The following article was published in Santa Maria Sun – Volume 22, Issue 18 on June 30, 2021. released [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed by Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] – Volume 22, Issue 18
North Blosser Road with protected bike paths, new zebra crossing
From Malea Martin
Santa Maria residents will see some construction work along Blosser Road over the next several months as the city adds protected bike lanes and pedestrian-friendly zebra crossings, and updates sidewalks to meet current standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
David Beas, the city’s chief civil engineer, said the North Blosser Road Improvement Project will take 75 working days to complete. The nearly $ 800,000 project is made possible thanks to a grant to the Cycle 7 Road Safety Improvement Program, to which the city applied a few years ago, according to Beas.
“We had some human resource challenges that we had to face because we have a lot of projects that we’re working on, so it took us a little,” said Beas.
The project, which includes improvements between Taylor Street and Atlantic Place, will add a landscaped median in the middle of the street, reducing the number of lanes in either direction from two to one. This change is intended to slow down vehicles.
Protected class II cycle paths are also added.
“A Class II consists essentially of the roadway and also a separate striped cycle path,” said Beas. “In this particular case, there is a buffered bike path that is supposed to be 10 feet long [wide]which is separated by an asphalt mountain. “
A berm is a slightly raised barrier, in this case about six inches high, that prevents cars from turning into the cycle path.
“The physical barrier makes it safer for cyclists,” said Beas.
The project will also update the corner ramps for sidewalks to meet current ADA standards. Beas said that when the sidewalks were originally designed, they met ADA standards at the time, but those requirements have changed. The sidewalk incline must be less than 2 percent, and some are slightly higher.
“If there’s a construction project, we have a legal obligation to ensure that all ADA accessible facilities comply with current regulations,” said Beas. “A cursory inspection of the facilities therefore revealed that they did not comply with the current regulations.”
Eventually, the project will add a highly visible zebra crossing at Atlantic Place to make it easier for pedestrians to access the Santa Maria Levee Trail. Beas said it will resemble an existing zebra crossing at the intersection of Broadway and Battles.
“Essentially, it’s a zebra crossing that looks almost like a ladder. There are those glowing streaks that increase car public awareness, ”said Beas, as well as fluorescent signs.
“There is a multipurpose trail on the dam that starts right at Atlantic,” said Beas. “So the people who live in this quarter can get to the Deichweg via this improved intersection.”
These changes are in line with many of the goals of the City’s Active Transport Plan 2020, a guide designed to make Santa Maria more accessible to cyclists, pedestrians, people with disabilities, and other car-free commuters. While grant funding for the North Blosser Road Improvement Project is a different budget than the funding the Active Transportation Plan seeks, the projects outlined in the plan contain elements similar to the improvements being made on Blosser: better accessibility for bicycles, pedestrian pedestrian , and people with disabilities.
According to Beas, pedestrians and motorists can expect minor traffic delays during construction, especially when the asphalt berms and central trams are being relocated.
“We generally like to work around the car crowd until work starts after rush hour,” he said. “It all depends on traffic patterns.”