ESCONDIDO— The county is updating Bear Valley Parkway, between state Route 78 and Boyle Avenue.
Improvements will focus on active transportation, meaning pedestrian friendly sidewalks, a bike lane and improved signage.
The two-lane road will also be expanded to four lanes from San Pasqual Valley Road to Boyle Avenue.
The sidewalk will be widened to five feet, in an effort to get more people walking.
“The limited access for non-motorized transportation was a problem. These projects will result in greater travel choices and safety for pedestrians and cyclists,” said Design Project Engineer Orland Mott.
County staff views active transportation as a healthy alternative to reduce traffic and better the health of residents.
When more people walk and bike instead of drive, air pollution is also reduced.
The new sidewalk will also have a five foot landscaped buffer separating pedestrians from traffic.
The signalized intersections will also have ADA-compliant ramps and marked pedestrian crosswalks.
A bicycle lane will also be added.
The lane will be designated with paint striping. It’s not a dedicated bike path.
The county is installing energy efficient streetlights to improve visibility along the road.
Construction is ongoing and will be done next fall.
Right now, crews are installing a retaining wall along Boyle Avenue in order to expand the roadway and reinforce the hillside next to Bear Valley Parkway.
Another set of retaining walls is being built along Idaho Avenue in an angle to prevent dirt blockage.
The sidewalk is being installed between Boyle Avenue and Suburban Hills Drive.
Areas that are unpaved from utilities and storm drain work are also getting paved.
Crews are working to relocate utilities underground.
The funds come from Transnet, a voter approved half-cent sales tax, Proposition 1B bonds and a contribution from Escondido.