The city of Richland asked Roger Brooks to develop a vision for upgrading downtown and the Columbia River shoreline.
Last week, Arizona-based Brooks presented the “Richland Waterfront District” to the city council. The presentation included an array of suggestions ranging an amusement park to how to tame traffic, promote pedestrian activity and upgrade signage along the river.
You can read the presentation here. (It’s a large PDF document, 76 MB.)
Brooks says a city investment of $40 million in key upgrades would leverage far more in private development of retail and residential amenities at key spots along the river.
The city’s role would include narrowing George Washington Way to four lanes. Brooks likened the busy road to the “Great Wall of China,” saying it serves as a barrier that keeps pedestrians from making the trek from downtown to the waterfront.
Expanded sidewalks, street trees and a “welcome” monument would improve the overall appearance of the city’s gateway, he said.
The next step is to present the vision to the public for feedback. Brooks intends to make his final recommendations this summer.
The city’s contract with Brooks is worth up to $85,000.