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Home / bicyclists

Riverside receives $7.8 million grant for improving traffic safety

Riverside has received a $7.8 million federal traffic safety grant to attempt to reduce traffic collisions involving pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists, the city announced Friday.

The Highway Safety Improvement Program funds will cover the costs of projects that intend to improve the visibility of traffic signals; increase the safety of pedestrians at all signalized crossings by allowing them to enter the crosswalk in advance of vehicle drivers; and build a raised barrier median along a portion of Mission Inn Avenue, according to the city of Riverside.

“The grant is the largest amount awarded to a single project out of 282 projects which were selected for funding in the state,” the city said in its announcement of the grant, which requires Riverside to contribute $1.2 million in matching funds — so roughly $9 million in safety improvements are imminent.

“Our City continues to take proactive steps to increase safety by bringing state resources to Riverside,” Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson said in a statement. “These improvements will make our roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists, while reducing the number and severity of vehicle crashes.”

The city detailed the forthcoming improvements that include:

— “a raised median barrier project and enhanced surfacing on Mission Inn Avenue between Redwood Drive and Scout Lane to reduce the number of collisions and wet-road crashes.

— “retro-reflective backplates on 400 traffic signals citywide that make the signals more visible, boost driver awareness of the signals, and reduce collisions.

— “implementation of Leading Pedestrian Interval (LPI) timing at 400 traffic signals citywide, which increases safety by giving pedestrians and cyclists 3-7 seconds to start their path across the street before cars start driving, which increases the likelihood of vehicles yielding.”

In September the City Council approved the grant application to the California Department of Transportation, which administers the federal program in California. The grant application was supported by the Riverside and Alvord school districts, which wrote letters supporting the traffic safety-improvement goals.

“Creating a safe and accessible environment for residents in the City of Riverside is a priority,” Mayor Pro Tem Clarissa Cervantes said in a statement. “We are grateful to the school districts for their support of this grant application, which will make our roads safer for the community at large.”

More information on the grant is available at riversideca.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=11172341&GUID=7905D79C-2F22-441C-9646-24890A478501.

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