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City of Salida looking to redefine Rainbow Blvd.

It has been a busy, tiring and contentious election season. Maybe now we can use the rest of November re-training ourselves about how to compromise for the greater good. What better opportunity to do this then by participating in Future-50: Re-visioning Rainbow Boulevard.

The City of Salida has partnered with Community Builders to listen to our citizen’s and business owner’s ideas about the future of the Highway 50 commercial corridor. Community Builders is a non-profit organization with the sole purpose of helping make western communities prosperous and livable. They know this cannot happen without an engaged populous. This is not a just a traffic engineering exercise, it is much more. It is about how the businesses, buildings, residents, land uses and people on both sides of the road create a place that is Salida. Creating this place will ensure Highway 50 remains a vibrant part of our local economy.

A dedicated group of about 25 business owners and citizens are leading the effort and have spent most of last summer peppering folks with questions at the Farmers Market, Hometown Picnic and Crest Crank. They have attended meetings with stakeholder groups like the Rotary Clubs, bike clubs and lodgers to get early input. Then a Community Visioning Workshop was held on a Tuesday night in October at the Steam Plant. Lots of listening went on as over 50 folks wandered in and discussed the good, great, bad and ugly about the Highway 50 area. Some themes from the discourse have been forming:

We want a Highway 50 corridor that:

  • Is safe and comfortable for all users.
  • Has clear connections to key community destinations.
  • Is an active, vibrant place that reflects Salida’s authentic character.
  • Supports a strong business environment.

The discussion will continue over the next two weeks leading up to a three day design charrette when the thoughts will evolve into concept drawings. Over three days, November 14-16, planners, transportation experts, urban designers will be working away at the Steam Plant Annex, 220 West Sackett Avenue downtown. The public is encouraged to drop in and participate in this visioning process anytime between 10 am and 4 pm. An open house will be held each evening at two businesses on the corridor to unveil and refine design concepts:

Wednesday and Thursday, November 14 and 15 from 5 to 7 pm at 50 Burger, 445 E. Highway 50; and
Friday, November 16 from 5 to 7 pm at Soulcraft Brewing, 248 W. Highway 50.

The process will not end here. The citizen leadership team will continue to bring results out to the community and take your input, and allow the design team to make adjustments. We also want to hear from business owners of how the city and county can positively influence the business environment on Highway 50.

Please make an effort to show up make your ideas known. No voting required, no attack ads will be shouted, just good old fashioned fun and conversation with a purpose. If you can’t make it, please take some time to give us your ideas and opinions at

Glen Van Nimwegen
Salida Community Development Director