SALINAS VALLEY — Monterey County Public Health Bureau has received a $100,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) that will support the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians throughout the county, including the Salinas Valley.
“Monterey County Public Health is excited to continue working with OTS to promote walking and biking to and from school to reduce traffic congestion and collisions during drop-off and pick-up times,” according to a county news release.
The funding will support continued outreach and education in the cities of Gonzales, Soledad, Greenfield, King City, Marina, Seaside and Pacific Grove, while making walking and biking to school safer, more interactive and fun for families and students in Monterey County.
“Our roads are increasingly riskier for people who walk or ride their bike,” OTS Director Barbara Rooney said. “The goal of this funding is to reverse the growing trend of bicyclist and pedestrian-involved crashes by educating the public on safe road behaviors.”
Grant funds will pay for a comprehensive safety program that will teach valuable skills for all types of road users. This includes educational presentations to teach youth and older adults on safe walking habits; community and school education presentations on best bike and walking practices; and helmet-fitting inspections and distribution of helmets to those in need.
In addition, the funding will support the continuation of a community sidewalk stencil art project, which launched earlier this year in Gonzales, Soledad and Greenfield. The artwork provides a safe walking route for students and their families to get to and from school.
The funds also allow for participation in community events that promote the importance of visibility on roads with safety equipment, such as reflective armbands and leg bands and bicycle headlights and taillights.
Funding for this program, which will run through September 2022, was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.