Plans for a multi-use path along Pope Street and Lewis Avenue in San Andreas will be the subject of an upcoming community workshop.

The workshop will be held on Feb. 18 at 5:30 p.m. at San Andreas Elementary School, Room 17, the Calaveras Council of Governments (CCOG) announced in a Feb. 12 press release.

The Pope Street Study, a “Class 1 Facility and Safe Routes Gap Fill Plan,” is a planning blueprint that aims to improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists, enhance safer routes to school for San Andreas Elementary School students, promote active living and connect key features in the community with complete streets alternatives, among other goals.

Additional benefits of the plan, according to CCOG, include reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality and community health.

One of the main features of the study, the multi-use path will provide pedestrian and bicycle connectivity for the “core historic residential neighborhood” in San Andreas to San Andreas Elementary School to the north and the County Government Center, social services, health care facilities and park to the south.

Complete streets improvements to California Street and Main Street between Highway 49 and the elementary school are also included in the plan. “Complete streets” are designed to enable safe access for all users of all ages and abilities by making it easy to cross the street, walk to shops and bicycle to work, according to Smart Growth America.

“Although the historic residential core of San Andreas and roadway connections radiating outward have valuable character and familiar functionality, they lack modern amenities that promise to improve safety, mobility, character and economic activity,” a description of the plan reads. “These narrow streets, designed for automobiles, are overdue in accommodating the mobility demands of today. The (plan) promises to provide fresh energy in the community through public engagement, multi-modal improvements and new attention to community assets.”

An American Community Survey found that 91.7% of San Andreas residents drove to work, 3.3% walked, 2.3% took public transportation, 1.3% took a taxi or drove a motorcycle and no respondents biked in 2017, according to CCOG.

The study and associated workshop were funded by a $158,469 California Department of Transportation Sustainable Transportation Planning Grant to CCOG and the county, according to CCOG Executive Director Amber Collins. After the workshop, the next steps will be to finalize the plan, which will include an implementation and finance plan, Collins said. The plan will be used to position the county and CCOG to obtain funds to construct the identified improvements.

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Davis graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in Environmental Studies. He covers environmental issues, agriculture, fire and local government. Davis spends his free time playing guitar and hiking with his dog, Penny.

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