Council of governments awards $7.5-million for local transportation projects

Funding will go to two projects in Paso Robles

– This week, the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments (SLOCOG) awarded $7.5 million to local communities for transportation projects that improve safety, mobility, access, and public health. This money was made available through the agency’s new Community Betterments Competitive Grant Program designed to provide the region’s cities and counties with competitive funding that supports system mobility by making transportation via bike, foot, bus, and car safer and more convenient. SLOCOG received 17 applications requesting over $11 million.

The awards will go towards ten capital projects, two complete streets corridor plans, an action plan for the region, and planning tools, outlined below:

Agency: City of Paso Robles
Project: Flamson Safe Route to School Safety Project
Award amount: $750k
Description: This project will provide critical pedestrian and bicycle safety enhancements around Flamson Middle School and at the intersection of 24th Street and Spring Street. The project will reconfigure 24th Street to include: buffered bike lanes, a new drop-off area, curb extensions to narrow pedestrian crossings, new street lighting, and a rapid flashing beacon crossing enhancement—and will improve operations by providing a pedestrian lead phase. On Spring Street, enhancements will include a new pedestrian ramp at 26th Street and striping for buffered bike lanes.

Agency: City of Paso Robles
Project: North River Road Bike Connector
Award amount: $350k
Description: This project will advance the design and implementation of the City’s Grand Loop Trail, by connecting a Class I trail gap between the existing termini at Union Road and Experimental Station Road.

Agency: City of Atascadero
Project: El Camino Real Downtown Infrastructure Enhancement Project
Award amount: $750
Description: This project will make the El Camino Real downtown corridor a two-lane roadway with additional parking, flexible use space, bicycle lanes, and landscape/refuge areas. Bicycle and pedestrian improvements will include painted bicycle lanes, shared lane markings, curb extensions, high-visibility crosswalks, and a pedestrian hybrid beacon.

Agency: City of Arroyo Grande
Project: Halcyon Road Safe Routes to School Improvements (Fair Oaks to The Pike)
Award amount: $749k
Description: This project will reduce travel lanes to one lane in each direction on South Halcyon Road to accommodate pedestrian improvements and Class II buffered bicycle facilities between Fair Oaks Avenue and The Pike, including the replacement of noncompliant Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ramps and the installation of two crosswalks with rapid-flashing beacons. The project constructs a portion of the improvements identified in the Halcyon Complete Streets Plan.

Agency: City of Grover Beach
Project: West Grand Multimodal Improvements (Gap Closure)
Award amount: $1.5M
Description: This project includes landscaped medians, sidewalk improvements, pavement rehabilitation, bike lanes, decorative concrete, landscaping, and lighting along a portion of West Grand Avenue, the City’s main commercial corridor. The project aims to improve safety for vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists while also providing essential infrastructure for the development of housing and businesses on West Grand Avenue. The project combines local affordable housing goals with efforts to reduce vehicle trips and associated greenhouse gas emissions.

Agency: City of Morro Bay
Project: Multimodal Safety & Accessibility Intersection Improvements (Main Street & Quintana Road)
Award amount: $490k
Description: This project will incorporate multimodal and safety improvements to the intersection at Main Street and Quintana Road, including many ADA upgrades. Improvements and upgrades will include: curb ramps, abutting sidewalks, audible push buttons, pedestrian signal heads, traffic signal software, timers, striping, and pavement restoration.

Agency: City of San Luis Obispo
Project: Higuera Complete Streets Improvements & Safe Routes to School Gap Closure
Award amount: $750k
Description: This project includes complete street improvements along the Higuera Street Corridor, from Los Osos Valley Road north to Marsh Street. Improvements include the addition of Class IV protected bike lanes on Higuera Street and Madonna Road, pedestrian ADA and crossing improvements throughout, traffic calming and guide signage on the neighborhood greenway segments, and a new pedestrian hybrid beacon for safer pedestrian and cyclist crossing at the South and King streets intersection.

Agency: City of San Luis Obispo
Project: California Boulevard and Taft Street Roundabout (Bike and Pedestrian Safety Improvements)
Award amount: $750k
Description: This project will construct a single-lane urban roundabout at California Boulevard and Taft Street. Improvements include roadway excavation and paving, sidewalk and Class I bikeway linkages, drainage and stormwater treatment, lighting, and landscaping. The project is intended to improve traffic circulation, reduce auto congestion and emissions, mitigate ongoing collision trends, improve connectivity and safety for active transportation users, and create an attractive and welcoming gateway to California Polytechnic State University.

Agency: County of San Luis Obispo
Project: Los Berros at Dale Left Turn and Bike Lanes (Gap Closure)
Award amount: $375k
Description: This project includes the widening of Los Berros Road to accommodate Class II bike lanes from Quailwood Lane to North Frontage Road in South County—a continuation of the Class II bike lanes previously constructed between Pomeroy Road and Quailwood Lane. At Los Berros and Dale Avenue, the widening will accommodate westbound traffic turning left from Los Berros Road onto Dale Avenue, improving westbound traffic on Los Berros Road.

Agency: County of San Luis Obispo
Study: Los Osos Valley Road Multimodal Corridor Study (Los Osos)
Award amount: $150k
Description: This study will develop the build-out vision for the transportation corridor between Foothill Boulevard and Rodman Drive, emphasizing preferred alternatives for intersection improvements and refining multimodal segments. The planning effort is intended to define and prioritize infrastructure needs that increase safe mobility choices.

Agency: County of San Luis Obispo
Study: Pier Avenue Multimodal Corridor Study (Oceano)
Award amount: $150k
Description: This study will identify multimodal access and safety improvements while optimizing and enhancing existing parking, bike lanes, turn-outs, and other improvements.

Agency: SLOCOG
Tools: Planning Tools
Award amount: $229k
Description: Planning tools to assist with modeling, counts, forecasting, and aerial imagery.

Agency: SLOCOG’s Regional Rideshare Division
Project: Bike Locker Upgrades
Award amount: $250k
Description: This project will upgrade an aging network of 40 bike lockers with new, on-demand models that will increase security, expand access, and remove barriers to use. The old lockers will be removed and replaced with perforated steel models that can be reserved by the hour using a card or phone app. Vendor usage data indicates that on-demand lockers serve 5-7 times as many cyclists in a year compared to non-shared systems. Upgrading the system also reduces annual maintenance and operations costs from $11k to $6k, supporting another 20-25 years of useful product life and saving $100k over time.

Agency: SLOCOG
Study Match: Regional Safe Routes for All Equity Analysis and Funding Action Plan
Award amount: $100k
Description: This funding will be used as the region’s funding match to obtain up to $400k for the planning study. The study will analyze existing jurisdiction-specific data, identify common infrastructure priorities in and around regionally-defined disadvantaged communities, establish a disadvantaged community index for transportation, and establish thresholds/evaluation criteria to help direct the programming of regional discretionary funds.

“SLOCOG works hard to increase mobility choices in the region—like walking, biking, public transit, and employer vanpools—so that more people can make trips without using a car,” said SLOCOG Programming Director Richard Murphy. “With support from local elected officials, SLOCOG’s member agencies have planned a multitude of transportation improvements in their communities using Complete Streets principles, which take all types of transportation users into account. And our new grant program is one of several new funding opportunities that has emerged from the increased investments we’re seeing in transportation at the state and federal levels.”

About the author: News Staff

The news staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote or edited this story from local contributors and press releases. The news staff can be reached at [email protected]

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