Wednesday, April 13, 2022
MONTEREY COUNTY – Things will look a little different in front of Harden Middle School in north Salinas, beginning April 20, 2022. To improve safety and encourage walking and bicycling, the City of Salinas in partnership with The Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC), Ecology Action and the Monterey County Health Department is installing temporary pedestrian improvements and a protected bicycle lane on McKinnon Street.
The protected bike lane will include a physical barrier separating bicyclists from motorists. The barrier will feature artwork done by North Salinas High School students and Ciclovia Salinas participants.
McKinnon Street is heavily used by families and children attending Harden Middle School and has been identified as a safe route to school corridor in the active Salinas Safe Routes to School planning process. The temporary pop-up event in front of the school features:
· Temporary curb extensions at intersections along Westminster Drive, with the goal of making crossings easier and safer
· The installation of a temporary protected bicycle lane, with the goal of providing a safe and comfortable space for students to bike to school.
Installation will occur 9 am – 4 pm, April 18-19, 2022, with minimal impacts on traffic.
Community members of all ages are encouraged to test the new design, April 20 – May 18, 2022, by walking and biking along the corridor and providing feedback to the planning team. An anonymous survey will be available in English and Spanish for pedestrians, drivers, and cyclists to provide feedback by one of the three following methods:
1. Provide in-person feedback to staff on-site during the demonstration
2. Provide feedback on-line at https://saferoutesmonterey.org/planning-salinas/
3. Pick-up a survey from the box in front of Harden Middle School; fill it out and return it by mail in the pre-posted envelope provided with the survey.
Emphasizing the importance of the pop-up demonstration, Salinas City Councilmember Anthony Rocha, said, “If we want to reduce traffic around schools, we need to easier and safer for people to walk and bike.”
Ariana Green, TAMC Principal Planner and Manager of the Transportation Agency’s “Safe Routes to School Program” is excited that community members can provide input on projects like this which will make it easier and safer for families to travel around their neighborhoods and throughout the city.
She explains why by saying, “We often hear from parents that they want more comfortable places to bicycle with their families. This project is a perfect opportunity to test out such a design and let the City know if it should be made permanent.”
The implementation of the pop-up demonstration is part of the City of Salinas
Safe Routes to School Plan. The Plan is a partnership between the Transportation Agency for Monterey County, City of Salinas, Monterey County Health Department, Ecology Action, Santa Rita Union, Salinas City, Alisal Union and Salinas High School Union School Districts.
The project is funded through a Caltrans Sustainable Communities Transportation Planning Grant as well as local Measure X funds. Following the installation project, the planning team will develop the draft Safe Routes to Schools Plan for 45 Salinas schools, which will be completed in 2022.
“The Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC) is responsible for investing in regional transportation projects for Monterey County residents, businesses, and visitors. The mission of TAMC is to develop and maintain a multimodal transportation system that enhances mobility, safety, access, environment quality and economic activities in Monterey County. For more information visit www.tamcmonterey.org or call 831.775.0903.”
“The” Safe Route to School” is a TAMC program which offers tools, programming, and resources to schools, guardians, and communities aimed at improving safety and traffic around schools. The program’s goal is to keep every child safe and healthy by reducing the number of students involved in collisions to zero. For more information visit https://saferoutesmonterey.org”
“The Monterey County Health Department exists to enhance, protect, and improve the health of the people in Monterey County. To accomplish this, the Department provides a wide variety of health-related services in the area of public health, environmental health, behavioral health, and clinic services.”
“Ecology Action provides innovative, equitable energy, water, and transportation solutions for a prosperous low-carbon future. We design effective programs, successfully activate communities, forge mutually beneficial partnerships and influence policy to advance equitable, climate-smart initiatives. For more information visit: https://ecoact.org/”