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Downtown businesses lament loss of street parking
GSB parking
The Turlock City Council decided to eliminate the addition of bike lanes to Golden State Boulevard when local businesses complained about the loss of street parking (Journal file photo).

As roadwork continues on Golden State Boulevard, a few downtown businesses are unhappy to be losing street parking to make way for a new bike lane.

Businesses in the strip from 329 to 385 N. Golden State Boulevard, which includes The Haircut Store, China Café, Balswick’s Quick Smog, California Auto Stereo, Ziggy’s Video Game Exchange and Flowers by Brothers Papadopoulos, were recently notified that their current street parking would be eliminated.

“I was very thankful about them redoing Golden State Boulevard…and then somebody came by with a letter saying they’re going to put in bike lanes where the only parking I have is in front of my store,” said Ziggy Star, owner of Ziggy’s Video Game Exchange. “We’re all in shock.”

“Between the pandemic and the City Council, they’re trying to kill me,” continued Star.

The business strip does have some parking behind the storefronts on N. Front Street, but according to the business owners, that’s not enough.

Mario Melgoza’s store California Auto Stereo has been on N. Golden State Boulevard since 2009.

“We need the parking in front,” he emphasized.

Bike lanes were not part of the original project design in 2017, but the Council added it in when they voted for the final project approval in February 2021.

“That part of Golden State is a critical connector to our downtown core; that’s when Golden State stops being high-speed…and people start slowing down and appreciate the city and its connectivity to the transit center. I definitely want to see a biking consideration on there,” said Council member Andrew Nosrati before voting for the project in February 2021.

In 2015, the City of Turlock adopted an Active Transportation Plan that includes projects, standards, policies and programs designed to encourage and support biking and walking in the community. The Plan includes 120 miles of bicycling paths or lanes, with 21 bikeway corridor projects, but not Golden State Boulevard.

The $2.34 million Golden State Boulevard project will rehabilitate aged pavement segments of Golden State Boulevard from Main Street to 20th Century Boulevard and include the construction of accessible pedestrian ramps, new traffic striping and replacement of damaged sidewalks, curbs and gutters.

Funding for the project is comprised of $929,033 of federal funds specifically for Golden State Boulevard improvements, $250,000 in gas tax funds, $55,000 in LTF funds and the remaining in Measure L countywide transportation tax funds.