PASO ROBLES PRESS — Local residents met earlier this month to discuss potential changes to Creston Rd. Paso Robles Public Works Director Dick McKinley said the road’s condition has been of concern for years for everyone driving on it or attending school near it.
“There are places missing curb and sidewalk,” McKinley said. “There are pedestrian crossings that could be improved. There are a few parking lots that back out directly into the roadway that should be reconfigured to improve safety. There are two intersections that have reached traffic warrants for either a signal or a roundabout. There are three public schools and two church schools either fronting on Creston or directly using Creston.”
Although the exact improvements being made have not yet been decided, project design teams, including the Local Government Commission and W-Trans, reached out to the community for input, McKinley said.
“We want to design the road the way the public wants it to be,” McKinley said. “There are some minimum standards that we need to meet, like ADA, but generally we want to give the public the road that they want.”
The multi-day community workshops featured walking assessments, formal presentations, construction mappings, issue identifications as well as alternative routes, all of which allowed those in attendance to address their ideas regarding construction.
The construction timeline has not yet been finalized, but design teams are able to move forward now that the first round of public input has been completed.
“The design team will take the public’s ideas and put them onto paper, and on the conceptual design drawings,” McKinley said. “We will get together again in about September so the public can see what their ideas look like when designed. After that additional round of review and input, the final plan for the street should come back to the City Council aboutFebruary. That would make the City eligible to apply for grant funding to help offset some of the construction costs.”
Construction costs will vary based on the public’s design ideas, but rough estimates expect overall costs to range anywhere from $8 to 9 million for nearly two miles of roadway, McKinley said.
“Some (funds) would hopefully come from the State grants, and the rest would most likely come from the Supplemental Sales Tax that the public voted for in 2012,” McKinley said.
Although residents have expressed concern regarding the current quality of Creston Rd., they’ve also expressed concern regarding potential traffic delays during the actual construction, McKinley said.
“There will certainly be some traffic delays when the project is built, but that will be a year or more from now,” McKinley said. “This summer the City will be making several hot spot repairs along Creston Road to fix some of the bad pavement, and in a way that will not need to be redone when the bigger project starts in a couple years.”