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Downtown SLO under construction for improvement projects; officials urge public to prepare for delays and parking disruptions

Two city projects are happening at the same time in various locations of downtown San Luis Obispo. Drivers and visitors should prepare for delays and disruptions for the next few weeks.
Angel Russell

Downtown San Luis Obispo visitors and people who work in the area are encouraged to allow for extra time arriving and leaving the city’s core, as two city projects are underway to improve road conditions as well as pedestrian and cyclist safety.

City Engineer Brian Nelson said the downtown paving project and parking meter removal project will likely cause some temporary traffic and sidewalk disruptions and delays between the hours of 7a.m. and 4p.m. Monday through Friday.

“In the next few weeks, you’ll see some delays on Marsh and Higuera between the 101 off-ramps and Nipomo Street," Nelson said. "So, if you’re getting off on Marsh heading into downtown you’ll be impacted due to lane closures in that area.”

Nelson said the projects will also be making improvements for bicycle and pedestrian safety.

With the city’s goal of encouraging other modes of transportation besides driving, Nelson said they’ll be installing separated bike lanes in the downtown area.

“We want to make sure the public feels safe in using that method of transportation," Nelson said. "So by separating the travel lanes from the bike lanes due to physical separation, that really helps.”

The improvements will include making the sidewalks wider for more mobility for people with disabilities, and a raised pedestrian crossing with flashing lights will be added to the midpoint of the Nipomo and Marsh 101 intersection.

That’s an area Nelson said is currently dangerous for pedestrians.

“Lot of times, people will cross in that segment, and it’s not safe, it’s not protected," Nelson said. "There is no warning signs for drivers passing through that area and it can be an area where people are driving pretty quickly.”

Nelson said until the projects are expected to be complete in the next month.

For now, people traveling and working in the area should be prepared for delays, and are encouraged to park in the parking garages downtown.

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