SOLEDAD — A temporary redesign along Front Street in Soledad for a Safe Routes to School project demonstration is now open for community members to test out, announced Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC).
The demonstration, which began Sept. 8 and continues through Oct. 6, is a temporary reconfiguration along Front Street that includes a separated bikeway between Oak Street and Nestles Road and upgrades on the crosswalks to make them more visible.
According to TAMC, the goal of these changes is to improve safety for people walking and biking and to get feedback from the community.
When discussing the temporary street design, TAMC’s Executive Director Todd Muck said that it was an opportunity for parents, children and other community members to “get a sense of what safer and more visible bikeways and crosswalks would feel like.”
The Salinas Valley Safe Routes to School Plan, developed by the Transportation Agency, Monterey County Health Department, Ecology Action and the cities in South Monterey County, will identify barriers to safe access to all K-12 public schools in South Monterey County 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 TAMC.
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. The Plan was funded through a Caltrans Sustainable Transportation Planning Grant and Measure X Safe Routes to School fund.