On Wednesday, February 24th, 2021, Downtown Redding streets that have been closed to driving traffic for nearly 50 years will reopen as the Downtown Streets Circulation Project draws to a close. In an exciting coincidence, the February 24th reopening date will mark exactly 49 years since the streets were initially closed on February 24, 1972. The Downtown Streets Circulation Project, nearly two years in the making, has included the removal of the Downtown Mall and adjacent structures and the addition of Market Center, a mixed-use affordable housing unit that helps to address the growing need for diverse housing options in Redding.
The City of Redding and Viva Downtown will host a virtual ceremony from 11am to 12pm, in compliance with state and local health guidelines. The event will be live streamed on Viva Downtown’s Facebook page. Photo and video content will be available in the days following the event to commemorate this exciting, historic moment in Redding’s history.
The virtual ceremony will include words from City and Downtown officials, including Redding Mayor Erin Resner, Redding City Manager Barry Tippin, and Director of Viva Downtown, John Truitt. Following the speakers will be an official ribbon-cutting ceremony. The event will close with a vehicle procession to include a police vehicle, two antique horseless carriages, a fire truck, and a DASH vehicle, as well as some bikes and pedestrians. A Redding Police Department vehicle will close out the procession, at which time, the streets will be officially reopened to the public.
Linda Krueger Krtek, who, at 13 years old, was the last person to ride on Market Street before it closed in 1972, will be in attendance to ride in one of the vehicles in the procession. 49 years later – to the day – will prove to be a full-circle moment, not only for Krtek, but for a Downtown area that has long anticipated this kind of growth.
This is an exciting moment for the entire Redding Community, one that will breathe new life into the heart of Downtown Redding. The reopening of these streets is more than just a physical reopening. This historical moment represents Redding’s movement into a future that is functional and welcoming to locals and visitors alike – one that is more conducive to Downtown living, small business, tourism and varied modes of transportation.
Community members are encouraged to participate virtually to ensure the health and safety of the entire Redding community. Tune in on Viva Downtown’s Facebook page, @vivadowntownredding, just before 11am for some behind the scenes coverage. The City of Redding and Viva Downtown plan to host a larger scale celebration when health guidelines allow for it.
For Downtown project updates, parking information and more, visit cityofredding.org/downtown.