August 28: In May 2014 Kern County Roads submitted a grant proposal to CalTrans to install sidewalks along northern Hwy-14 near Stater Bros. The Active Transportation (ATP) grant was ultimately denied by CalTrans, according to Bob Neath, Engineering Manager at Kern County Roads. However, The Mojave Foundation submitted a larger sidewalk grant to Kern County Roads in May, which Mr. Neath intends to submit to CalTrans in 2015. The grant, titled “Sidewalks to School” is expected to top $1.4 million, and include 27,000 linear feet of sidewalks, spanning the entire downtown area and part of Mojave Gardens. The grant application intends to take advantage of California’s “Safe Routes to School” program, which is a special category within CalTrans’ ATP which gives special preference to municipal infrastructure project that enhance public safety for children. “We think we have a really good shot at this grant”, said Mr. Neath at Thursday’s Chamber of Commerce meeting at the Mariah Inn in Mojave. “Our Stater Bros sidewalk application missed the cut-off by one this year, so we think that this ‘Sidewalks-to-School’ grant is really competitive.”
Three pedestrians were killed by vehicles in Mojave in 2013, one of which was a 16-year-old girl crossing the road on her way to school. The Mojave Foundation worked with Kern County Roads and Southern California Edison to install a flashing cross-walk at this intersection, but we feel that the problem of pedestrian safety is systemic, and can only be solved with a comprehensive municipal investment in sidewalks and streetlights. We are currently fundraising for a municipal lighting project, and we look forward to working with Kern County Roads to bring sidewalks to Mojave’s streets as rapidly as possible. To see the full grant The Mojave Foundation submitted to Kern County Roads, click here: Part-1, Part-2, Graphics.