Councilmember Huizar works with City to bring $5 million in safety improvements for ‘Neighborhood Friendly Streets’ around Breed Street and Sheridan Street Elementary Schools.
Councilmember José Huizar joined with Breed Street and Sheridan Street elementary students, parents and faculty, the City’s Department of Transportation GM Seleta Reynolds, BOE and LAUSD officials Wednesday morning to break ground on $5 million in “Safe Routes to School” improvements in Boyle Heights.
From 2011-2015, there were 44 collision-related injuries, including two fatalities, along Soto Street between Wabash Avenue and 8th Street near the two schools. More than 60% of students in the area walk to school, with many crossing Soto Street and Cesar Chavez Avenue, both of which are on the City’s High Injury Network. Wednesday’s groundbreaking will create a network of “neighborhood friendly streets” to improve the safety of people and students walking and bicycling in the neighborhood of Sheridan St. Elementary and Breed Street Elementary School, and the Soto Street corridor.
Councilmember Huizar and LADOT held several community meetings at the schools to discuss community selected improvements.
“Our children are our greatest resource and of all the improvements I’ve been involved with, none are more important than those that will better protect students walking to and from school,” said Councilmember José Huizar. “I thank LADOT, our parents, school staff and community members who helped us create the ‘Safe Routes to School Neighborhood Safety Improvement Project.’”
The improvements include:
· High visibility crosswalks on Chicago, Soto and Sheridan streets
· Pedestrian Headstart crosswalks (where pedestrian get a 4 second head-start) at intersections on E. Cesar Chavez Ave. at N. St. Louis St. and N. Breed St.
· Mini-roundabouts on St. Louis St. at 2nd St. and at Michigan St.
· Speed humps on St. Louis and Breed streets from 6th St. to Sheridan St.
· Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon crosswalk on E. Cesar Chavez Ave. and Cummings St.
· Curb extensions on Soto Street at Folsom, 3rd and Sheridan streets, on Breed Street at 3rd, 4th and Folsom streets, at Sheridan and Cornwell streets, at Cesar Chavez Ave. and Brittania St., and at 4th and St. Louis streets
· Bike boxes and bike loop detectors on Cesar Chavez Ave. at N. St. Louis and N. Breed streets, and at Soto and Sheridan streets
· New traffic signal on S. Soto and 3rd streets and N. Soto and Boulder streets
· Sidewalk repair at Chicago St. and 2nd St., and Soto from 4th to 2nd streets
· Curb Ramp Repair on Cornwell and Bird streets
The goals of the project are to calm traffic, increase safety on pedestrian and bike routes, reduce speeds, increase visibility of pedestrians and bicyclists and enhance choices of bicycling and walking.
This streetscape/sidewalk improvement project is one of several Councilmember Huizar is involved with in the Boyle Heights area, which collectively total more than $38 million. Other projects include Metro’s Eastside Access Project Phases I and II in and around First Street, the Cesar Chavez Streetscape Project, Olympic Boulevard Safety Improvements, Whittier Boulevard Sidewalk Repairs and Active Transportation Program (ATP) funds around the future 6th Street Bridge and PARC space. The $5 million in funding for the “Safe Routes to School” improvements also come through ATP.
Bureau of Engineering expects construction to be completed by fall 2019.