Some new crosswalks improvements are soon to be installed in a thriving part of Downtown Paso Robles.
The stretch of road along 13th Street just one block from City Park has seen an increase in foot traffic and cars, which has prompted the city to make some upgrades.
Some locals say these improvements to the crosswalks should have happened a long time ago. Several people say they’ve either witnessed a close call or experienced one themselves.
“I’m always kind of looking to see if cars are coming and then you know what, I mean, darting out as soon as I can and see if it’s clear,” said Nick Bianchine.
He’s not alone.
He has a view of the crosswalk from the window where he works at the Refinery and he’s seen plenty of cars zooming by, not stopping for pedestrians.
“I mean, every day people are hesitant to cross and it’s kind of, it’s definitely sketchy,” Bianchine added.
“When I go for my walks and stuff I haven’t had a bad experience but I’m always overly cautious,” said Jan Carreiro of Paso Robles.
But folks can soon relax a bit. The crosswalks at 13th and Park and 13th and Pine will soon look different.
“We’re getting ready now to do flashing crosswalks that a pedestrian can push a button and get a lighted crosswalk,” said Dick McKinley, City of Paso Robles Public Works Director. “It’ll help the downtown pedestrians be safer on this road.”
He says it’ll help the cars see the pedestrians.
“When I’m driving too, you know, I’ve noticed that people just kind of step out without paying attention so it’s a little scary on both sides,” Carreiro added.
“I think it’s a great idea to make it safer,” said Dee Aud, co-owner of Vic’s Cafe. “I like the idea of the lighted crosswalks because it’s hard to see people at night especially if they’re wearing dark clothing.”
More street lights and pavement upgrades are also part of this safety project in this increasingly popular downtown corridor.
ADA ramp improvements are already underway.
Construction on the crosswalk improvements is expected to last for several months.
The city says the project will cost about $1.4 million.