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May 20, 2022

Greenfield Safe Routes to School workshop and festival set for Saturday

GREENFIELD — Safer routes to schools are coming to Greenfield, and community members are invited to participate in a Safe Routes to School Community Workshop and Festival this Saturday.

The May 14 event, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., will take place on the front lawn of the Greenfield Library at 315 El Camino Real.

The community workshop and celebration will introduce the Salinas Valley Safe Routes to School Plan and provide an opportunity for community members to share how they travel to and from school and any safety issues they have experienced that should be addressed in the plan.

The plan will include a list of recommended projects and programs based on community feedback.

“Community members travel these streets every day and know what the biggest issues are,” said Ariana Green, principal planner for the Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC). “We want to know where it’s difficult to cross the street, where they wish there was space to ride a bike or a scooter, and where the traffic creates a scary environment for children. This plan is for the community, so it’s important that it reflect actual needs and priorities.”

She added, “As an extra incentive, anyone who provides their input will receive tickets to receive free tacos during the event.”

In addition, TAMC and partnering agencies — Ecology Action, Monterey County Health Department, Blue Zones Monterey County, City of Greenfield and Greenfield Union School District — are recruiting community members to get more involved and serve on a Safe Routes to School Steering Committee that will develop a short list of projects to be built immediately after the plan is adopted.

The Salinas Valley Safe Routes to School Plan is a partnership between TAMC, County of Monterey Health Department, Ecology Action, Greenfield Community Science Workshop, Gonzales Unified School District, Greenfield Union School District, King City Union School District, Soledad Unified School District, South Monterey County Joint Union High School District and the cities of Greenfield, Gonzales, King City and Soledad.

The plan is funded by a Sustainable Communities Transportation Planning Grant in the amount of $664,127 from the California Department of Transportation. The money, matched with $126,501 of Measure X funds, will be used to identify safe routes to school and active transportation improvements for 22 K-12 public schools serving nearly 16,000 students in all four South Monterey County cities.

“The need to create safe routes to school is underscored by the fact that children under the age of 14 account for more than half of all bicycle and pedestrian crashes in the four cities, while they only represent a quarter of the population,” Green said. “The Salinas Valley Safe Routes to School Plan is the first step toward making streets better and will put each city in a better position to compete for grant funding.”

For more information about the Safe Routes to School Program, contact Green at [email protected] or 831-775-4403.

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