Almanac

News - April 23, 2014

Woodside to upgrade school crosswalk

When students start the 2014-15 school year at Woodside Elementary School in late August, the crosswalk across Woodside Road in front of the school will have new stripes, new and brighter lights to warn vehicle traffic, and better drainage to redirect rainwater.

Work on the improvements is set to begin in June, about a year later than originally planned. The town of Woodside is budgeting about $200,000 for the project, with a refund of up to $194,000 expected from the federal government. The town is also receiving a grant of $21,600 from Measure A funds from the San Mateo County Transportation Authority as a match toward the federal funding.

Work might have been delayed another year had it not been for the assistance of state Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, and Assemblyman Rich Gordon, D-Menlo Park. Woodside Road is a state highway; the legislators interceded with the California Department of Transportation to make sure a permit was issued in time to complete the project before school opens, Town Manager Kevin Bryant told the Almanac.

The town had submitted a crosswalk plan to Caltrans in 2012, but approval came too late for the 2013-14 school year. The town tried for 2014-15, but changes to the plan in the interim meant restarting the application process. The town's project ended up much farther back in the queue, Town Engineer Paul Nagengast said. Thus the turn to state legislators for assistance.

A complimentary project, extracted from the current plan in order to expedite approval, would narrow the traffic lanes by one foot each to create room on the northern side of Woodside road for a pedestrian path. A separate application for this project is in process, Mr. Bryant said.

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