GREENFIELD — Greenfield City Council has approved funding for the Safe Routes to School projects for near-term implementation at its March 14 regular meeting.
The projects — recommended by the Greenfield Safe Routes to School Steering Committee — will fill sidewalk gaps as well as install crosswalks, curb ramps, high-visibility signage and flashing stop signs at locations throughout the city.
On Monday, the Transportation Agency for Monterey County announced that the four projects approved for funding are:
- 12th Street sidewalk between Oak and Elm avenues: Install 0.24 miles of sidewalk, high-visibility crosswalk, curb ramp and flashing stop signs;
- Upgrade signs around all school campuses;
- 12th Street between Cherry Avenue and Harvest Way: Install 0.12 miles of sidewalk on 12th Street; and
- Heidi Drive crosswalk and signage: Install high-visibility crosswalk and school crossing signage.
The Greenfield Steering Committee — made up of residents, students and community advocates — worked with the Safe Routes to School program partners and the City of Greenfield to develop a list of 21 street projects that would make it safer and more comfortable for children to get to and from schools in the city.
In December 2022, Greenfield community members voted on the list of projects. This voting process, known as “participatory budgeting,” is intended to empower community members to help set priorities for public funding.
Based upon the Greenfield PB Election Results, the Steering Committee presented its recommendations to the City Council for funding and implementation. Transportation Agency for Monterey County will provide a grant up to $250,000 to implement the projects that come out of the participatory budgeting process.
Greenfield is the first Monterey County community to do participatory budgeting as part of the Salinas Valley Safe Routes to Schools Plan development.
The cities of Gonzales, Soledad and King City will also have the opportunity to conduct a participatory budgeting process this year, where residents in each city will help determine how to spend $250,000 allocated for program safety improvements in their community.
Salinas Valley Safe Routes to School Plan — developed by the Transportation Agency, Monterey County Health Department, Ecology Action and the four cities in South Monterey County — will identify barriers to safe access to all K-12 public schools in the region and recommend infrastructure and non-infrastructure improvements.
“An important component of the Plan is the participatory budgeting process that is designed to fast-track funding and implementation of safe routes to school projects that are meaningful to community members,” according to the Transportation Agency. “Through this participatory budgeting process, the community helped determine how to spend $250,000 allocated for program safety improvements through the Transportation Agency’s Safe Routes to School Program.”
Salinas Valley Safe Routes to School Plan was funded through a Caltrans Sustainable Transportation Planning Grant ($64,127) and Measure X Safe Routes to School fund ($126,501).
For more information about the Greenfield Participatory Budgeting, visit bit.ly/GreenfieldPB; or go to the Salinas Valley Safe Routes to School Plan site.