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Grover Beach residents raise concerns over street design

Posted at 5:50 PM, Oct 08, 2019

Some residents in Grover Beach are raising concerns over new street construction.

Residents unhappy about the changes packed Monday night's city council meeting to express their dislike for the project.

It includes the addition of asphalt berms, which some people say are unsafe.

"We as a neighborhood want to see safe streets. This design is not safe," said Dan Shannon, Grover Beach resident.

For some Newport Avenue residents, the city's new street design hasn't resolved their safety concerns, it's only added to them.

Residents say they're questioning the safety of drivers, bicyclists, and even pedestrians due to the addition of asphalt berms.

"We've had a couple of our seniors at night have tripped over these. It's a real trip hazard for us. We cannot understand why it's so important to have these asphalt dikes and in this particular design when we have safe bicycle designs throughout our city," Shannon said.

Others living on the street say the construction makes the roads safer.

Resident Joel Craighead says narrowing the street could help cars slow down and the asphalt berms could be a layer of protection for bicyclists and pedestrians.

"It is a step in the right direction. There could be some design tweaks but having a barrier between cars and humans is very 2019, moving forward," Craighead said.

Grover Beach City Manager Matthew Bronson says Newport Avenue is a unique street and these changes were meant specifically to be cost effective and beneficial for residents and visitors.

"In order to try to reduce the cost of ongoing pavement maintenance, the city council wanted to narrow the street to be able to provide safe travel lanes, parking lanes, as well as bicycle and pedestrian amenities," Bronson said.

He says after residents spoke up during Monday's meeting, the project on Newport Avenue has now been added to the October 21 agenda.

City council members will have several options to consider, including removing the asphalt berms entirely or contuning as is.

The project is being paid for by funds from Measure K, approved by voters in 2014.