event to the city and its residents. We look forward to showcasing an open streets, healthy activity event with our partner,” said San Jacinto City Manager Robert A. Johnson.
“Developing a more walkable downtown stimulates foot traffic and promotes economic activity,” said SCAG President Alan D. Wapner. “Investing in active transportation infrastructure helps expand mobility options so people can walk or bike to local destinations.”

GoHuman sponsored a bike giveaway for local youth.

To do this, GoHuman encourages folks to walk or bike to the event, providing bike racks for those who did join them on two foot-powered wheels.
Mayor Crystal Ruiz showed she was excited to be part of this event: “We want to thank you for coming down, thank (city) staff for doing this, the public works department, the public safety department…” the list went on and on.
According to GoHuman representative Hannah Grunell, the project isn’t about taking cars off the road. Rather, it’s about seeing drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians coexist in safety. “We definitely want to create a balance; We want to show motorists that a downtown area should really be built more for people rather than for cars.We want to have both, in harmony with each other.”
More importantly for the City of San Jacinto, this event sought to encourage economic growth in the downtown area, according to Grunell.
Local food vendors also pulled up to the curb, as well as karate and gymnastics demonstration booths. There was also a health and wellness fair parked downtown for patrons to check out.
For local artists, the MSJC Art department encouraged our more artistic kids and adults to draw on the street by sharing their sidewalk chalk.
Riverside Transit Agency brought one of its buses downtown to provide a place to cool off from the afternoon heat, and give out information regarding upcoming improvements to service in San Jacinto. Those who got to their booth early enough were able to grab a free USB charger cord, compatible with Apple, android and mini-USB devices and highlighting the USB charging ports installed on the current RTA fleet.
Entertainment for the afternoon was provided by Last Call Crush, a tribute band playing some of the best tunes of the 20th century.
The event was sponsored in part by SCAG and the California Office of Traffic Safety.
For more information on SCAG’s plans for downtown, visit GoHumanSoCal.org/EnvisionSanJacinto

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