Navigation Boulevard has become the East End’s new Main Street, El Corazon de la Communidad, with a wider esplanade and walkable, shaded sidewalks. The $5 million ARRA stimulus grant that brought improvements to Sampson and York is also funding the exciting, community-driven changes on Navigation. Residents and visitors enjoy safe crosswalks, pedestrian level solar lighting, an active area of commerce, restaurants, events, and attractions. The Esplanade will be home to a new farm market, with offerings from local organic farmers and vendors in spring, 2015.
The new esplanade features amenities that are both functional and artistic. Pedestrian-level lamps have bands of color around the LED lights, and are powered by solar generators with enough battery power to run year round, even on cloudy days. Benches in the esplanade are faux bois, and look like centuries-old wood. The bench backs are tiled and the seats have well-known sayings that are applicable to Texas culture and history. Bike racks feature Spanish and English words in script text. Overhead, an iron archway crosses the boulevard, and is fashioned like papel picata, with imagery of some of the original industry in the East End: shipping, railroads, and oil.