The coronanvirus crisis has created some big recreational challenges on the Central and South Coasts, with restrictions on the use of many beaches and parks. Many people are turning to their neighborhoods to walk and bicycle. One South Coast community is trying to make it safer for people to take to the streets.
Jeff Hereford is the City of Ventura’s Transportation Manager. He says the effort is called “Shared Streets For Health and Safety During Covid-19.”
Hereford says traffic patterns will change on the five streets involved in the pilot project. The streets are marked with signage and barricades. The signs say things like “Shared Streets,” “Local Traffic Only,” and “Repurposed Street.” The streets in the pilot project are Olive Street, San Nicholas Street, Preble Avenue, Mound Avenue, and Darling Road.
The idea of slowing down traffic, and making more safe space for pedestrians, and cyclists is being tried around the world. Hereford says for at least now, Ventura’s “Shared Streets” program is temporary.
Hereford says the coronavirus crisis is definitely leading to changes in the transportation world. With many businesses figuring out how to have people work from home, he thinks we’ll see some sticking with the model even after they fully reopen.
With more people using the sidewalks, and streets of their neighborhoods for neighborhoods for exercise, some other cities on the Central and South Coasts are looking at the “Shared Streets” idea.