The Tuolumne County Transportation Council this week agreed to spend almost $2.7 million to create a safer and prettier intersection on North Washington Street at the Red Church and a transit stop near Stockton Road and Washington Street.
The city-county transportation planning agency agreed 4-1 to allocate the money March 12. Work is expected to take place between the 2016-17 and 2017-18 fiscal years .
Both projects are on a wishlist that makes up the city's Vision Sonora plan, approved by the City Council earlier this year after months of work with city planners and the public. The plan lays out projects to improve the aesthetics and business climate along Stockton Road and Washington Street. It calls for the creation of small parks, improved walkways, plazas and other public spaces.
The Red Church intersection project received about $700,000 in funding, with the focus on pedestrian and traffic safety. The plan looks to make the Snell Street portion of the awkward, four-way intersection more perpendicular to Washington Street. It also proposes a small "pocket park" at the intersection as well as benches, trash cans and other pedestrian amenities.
The Stockton Road transit stop received almost $2 million in funding. It involves moving the city's downtown bus stop from Courthouse Square. Transit stops would instead be installed on South Washington Street near Bank of America.
For the complete story, see the March 20, 2014, edition of The Union Democrat.