The Grand Boulevard Initiative is a longtime project planned by a consortium of 19 cities, including Mountain View, to improve El Camino Real, which spans the entire Peninsula from San Jose through San Mateo County.
The initiative suggests several improvements for El Camino Real, including higher density development, better bus services, wider sidewalks and "places where people can live work, shop and play all along the corridor."
Council member Tom Means voted against the initiative, and questioned whether its "nebulous" guidelines were realistic. He asked for examples of other grand boulevards — such as the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, known as the most beautiful street in Paris.
There are no known grand boulevards in the Bay Area, said a representative of the Grand Boulevard Task Force, which oversees implementation of the initiative.
"In some sense this is a mixed bag," Means said. "I don't know if El Camino could ever be a grand boulevard."
Mayor Laura Macias said a grand boulevard was definitely doable, and held up Canal Street in New Orleans as an example of a high-traffic corridor that is pedestrian friendly.
"I think we have a grand boulevard in the making," said council member Jac Siegel about El Camino, which is over 150 years old and has already been made "walkable" in Menlo Park.