The City of Watsonville is pleased to announce its recent award of 2.3 million dollars in grant funding for transportation projects by the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission at their December 7th meeting. The projects include infrastructure improvements to Airport Boulevard, Freedom Boulevard, and Green Valley Road. Particularly exciting, the support will also provide bicycle safety improvements at several locations within the City, helping Watsonville move towards its goal of becoming a bike-friendly community. Prioritizing alternative modes of transportation improves quality of life and achieves greenhouse gas reduction goals by encouraging residents to spend less time in single-occupancy vehicles.
“We are pleased that the Regional Transportation Commission awarded us funding and will use it to make improvements that will benefit pedestrians, bicyclists, bus riders, and increase efficiency for drivers in Watsonville,” said Murray Fontes, City of Watsonville Principal Engineer. “We are grateful for the hard work of our staff and the dedication of our supporting partners.”
Green bike lanes have proven a successful solution to increase bike lane visibility and reinforce bicyclist priority in potential areas of conflict. Research shows that clearly delineating where cyclists ride will make it easier for truly sharing Watsonville’s roads. Additional bike lanes and green lane treatments, improved sidewalks, and flashing pedestrian beacons are small additions that make a world of difference.
Projects include the following:
Bike Safety - The City will receive $325,000 for a Bicycle Safety Improvement Project that includes installing green bike lanes at various locations within the City. Construction is scheduled for the summer of 2019.
Airport Boulevard - The City will receive an additional $177,000 for the Airport Boulevard Reconstruction Project from Westgate Drive and Larkin Valley Road to Hanger Way. Building on previous funding from the Regional Transportation Commission, improvements will include roadway and bike lane reconstruction, the installation of new sidewalks, and the addition of a flashing beacon at the pedestrian crossing at Holm Road. Construction is scheduled for the summer of 2018.
Freedom Boulevard - The City will receive $1,550,000 for the Freedom Boulevard Reconstruction Project from Alta Vista Avenue to Green Valley Road. Improvements will include roadway reconstruction, sidewalk improvements, installation of signage and traffic markings for bicycles, upgrading an existing bus stop shelter, and installing a traffic signal at Sydney Avenue. Construction is scheduled for 2022.
Green Valley Road - The City will receive an additional $306,000 for the Green Valley Road Reconstruction Project from Struve Slough to Freedom Boulevard. Previously funded by the Regional Transportation Commission, improvements will include roadway and bike lane reconstruction, and replacing asphalt pedestrian paths with concrete curbs, gutters, and sidewalks. Construction is scheduled for the summer of 2018.