Council: City to seek grant money to install four school crossing lights

April 12, 2000
Santa Paula News
Three times just might be the charm for grant funding to install school crossing lights at four locations, after the City Council approved the application for same. According to Public Works Director/City Engineer Norm Wilkinson, if the grant is approved the project would install flashing pavement markers at four school crossings, two on Harvard Boulevard and two on Ojai Road.If the application is successful the Ventura County Transportation Commission would provide $45,000 towards the project cost, estimated at $100,000 total. The balance would be budgeted from local highway funds in the 2000-2001 city budget.Transportation Development Act funds are being sought which is parceled out by the Ventura County Transportation Commission each year.“For the past two years, we have unsuccessfully attempted to gain funding for school crossing lights on Harvard Boulevard,” reported Wilkinson. “I believe we can be successful this year. Last year was unsuccessful only because we did not offer excess matching funds.”Projects that were “over matched” made the cut, and those that only proposed the recommended match were not, he added, but “this year the evaluation criteria have been changed regarding matching funds and I’m proposing that we ‘over match’ as well.”
The city wants to install flashing pavement markers on Harvard Boulevard at Laurie Lane and Fifth Street as well as Ojai Road at Virginia Terrace and Oak Dale Place.Flashing pavement markers are relatively new: low voltage lighted markers are installed in the pavement to outline the crosswalk that can be activated by a push button or pedestrian traffic passing through a light beam.Wilkinson proposed that the city offer $55,000 towards the project, 55 percent of the cost.A state program is looming to improve safe routes to schools and pay 100 percent of project costs, but competition is expected to be fierce. Wilkinson already has locations along Main Street - at Lucada, Cameron and Fourth streets as well as at Dean Drive - lined up to benefit if the city if successful in gaining a grant.

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