Construction begins on crosswalk safety projects across SLO County
Construction began this week on three crosswalk enhancement projects across San Luis Obispo County.
The Public Works Department is installing new flashing beacon systems to several crosswalks.
One of the projects is in Avila Beach on Ontario Road at the Bob Jones Bike Trail Crossing. Another is in Cayucos on North Ocean Avenue at the mid-block crosswalk between Cayucos Drive and D Street. The third is in Nipomo on Tefft Street at the Dana Elementary mid-block crosswalk.
Ryan Monie was the project manager for these projects. He said these areas don’t necessarily see a higher collision rate than others throughout the county, but Public Works prioritized these spots for improvements because they have higher-than-average pedestrian usage.
“So not necessarily that there were any issues going on there, but there is more volume of pedestrian traffic," Monie said. "We wanted to find and identify these areas so maybe we [could] get ahead of anything. The goal of this project is obviously safety.”
Monie said the projects have been in the works since 2017. He said each crosswalk will see different updates.
The Avila Beach crosswalk will be the most robust, with advance warning lights and an overhead flashing light activated by new pedestrian push buttons.
The Nipomo crosswalk will utilize existing curb ramps and a center island. Monie said it’ll also be updated with flashing beacons.
He said the work on the Cayucos crosswalk will be a bit different. They’ll be installing curb extensions called “bulb-outs” that expand the sidewalk.
“We’re actually doing more concrete work. We’re actually going to be installing some bulb-outs that go along the crosswalk out there to get pedestrians out a little further but in a safe way," Monie said. "That way, they’re more visible to vehicles.”
Monie said all of the crosswalks are expected to be fully updated by April, barring any major weather events.
“Even though we’re really hoping for rain, if it is a heavy rainy day, that could cause some delays for that construction project,” Monie said.
Monie said the overall disruption of traffic flow should be fairly minimal, but Public Works advises motorists to consider alternative routes during construction.