WATSONVILLE—A crew from Watsonville Public Works is continuing a city-wide project to enhance the safety of crosswalks.
The multiphase job has already completed numerous “high visibility” crosswalks at a number of downtown intersections on Rodriguez, Union and Brennan streets. Assistant Director of Public Works Maria Esther Rodriguez said the effort is part of the city’s Downtown Watsonville Complete Streets Plan and falls in line with its Vision Zero initiative, which aims to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries by 2030.
“The job includes new broad striping, and in some cases, high visibility reflectors,” Rodriguez said. “In some locations, we will install solar lights on top of concrete foundations to light up pedestrian crossings.”
Additionally, new bright yellow crosswalks went in at the heavily traveled intersection of Beach and Main streets and a few other crosswalks near the newly opened Watsonville Prep School in the former Gottshaclks building. Rodriguez said those crosswalks were done by a separate company in contract with the new school.
Meanwhile, another major pedestrian safety project wrapped recently on Lincoln Street where it bisects the Watsonville High School campus. In addition to enhanced crosswalks and sidewalks, two massive emblems of the school’s mascot, Willie the Wildcat, were painted on Lincoln Street to finalize the project.
More pedestrian crossing enhancements are still in the works around area schools. Some of those jobs will follow water line improvement projects.
“This traffic safety program is designed to increase awareness, promote safety and reduce fatalities and severe injuries,” Rodriguez said. “This is about greater visibility for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians. Everybody needs to do their part.”