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Ripon spends $449K for safer routes to schools
The City of Ripon recently installed overhead pedestrian crossing signals at Calhoun and Santos avenues for the Parkview Elementary Safe Route to School Project. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT / The Bulletin

Safe Routes to School is a program that promotes fitness among young people via walking or bicycling to and from school.

T&S West is handling the Parkview Elementary Safe Route to School Project, having been awarded the bid by the Ripon City Council for $449,485 in July 2018. Funding was made possible by a Safe Route to School grant, according to Engineering Supervisor James Pease.

At the Oct. 8 meeting, elected leaders approved a change order calling for additional school crossing signs and poles for the electronic hand signals around the Ripon Unified kindergarten-through-eighth-grade campus not exceeding $18,683.

“A design adjustment to move two of the large poles (at the intersections of Calhoun / Santos and Calhoun / Colony) for the overhead pedestrian crossing signal was made in order to utilize the pole arrangement for a future traffic signal, when warranted,” Pease said in his report to the council.

An adjustment to the push button pole locations along with secondary poles for the electronic pedestrian heads were also necessary, he noted.

Changes also include school crossing signs and school crossing ahead signs to be added to the project in order to comply with the Manual for Uniform Traffic Control Devices in school zones.

The Parkview project, in general, will consist of crossing beacons on Calhoun Avenue at the Santos Avenue and Colony Road intersections along with crosswalk striping, paver striping, handicap ramps, signage, and electronic speed radar signs around the campus.

The Vineyards Subdivision and future development planned in the vicinity would also have a safe pedestrian crossing along Fulton Avenue.

Council, in addition, approved a T&S West change order for $33,700 for the installation of pedestrian crossing flashing beacons on Fulton Avenue on the north leg of the Santos Avenue intersection.

Updates on this Safe Route to School Project will be provided to Parkview parents by flyers and Nixle alerts on their cellphones.

“Police will be out at the sites to assist the kids and drivers in the beginning,” said City Administrator Kevin Werner.

Mayor Leo Zuber, for one, will be pleased once the Safe Route to School is in operation.

“The traffic in the morning in that area is touch and go,” he said.