Making Sacramento Intersections Safer

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SACRAMENTO -- Intersections in Sacramento are soon to be more safe for pedestrians, with millions of dollars going toward a host of new improvements at crosswalks.

"If we want people to walk and bike to work and school we need to make our roadways safe," Sacramento city council member Eric Guerra said.

Guerra told FOX40 the city council recently secured an $8.7 million grant from the state of California to make roadways safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

Howe Avenue and Fair Oaks Boulevard will soon have a smart traffic signal and will also allow increased time for pedestrians to cross at crosswalks. La Riviera Drive and Waterglen will soon have a pedestrian refuge island and flashing beacon lights. 65th expressway at Eldercreek will soon have new traffic signals.

"Sacramento is transitioning back into a much more walkable city and its possible, I think we can get there. It just takes being creative and applying for this grant money," Guerra said.

Kiran Kumar with WALK Sacramento said sometimes the most cost effective improvements were easier to find funding for than improvements at the most dangerous intersections.

"Funding is pretty difficult for the major improvements we need to see on our streets," Kumar said.

Kumar said WALK Sacramento analyzed 15 years worth of fatal collisions and determined they were happening most often in older suburban neighborhoods that often happened to be in disadvantaged areas.

"The streets really resemble old state highways they're what we call major arterials. Where there are four to eight lanes of traffic," Kumar said.