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Grand Boulevard Initiative - Economic and Housing Opportunities (ECHO) Assessment (Phase II)

Client: Strategic Economics and the Grand Boulevard Initiative [SamTrans, C/CAG, SAMCEDA, VTA, and Joint Venture Silicon Valley]

For the benefit of GBI member cities, the Phase I ECHO Assessment work outlined strategies to overcome barriers to infill development along the 47 mile multi-city El Camino Real corridor, including physical, market, and regulatory challenges.  To provide greater detail and ensure the relevance of these concepts, approaches and tools in this second phase of the project, four corridor segments in Belmont, South San Francisco, Daly City, and Mountain View served as case studies for in-depth investigations, analyses and recommendations.

A graphic summary of place, activity, market, transportation, and connectivity challenges to Belmont’s El Camino Real Vision.


Belmont’s Existing El Camino Real Corridor Place Types.

The ECHO Phase I report provided a comprehensive overview of economic benefits and challenges for El Camino Real infill development, but conditions among corridor segments and cities are highly varied.

To further ground the analysis and recommendations for GBI member cities, support for 4 case studies to help represent the range of local conditions in depth was obtained from a U.S. Dept. of Transportation TIGER II Planning Grant as well as funding from SamTrans, C/CAG, Santa Clara VTA and staff support from the four selected case study cities.


  • Conduct detailed fieldwork, outreach and analysis in and around case study areas.
  • Highlight place-specific corridor challenges in auto/pedestrian character, opportunity sites, retail dynamics, municipal policies, and funding.
  • Provide strategies and tools tailored to individual case study cities’ conditions, and summarize common approaches that are applicable for GBI member cities.


Completed on time and on budget
  • The Strategic Economics-led team worked with city staffs and stakeholders on detailed economic and urban analyses of corridor segments.
  • Outreach and presentations with case study cities and the GBI Task Force and membership took place through 2013.
  • The Final Report and individual case studies were published in February 2014, and are downloadable from here.

In collaboration with:

Strategic Economics (economics), Van Meter Williams Pollack (architecture)