APPLE VALLEY – The Town of Apple Valley has received a $3.4 million grant to provide safe bike and walking routes for school-aged juveniles. The grant was provided by the California Department of Transportation and was funded by Senate Bill 1 Gas tax fund. A curb, gutter, and sidewalk will be added to portions of Manhasset and Sandia Roads. The bike path on Navajo Road will be reconstructed from Apple Valley High School to Tussing Ranch Road and along Tussing Ranch Road from Navajo Road to Mendel Park.
The Town’s Safe Routes to Schools Master Plan was presented to the Town of Apple Valley’s Council at their October 24, 2017, meeting. Construction must be completed during the 2018-19 fiscal year, per grant guidelines. “We should obtain environmental clearance by the end of this year, and we will solicit for a design consultant in early 2018,” said Project Administrator Rich Berger. “About 65% of the school children in Apple Valley live within one mile of their school, but most students are driven in private cars. We want to increase the number of children walking and biking to school. This project will help make that happen.”
Concerns were identified by on-site walking tours, parent surveys, an interactive tool, and using geographic information. Eight additional Apple Valley Unified School Districts also have recommended enhancements, including Mariana and Sandia Schools. “The Town’s mission is to provide a ‘Better Way of Life’ and the safe routes to school’s grant provides safety for residents without diverting funding for other planned infrastructure,” said Town spokesperson Gina Whiteside, who shared that the Town aggressively pursues grant funding as it becomes available.
Interim Town Manager Lori Lamson noted that the completion of the Safe Routes to Schools Master Plan was funded through a Sustainable Communities Planning Grant, with matching funds from Measure I and Apple Valley Unified School District.
“We value the partnership we have with Apple Valley Unified School District. Having this comprehensive plan already completed played a factor in obtaining these additional grant funds,” said Lamson, who explained that the work on these projects will not pull funding from the Town’s general fund.
For more information on the Safe Routes to Schools Master Plan, call (760) 240-7000, x 7530.
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- SRTS Photo (1): Town of Apple Valley