City of Lancaster to Break Ground on Downtown Transformation


Farmers’ market on new ramblas

Moule & Polyzoides’ design for the central streets within the downtown of the City of Lancaster, California, is set to break ground next Tuesday, March 9th at 1:00 PM with a press conference and ceremony on Lancaster Boulevard. The Groundbreaking event will be held at the farthest east end of Lancaster Boulevard between Sierra Highway and Beech Avenues. If you are in the neighborhood, please join!

At the heart of the design is a bold transformation of a one mile-long stretch of Lancaster Boulevard from what has been a high speed thoroughfare with struggling businesses into a grand new civic space incorporating a wide variety of coordinated pedestrian improvements, traffic calming measures, and infrastructure improvements. Running down the center of Lancaster Boulevard is a new ramblas, a generous, tree-lined promenade enhanced by outdoor furniture, pavers, landscape, decorative festival lighting, sound systems, and other street improvements.

The real innovation of this ramblas is its highly flexible design. This single space not only provides a gracious new place for pedestrians to hang out under the shade of new sycamore trees, but also space for street fairs, farmer’s markets, parades, other city festivals, new diagonal parking and a right of way for a future streetcar.

The design solves multiple existing challenges at once. By eliminating two vehicle lanes, traffic speeds will be reduced, while retaining the high capacities needed for retail. The result is greater pedestrian safety, greater retail visibility and visitability. Almost triple the amount of street parking is provided by converting two existing lanes to diagonal parking in the center of the street. The design will incorporate mid-block crossings and paseos linking to mid-block parking to encourage “cross-shopping” on different sides of the street, thereby reinforcing retail activity. Full intersections will take small roundabouts to calm traffic further.

Future improvements include roundabouts at each end of the boulevard entering downtown, landmark entry markers at each intersection into downtown, a new generous south-facing street arcade in the center of the boulevard area and new side street landscapes. Residents can look forward to a transformation of Lancaster Boulevard into an attractive new civic space, enhancing social activity and renewing downtown vitality.

The project continues Moule & Polyzoides’ commitment to sustainable place-making for communities.