RIO VISTA — Love, great bones and a new name for Highway 12 were among topics when architects and planners presented recommendations to more than 300 residents Monday.
“There’s really a sense you love the community,” said Wayne Feiden, director of planning and sustainability for Northampton, Mass.
Feiden, part of the Regional Urban Design Assistance Team that visited Rio Vista, spoke along with others to residents gathered for results of the team’s research.
Bob Shibley, dean of the school of planning and architecture at the University of Buffalo, said that city is the best planned in American and praised Rio Vista’s framework.
“You’ve got great bones,” he said.
Bill Eubanks, creative director of the UrbanEdge Studio in South Carolina, advised Rio Vista to give Highway 12 another name. As long as you call it a highway, he said, you will think of it as a highway.
His talk followed Jason Schriber, principal in a transportation planning firm, speaking about how a highway shouldn’t be the heart of Rio Vista.
The number of vehicles miles traveled in American is declining, he said.
“We’re radically changing how we like to get around,” Schriber said.
The recommendations for Rio Vista followed a meeting of residents Friday that also attracted hundreds. The research is part of RioVision, founded in 2012 to define economic development in the community 21 miles from Fairfield and whose population is 7,500.
Last year, Communities by Design of the American Institute of Architects accepted RioVision’s application for assistance from the design assistance team that helps communities with planning.
Feiden said parks, entertainment and events are among the new lures of central business districts.
“The day of downtowns being primary retail is gone,” he said.
David Barnes, a city planning commissioner, said near the end of Monday’s event that more residents should attend Solano Transit Authority meetings. Nobody’s there, he said.
Resident Susan Reeve said something should be done about the Ram Hotel and that if everybody in Rio Vista contributed $100 it could be possible to take down the building. She said ideas such as a sheep run through the community energize residents, but when the hotel’s name arises, people’s interest lags.
Mayor Norman Richardson remarked at the start of the meeting about the overflow crowd at the D.H. White Elementary School.
“Wow, what a sight,” he said. “This is really something.”
Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.