City of Atascadero logoOn May 28, the Atascadero City Council unanimously approved a construction contract for the El Camino Real Downtown Safety and Parking Enhancements Project (The ECR Project), a key milestone to breaking ground on this community-driven initiative to improve safety in and revitalize the City’s downtown core.

Council’s approval of construction contracts with Souza Construction and Filippin Engineering, Inc. is the culmination of years of public engagement efforts, planning and analysis to enhance the safety and economic vitality of the downtown core. Since the project’s inception in 2017, the objective has been to develop a holistic corridor that considers the needs and goals of all multimodal users, residents, businesses and visitors.

“We are thrilled to start work on the downtown streetscape and turn seven years of community vision into action,” said Atascadero Mayor Heather Moreno. “Economic and community vibrancy is a top priority for the Council, and this project will foster economic revitalization, increase the availability of free parking downtown and above all, improve public safety, especially for our local students attending nearby schools.”

Construction on The ECR Project kicked off on Monday, June 10, starting with utility upgrades. Throughout the duration of construction, the City will use both in-person and virtual channels to proactively communicate about potential traffic impacts to residents, businesses, and schools within the downtown core. Additionally, a construction manager will be onsite to answer questions from the community.

Once complete, The ECR Project will deliver the following improvements and benefits to a 0.6-mile stretch of El Camino Real between Highway 41 and Rosario Avenue:

  • Limit traffic to one lane each direction to improve safety, increase parking, and enhance the Downtown experience
  • Additional crosswalks with higher visibility
  • A full overhead signalized pedestrian crossing at East Mall to expand safety
  • Over 100 new free parking spaces, including ADA accessible spaces
  • ADA accessibility improvements including new driveways and sidewalks
  • Over 25 new street trees for shade and aesthetics
  • In-ground planters along a center median with potted planters along the sidewalk
  • Hanging pendant lights and streets lights throughout the project area
  • Storm runoff planters to capture and treat water
  • Designated loading zones for deliveries, drop-offs, and pickups

The primary goal of The ECR Project is to improve public safety. The enhancements will provide a positive impact by reducing vehicle speed, improving visibility for roadway users, expanding walkability, and accommodating multi-modal transportation.

The project is also designed to boost economic development. Over the past five-plus years, Atascadero has experienced significant development downtown, and construction of this project is anticipated to accelerate the growth of the downtown core. The project’s improvements will enhance aesthetics and create a safer, easier-to-access area that increases foot traffic and business growth.

Construction is expected to last through Summer 2025. Community members can sign up for construction news by visiting For more information about The ECR Project, and to stay informed on project construction, please visit

“Maintaining quality of life for our residents and businesses is vital. This means we commit to keeping our community updated on project progress as well as any temporary impacts to our residents, businesses, and visitors,” continued Mayor Moreno. “I encourage everyone to subscribe to Atascadero’s social media pages, bookmark our project website, and sign up to receive email updates through the News and Alerts portal on the City’s website to stay informed about project progress.”