Wood Streets- an attractive early 20th inner-city neighborhood in Riverside CA

Riverside’s Wood Streets neighborhood was devoted to orange groves until about 1913 when fill was introduced to the Tequesquite Arroyo River, allowing Magnolia Avenue to connect with Downtown. Wood Streets was then built out as a typical early 20th century streetcar suburb with residential design reflecting a traditional aesthetic. This is likely Riverside’s most cohesive and urban neighborhood outside of Dwtn.

Other positive urban aspects to Wood Streets include good public transit, excellent racial, economic, and generational diversity, a decent # of walkable schools, good parks, and good retail amenities on its northern and southern edges. But in order for Wood Streets to become a truly quality urban district it needs to densify and modify its zoning to permit multi-family construction at least along its arterials. With a lack of density Wood Streets is missing quality mixed-use fabric, walkable cultural amenities, and vibrancy. There is also need for better bike infrastructure here and more affordable housing in this single family dominated neighborhood.

Click here to view my Wood Streets album on Flickr

URBAN STRENGTHS:

* Consistant curbs and sidewalks just outdated ADA ramps.
* Good public transit and convenient access to Dwtn Riverside. Unfortunately Dwtn Riverside doesn’t host very many jobs.
* Excellent diversity across the board, especially economic diversity.
* Retail Amenities include a decent number of amenities on the northern and southern edges of the neighborhood. This includes a supermarket, several drug stores, a couple salons, Major Hospital, several banks, a couple boutiques & dessert shops, and a staples. Lots of retail amenities, bars, and restaurants at Riverside Plaza (a quasi-urban outdoor mall) located 2 blocks from Woods Street.
* Good park amenities including the expansive Ryan Bonaminio Park and recreational Evans Park to the North. The mountainside park of Mt Rubidoux, is only 1/2 mile to the north of the district.
* A decent # of walkable schools but of mixed ratings.
* Overall a very safe community.

URBAN WEAKNESSES:

* Density is pretty low.
* A couple dedicated bike lanes but not dedicated bike stations.
* Cultural amenities are very limited as there is a mostly residential only neighborhood. The only cultural amenities in the neighborhood that I see are at Riverside City College (College Art Gallery & Performing Arts Center). Decent access to cultural amenities in Dwtn to the North and Magnolia Center to the south. Score
* Hsg is pretty expensive but some moderately priced smaller units available. A handful of 1-beds sell around 400K. 2-beds 400K-700K, 3 & 4 beds anywhere btwn 500K-800K.
* Rentals are very limited. What does existin are SF homes for rent and there are few apt. bldgs here.
* Where commercial does exist its pretty auto centric (i.e. Jurupa Ave).
* Pedestrian traffic is pretty sparse here.

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