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San Bernardino’s E Street Voted ‘Best Urban Street Transformation of 2014’
Ryan Hagen | The Sun


A view of northbound E Street on Tuesday, December 23, 2014 after the sbX bus system was installed in San Bernardino. Micah Escamilla — Staff photographer

E Street represents the country’s “best urban street transformation of 2014,” the readers of USA Streetsblog have officially decided.


The contest ended Sunday, with San Bernardino’s E Street grabbing 848 votes (48 percent of the total), compared to 427 for second-place Western Avenue in Cambridge, Mass. Streets in Minneapolis, Seattle and Pittsburg finished further back.


Blog manager Angie Schmitt confirmed in an email that San Bernardino had won the contest, which ended Sunday, and said she hoped to have an official announcement soon.


San Bernardino resident Marven Norman, a regular reader of the blog, nominated E Street — with the sbX bus rapid transit line and transit-oriented development like that advocated by Streetsblog — and Schmitt and others selected it as one of five finalists.


While many residents remain critical of sbX, and didn’t hesitate to say so in social media comments as the contest continued, the contest caught the excitement of many residents who said the city needed positive recognition.


One of those was residents was Barbara Babcock, who sent an email praising other residents, clergy and media for their part in garnering votes.


“Friends of San Bernardino were posting and voting on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ etc not only in San Bernardino, the Inland Empire, and at least 15 states but around the WORLD,” Babcock wrote. “Literally from A-Z, from Antigua to Zambia. Pastors were announcing in about 9 churches (that we confirmed) and at holiday dinner tables and gatherings day and night... having people vote.”


The contest, which comes with no prize other than visibility, was 1 of 7 Streetsblog held at the end of the year, with another representative category asking for the “worst highway boondoggle.”