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Independent Voice

More Pedestrian Safety Surrounding School Added

Jun 12, 2024 04:19PM ● By Angela Underwood

DIXON, CA (MPG) - Pedestrian safety improvements are figuratively and literally around the corner from John Knight Middle School.

Dixon received $250,000 in California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) funds for four intersections surrounding the school: East Mayes Street and South 4th Street, East A Street and 4th Street, East B Street and North 4th Street, and East A Street and South 7th Street.

Junior engineer Carlos Santos said that at the time of the Highway Safety Improvement Program Cycle 10 application, staff estimated that it would cost a quarter million to fully update the pedestrian crossings around the school.

"The HSIP program was created to assist public agencies in increasing various aspects of public safety for pedestrians and bicyclists that utilize public facilities," Santos said. "These four locations were chosen due to their proximity to the recently reopened John Knight Middle School."

Santos said that with the school reopening, the adjacent area experiences increased pedestrian and vehicular traffic, "warranting an update to the surrounding crosswalks to be up to modern Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices standards."

Zara Construction was the highest bid for the project at $330,000; however, MCE Corporation was the most responsible and lowest bidder at $222,000. Additionally, the project comes with a construction contingency fee of $22,000, which Santos said is par for the course.

"Standard practice for developing budgets for construction projects is to include approximately 10% of the construction cost as additional contingency funds, which are primarily used for but not limited to construction cost increases, changes in project scope, unforeseen issues encountered in the field," Santos said.

But before the contract was approved at the June 4 meeting, Vice-Mayor Kevin Johnson pulled the item for discussion. While Johnson said he was “OK with the item," he wanted to comment on East A Street speeding.

"I do not want this one to go by without bringing that concern that I have back up again," Johnson said. "We have no stops of any kind between Bedrock Road and our downtown center, and at the same time, halfway through there, not only does it pass City Hall, but it passes our middle school."

Former Mayor and Councilman Thom Bogue concurred.

"After our last council meeting, we stood out there and watched one vehicle flying by, passing another vehicle right out front here," Bogue said. "It does seem to be an ongoing situation, and people are going faster and faster."

Upon adopting the resolution, Johnson said, "I know that we are making changes at four different intersections regarding this item and we have a grant that there is a clock ticking on and I certainly agree that I do not want to lose the opportunity to utilize those funds but I am going to continue to be concerned."

While construction begins on the four intersections, Santos said, "city staff is currently working with Caltrans and our on-call Traffic Engineering Consultants on an HSIP Cycle 11 project to continue to improve pedestrian crossings around schools."