The City of La Mesa has been approved for a nearly $2 million grant to fund safety improvements for pedestrians and bicyclists, city leaders confirmed Wednesday.
The $1,919,000 grant, provided through the California Transportation Commission (CTC) Active Transportation Program (ATP), will help La Mesa with enhancements in the west part of the community, including connectivity to parks, schools and access to the new 25,000-square-foot Boys and Girls Club facility, the Brady Family Clubhouse, planned for the campus of the La Mesa Arts Academy in the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District.
The future facility will feature a learning center, computer lab, crafts room, playground, kitchen and a gym named after NBA Hall of Famer and La Mesa native, Bill Walton. It will be open to children ages 5 to 18 every day after school and during the summer.
According to a spokesperson from the City of La Mesa office, improvements funded by the grant will include opening and extending Junior High Drive to Lowell Street.
Also, a midblock crossing with pedestrian rapid flashing beacons and in-pavement flashers will be installed in the area connecting La Mesa Arts Academy to Helix Charter High School.
Windsor Hills Community Church – located on Orien Avenue, next to the future site of the Boys and Girls Club facility – will also gain improved access, the city says.
University Avenue will see 1.3 miles of new bicycle lanes, plus 3.5 miles of improved bicycle routes, complete with so-called “sharrow” markings – shared roadway bike markings that help remind motorists to share the road with bicyclists.
The area will also gain new sidewalks, ADA ramps, high-visibility crosswalks, bike racks and pedestrian lighting, among other improvements.
The city says the safety project is slated to begin this summer, and should be completed by 2019.