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Several projects will improve pedestrian, bike safety in San Luis Obispo

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Posted at 7:03 PM, Apr 28, 2023

The City of San Luis Obispo is moving forward with plans to resurface numerous roads and make them safer for bicyclists and pedestrians.

City officials say the goal of the 2023 pavement maintenance project is to ensure the streets are of good quality for all users.

"We are going through some major streets and improving the payment quality going multimodal features and improving pedestrian access," said Ryan Caldera, transportation and engineer planner for the city of San Luis Obispo.

The city plans to start this project in the summer of 2023.

"The portions that we're going to be doing this summer include Santa Barbara Ave., Morris St., California, and Monterey," said Caldera.

In addition to new pavement, the work will include new pedestrian and bicycle crossings with flashing lights, protected bike lanes, and ADA improvements.

Executive director of Bike SLO County, a bicycle advocacy group, Rick Ellison, said he is eager to see changes to the roadways.

"Currently there's not great bike markings or lanes, so the enhancements on those roadways are going to be vital," said Ellison.

Caldera said one of the biggest projects is the protected bike lanes on Santa Barbara Ave.

"It'll (the project) give a curve space between vehicles and bicyclists."

Timon Phillips, who owns a nearby business and is a bicyclist himself, worries the loss of a dozen parking spaces could impact business.

"I think it's going to be a problem for my neighboring business because that's where a majority of their customers park," said Phillips.

For this project, Caldera adds there will be a focus on active transportation and increasing accessibility and safety for bikers and pedestrians.

"Having these protected bicycle facilities like we do downtown will really help the user experience and safety for them."

The project is expected to cost $9.7 million dollars. and the funding will come from the city.