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City To Receive Federal Funds For Uptown Planning Study

City officials are slated to receive $1.2 million in reimbursement funds six months after the federal government first pledged to support redevelopment along the corridor of Forbes and Fifth avenues in Uptown.

A bill to be introduced to City Council on Tuesday would formally accept the reimbursement for an ongoing study of its “eco-innovation” district between Downtown and Oakland.

Senior City Planner Justin Miller said the plan outlines ways the city could improve land use and transportation infrastructure in Uptown while reducing the neighborhood’s environmental impact.
Possibilities include dedicated bus lanes, bike lanes and power generation stations.

“Uptown has got a lot more opportunity with the level of vacancy that it has, the fact that the primary use there is parking lots," Miller said. "It has a really high degree of change that’s possible.”

Forthcoming changes won't affect existing buildings and street widths, he said.

“The neighborhood, unfortunately, on its own has done quite a bit to remove structures, many of which we’d like to have back," Miller said. "I think the historic fabric of the neighborhood has been compromised quite a bit. We want to make sure that that doesn’t happen any further.”

Miller said the study should wrap up in early 2017, and he’d like the city to start work soon afterward.