Modesto will use a $3.56 million state grant to make part of Paradise Road easier for people on foot or bicycle.
The project will cover the half-mile between Modesto High School and Sheridan Street, along with a few blocks on side streets.
Motor vehicle lanes on Paradise will be reduced from four to two, with a median for left turns. Striping will indicate the bike lanes on each side. Several crosswalks will become more visible, and the difficult Chicago Avenue intersection will be reworked. The worn pavement throughout the project area will be replaced.
The grant is from the state’s Active Transportation Program, part of a global movement toward reducing the dominance of cars and trucks on streets. The California Transportation Commission gave final approval Thursday.
Construction could start in late 2023 and take about a year, said an email from Diana Ruiz-Del Re, communications and media relations officer for Modesto. The City Council still needs to hire an engineering firm for detailed design, then call for bids from contractors.
“The project includes pavement rehabilitation and restriping with a significant focus on pedestrian and bicycle safety for the corridor,” Ruiz-Del Re said.
The project will connect with similar work completed recently on Paradise between Sheridan and Carpenter Road. This segment includes Burbank Elementary School, along with homes and businesses.
The state program favors low-income areas such as west Modesto for the upgrades. Part of the airport neighborhood is getting sidewalks and bike paths through a Stanislaus County project nearing completion. The county also will add sidewalks and bike lanes this summer in an area near Bret Harte Elementary School and Hanshaw Middle School in south Modesto.
Paradise Road runs at a diagonal to the mostly north-south street grid of west Modesto. This creates oddly shaped intersections for drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists.
The busiest times are likely when Modesto High students walk between classes. The campus straddles the blocks where H Street turns into Paradise.
The city has worked with Modesto City Schools as the project advanced, said an email from Linda Mumma Solorio, public information officer for the district.
“We look forward to having a new, healthy transportation alternative along the roads surrounding Modesto High School that is intended to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety and the quality of life of our students, staff and families as they travel to and from school,” she said.
About a quarter-mile to the southwest, a Maxx Value grocery store and other businesses lie at a five-corner intersection.
Farther out, Chicago Avenue is an east-west route that crosses Paradise. The project will result in the west segment of Chicago meeting Paradise a few hundred feet from the east stretch.
The work on side streets will include high-visibility crosswalks, along with bike lanes in most places. These streets are:
- Jefferson Street from Paradise to Vine Street
- Washington Street from Paradise to Vine
- First Street from Sierra Drive to Washington.
This story was originally published January 26, 2023 7:21 PM.