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City to seek grant for Sierra Highway-Golden Valley Road improvements

Posted: April 19, 2014 7:00 p.m.
Updated: April 19, 2014 7:00 p.m.

The state Department of Transportation is inviting cities and counties throughout California to submit projects to get people out of their cars and onto their bikes or their own two feet — and Santa Clarita is ready to comply.

Caltrans has about $360 million in grant money to fund such projects, Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty announced this week.

“Active transportation projects are a good investment and will help achieve mobility, safety and greenhouse gas reduction goals for California,” Dougherty said.

“Active transportation” is classified as biking, walking or using public transportation.

Santa Clarita is preparing an application for a piece of that grant money, said Evan Thomason, spokesman for the city.

“The city is currently drafting an application for the Sierra Highway Pedestrian/Bikeway Bridge and Street Improvements located at the Sierra Highway and Golden Valley Road intersection,” Thomason said.

The improvement project would add a new pedestrian/bikeway bridge over Sierra Highway, relocate a bus stop from the south side of the intersection to the north side, and install a new right-turn pocket from southbound Sierra Highway to westbound Golden Valley Road, he said.

It would improve safety for Golden Valley High School students and for all pedestrians and cyclists in the area, he added.

Initial estimates put the cost of the project around $3 million, Thomason said, but he emphasized that number is very preliminary.

The grant money for the so-called Active Transportation Program comes through two bills signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last year. The bills consolidate a patchwork of small grant programs with one comprehensive one, Caltrans officials said.

The recently released California Household Travel Survey shows that nearly 23 percent of household trips are made taking on “active transportation,” more than double the number in 2000, Caltrans officials said.

The agency this month also endorsed the National Association of City Transportation Officials guidelines aimed at making foot and bike traffic safer in urban areas. The guidelines recommend buffered bike lanes — those separated from street traffic — and improved pedestrian walkways.




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