Packed House in Sunnyvale for Panel on El Camino Real

Last month, over 80 community members came together at the Sunnyvale Community Center for an inspiring panel discussion on the future of the El Camino Real corridor.

The panel was moderated by former Sunnyvale Councilmember Tara Martin-Milius and featured five local speakers:

  • Sunnyvale Councilmember Larry Klein
  • Adina Levin, Co-founder of Friends of Caltrain
  • Kirk Vartan, local business owner
  • Marie Bernard, Executive Director of Sunnyvale Community Services
  • Jaime Fearer, Deputy Director of California Walks.

The panelists described how Sunnyvale’s four-mile stretch of the El Camino Real can become a thriving corridor with a mix of homes, shops, and jobs; safe and inviting places for walking and biking; and homes for residents across the income spectrum.

Each speaker helped “set the scene” by connecting the future of the corridor to larger issues facing Sunnyvale and the rest of Silicon Valley. For example, Kirk Vartan shared his struggles to retain staff at his popular restaurant due to the area’s crushing housing shortage, and Marie Bernard highlighted the invisible homelessness crisis in the “heart of Silicon Valley.”

The panel also shared smart examples from nearby cities like Mountain View and Redwood City, describing innovative programs that are helping to provide new homes and jobs while reducing traffic and pollution as well as providing more transportation choices.

Councilmember Klein highlighted how residents can help shape the city’s upcoming update to its El Camino Real Precise Plan to help make Sunnyvale an even better place to live.

The event was sponsored by Livable Sunnyvale (formerly the Sunnyvale Sustainable and Affordable Living Coalition) along with its coalition members: Greenbelt Alliance, Friends of Caltrain, Sunnyvale Democratic Club, Sunnyvale Cool, TransForm, and SV@Home.

Many thanks to everyone who helped make the event a success, including Mayor Glenn Hendricks who provided welcome remarks.

Starting this month, Livable Sunnyvale will lead walking tours of the nodes designated in the El Camino Real Plan, to gather feedback from the community on what they would like to see along the boulevard. Register for a tour here.

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