More than $2 million in grant funding could be awarded to the City of Lompoc to improve pedestrian safety.
This past spring, the city's Engineering Division partnered with the Lompoc Unified School District and other local organizations to apply for a $2.8 million grant for the California Transportation Commission's Active Transportation Program. City officials say their application ranked 7th among 544 other applicants.
"We are going to look at making the city safer than it already is for pedestrians, especially around schools and important areas in town like the Lompoc Aquatic Center, the YMCA, and places that children spend a lot of time," said Samantha Scroggin, City of Lompoc Public Information Officer.
Scroggin says the incoming grant funds would be used to infill missing sidewalks, add flashing beacons like the ones recently established along Ocean Avenue, and create resources for community outreach and education.
"There have been some pedestrian incidents, especially around the schools, so it is really important to improve that," Scroggin added.
Lompoc resident Maria Magana says she was taking her daughters to school last Thursday when she witnessed an elderly woman get hit by a car outside Hapgood Elementary.
"It happened close to me," Magana told KSBY. "Police and ambulance started to arrive and well, a person was hit by a car. It was very sad."
Scroggin says it could be a few years before all the new enhancements are in place but that we can expect the initial steps of the city's "Walkability, Community Safety and School Investments Project" to take shape in the coming months.
"We look forward to, maybe this next year, seeing some of the grant actually going in with some systems in place, working with the school district to start a Safe Routes to School program," she said.
Lompoc city officials say pedestrian enhancements can be expected in the areas surrounding Hapgood and Ruth elementary schools, as well as at both Lompoc middle and high schools.