SACRAMENTO — Caltrans awarded more than $227 million to fund safety projects designed to reduce traffic deaths and serious injuries on city and county roads. Funding is provided through the federal Highway Safety Improvement Program.
Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin said, “Safety is always our number one priority,”. “These projects will enhance systemwide safety features, including expanded access to protected walkways and bikeways, and will move us closer to our goal of reducing serious injuries and fatalities on California roadways.”
Projects approved today in eastern Kern, Mono and Inyo counties include:
- Ridgecrest – Upgrade uncontrolled crosswalks and signalized intersections with enhanced crosswalk features, including Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFBs), adaptive signal upgrades, and high-visibility signing and striping
- California City– Install speed radar, high-visibility crosswalks markings, crosswalk flashing beacons, sidewalk repairs with ADA ramps, flashing LED stop sign, restriping, and signage
- Tehachapi – Install enhanced striping projects
- Inyo County – Upgrade guardrail in Onion Valley (*Bold added)
- Mono County – Upgrade signs, striping, and guardrail*
- Mammoth Lakes – Install RRFBs along SR 203 at various locations*
“I’m pleased that our district was able to identify and provide funding for local projects to bring safety improvements to several communities throughout eastern Kern, Mono and Inyo counties,” stated Ryan Dermody, Caltrans District 9 Director.
According to the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System, nearly 64 percent of traffic deaths in California occur on city or county roads, underscoring the significance of funding local safety improvements.
Caltrans selected a total of 266 projects statewide for funding for safety enhancements that include new traffic signals, roundabouts, turn lanes, rumble strips and guard rails. A number of projects focus on the following safety improvements at intersections:
- Retroreflective bordered backplates: yellow strips around the perimeter of traffic signals that increase visibility in bright or dark conditions, including during a loss of power.
- Timing changes to give pedestrian and bicyclists more time to cross at crosswalks before the light changes.
- Rectangular rapid-flashing beacons with a push-button signal control to increase pedestrian visibility at crosswalks.