Gilroy’s new downtown Pedestrian Paseo open to public

The Pedestrian Paseo at 7453 Monterey St. in Gilroy is now open to the public with fundraising efforts afoot to pay for artistic enhancements.

Patrons to downtown Gilroy can enjoy the easy connection between free public parking and the heart of the city.
With final artistic touches awaiting, the Pedestrian Paseo at 7453 Monterey St. in Gilroy is now open to the public, the City of Gilroy announced today.
“We have waited a long time,” Mayor Don Gage said.
The roughly $1.1 million paseo, situated at 7453 Monterey St., has been under construction since last spring.
The paseo is located mid-block between Fifth and Sixth streets and provides convenient access between the public parking lot on Gourmet Alley/Eigleberry Street and the heart of downtown on Monterey Street, city officials said in a press release.
The paseo is a linear, rectangular mini-park and walkway that will serve as an aesthetic shortcut from Monterey Street to the parking lots between Eigleberry Street and Gourmet Alley.
“We’re glad to see it’s already in use, and as the word gets out wer’re hopeful that people will get downtown to check it,” Gilroy Development Center Manager Lee Butler said. “We look forward to this and many projects that contribute to downtown revitalization.”
According to Butler, enhancements provide a direct and pleasant access point between a significant number of parking spaces in the main commercial strip “that is the heart of the city.”
“This is something that has been a long time in the making, and we’re pleased that it’s open for use,” Butler said.
The city purchased the property in 2012 and demolished the unreinforced masonry building on the site to make way for the new pedestrian amenity.
A paseo design group composed of a variety of community members has been developing a plan to adorn the paseo since 2012 with enhanced features, including art work, photographs, and text that convey aspects of Gilroy’s history, city officials said.
Fundraising efforts are afoot to complete the project and place the final touches including artwork and security cameras.
City officials said they anticipate that benches, trash cans and landscaping to be added in future phases.
The Paseo Design Group, comprised of former mayor and current committee chair Al Pinheiro; Gilroy Chamber of Commerce CEO Mark Turner; and various members of City commissions and local associations; is tasked with fundraising for some of those amenities, including the artistic interpretive panels emphasizing the heritage of the Garlic Capital.
Some project specs
• Five decorative LED lighting fixtures, similar to the decorative fixtures along Monterey Street
• Paseo entryway from Monterey Street retains the at-grade, black-and-white checkerboard tiles from the former store occupying the site.