City Council: Update on Bicycle Trail, street work requested

December 15, 2010
Santa Paula City Council

The citizen representative to the Ventura County Transportation Commission asked the City Council for an update on the Santa Paula Branch Line Bicycle Trail and expressed concern over the disrepair of city streets at the December 6 meeting.

John Bravo told the council they had appointed him in January to the VCTC citizen advisory committee.

“The things we’re talking about is the bike path we’re supposed to be building,” and Bravo said he would appreciate feedback “when we start,” to be prepared to report on the issue at the committee’s next meeting. There was a groundbreaking ceremony for the $4.1 million grant funded trail - which will run from 12th Street to Peck Road - in late October. The city had to match the funding with $400,000.

The trail will offer other amenities, including a rest stop and kiosk with information on the city and local attractions located near the historic Depot. Construction on the trail was announced to begin in mid-to late November; the total project will take just under a year to complete.

Bravo told the council he is concerned about the state of city streets. Numerous thoroughfares, including 6th and Yale streets, “need fixing badly... it’s getting so people don’t want to drive those streets,” and Bravo questioned city funding that is targeted for upgrades.

City Manager Jaime Fontes said the Santa Paula Branch Line Bicycle Trail has “already begun” and is going through its initial stages. “We are at the last portion of the acquisition,” and Fontes said he has been in discussions with Ventura County Transportation Commission Executive Director Darren Kettle on the project’s status. The project will be in full construction mode in several months, and should be completed at about the same time the Ventura County Farm Museum - located in the historic Mill in the Railroad Plaza - opens.

When it comes to city streets, Fontes said the city has a $5 million set-aside - culled from an approximate $35 million city utility bond earmarked for capital improvements - for road and related work. The funding will cover work in four categories: signage that is out of compliance and must be replaced, stripping, “slip and trip” sidewalk hazards, and potholes.

“It will all be done in one shot,” and Fontes said a survey of “slip and trip” sidewalk locations has been completed. Now the “scope of work” is being examined and coordinated with the county for signage needs.

When it comes to pavement needs, Fontes said the present allotment of $5 million would “merely pave Harvard Boulevard” from 10th to Palm Avenue. To repave Harvard Boulevard all the way to Peck Road Fontes estimated would cost about $10 million.

“We’re trying to spread it all over town in terms of priority,” and Fontes said the city will “look at streets, look at the worse ones... by that I mean” those that carry the most traffic. Fontes said there is also a printout of road repair “done in the last year... but we’ll see an increase” as new work begins.

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