The North County Transit District (NCTD) today announced the award of $144,000 from the California Department of Transportation’s (Caltrans) Clean California Local Grant Program for a public art project and security features at the Oceanside Transit Center pedestrian tunnel. NCTD will use the funding to improve the pedestrian tunnel to be more welcoming and aesthetically pleasing, improving safety and the customer experience.
“Beautifying public spaces with art has been shown to increase safety and security, improve the customer experience, create a sense of place, prevent vandalism, and improve the livability of residents,” said NCTD Board Chair and Solana Beach Council Member Jewel Edson. “This project will not only bring significant benefits to commuters; it will also give local residents a cool new place to enjoy and be proud of.”
NCTD is working with MainStreet Oceanside, a local non-profit, to create a request for proposals to hire an artist through an in-depth community engagement process. A mural is envisioned for the Oceanside Transit Center Pedestrian Tunnel. The project site will include pedestrian access to the tunnel (along stairs and ramps). The Oceanside Transit Center is North County’s primary transit hub, representing the intersection of SPRINTER hybrid rail, COASTER commuter rail, Amtrak, Metrolink, and the Breeze bus.
“This tunnel project represents a wonderful collaboration with the local neighborhood, MainStreet Oceanside, and NCTD to create an inspired community representation of Oceanside’s unique history and diverse culture while increasing the desirability and enjoyment of the space for locals and visitors,” said Jane Marshall, Oceanside Coastal Neighborhood Association (OCNA) and MainStreet Oceanside Design Committee Liaison.
The $144,000 in grant funding comes from the Clean California Local Grant Program, which includes $100 million Caltrans has allocated for communities to beautify and improve transit centers, among other locations. In addition to the artwork, this funding will allow NCTD to include security improvements such as cameras and speakers to increase pedestrian safety and extend the life of the art by discouraging vandalism. The total project cost for the Oceanside pedestrian tunnel is estimated to be approximately $231,000.