Planners with the City of Sonora and Tuolumne County are seeking public input on two projects intended to expand safe walking and bicycling opportunities in Sonora and Jamestown. They are hosting two community workshops online Thursday afternoon to try to get feedback from residents about what they want to see.

The focus of both projects is to add more walking and biking options in both communities, said Tyler Summersett, senior transportation planner and trails coordinator with the Tuolumne County Transportation Council and Transit Agency.

The Dragoon Gulch connector path project is intended to build a new multi-use path from the existing Dragoon Gulch Trail system, Woods Creek Park, and Sonora Community Estates to Mother Lode Fairgrounds and Sonora High School, and points between the fairgrounds and the high school.

A map for the planned trail shows a start near the entrance to the fairgrounds, and a route that follows Woods Creek to Snell Street on the south edge of the Sonora High campus.

The Jamestown safe school routes project will also offer safe walking and biking opportunities, in this case for students of Jamestown Elementary School, Summersett said. 

The project plan currently calls for 5,387 feet of separated, multi-use paved paths with crosswalks at key intersections, including Highway 49 and 5th Avenue, and 7th Street and 5th Avenue. It also calls for 3,597 feet of new sidewalk with curbs, gutters, storm drains and American Disabilities Act improvements.

Both projects are in the planning stages, Summersett said. The plans that exist are parts of separate applications for funding from state sources. 

Engineers are still working on cost estimates, but planners currently believe the cost of each project will be $2 million to $3 million.

The funding source is the State Active Transportation Program, which is billed as one of the largest funding sources available in California for walk/bike projects.

One-hour public workshops for the Dragoon Gulch connector path and for the Jamestown safe school routes are planned at 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. respectively on Thursday. The Dragoon Gulch connector path workshop is scheduled to end before the Jamestown safe school routes workshop begins.

Each workshop will include a presentation about the plans, followed by public comments and questions. Both meetings are scheduled to be staged on the video conferencing platform called Zoom.

The Zoom invitation for each workshop is identical. Join the at https://zoom.us/j/92927607075 online with the meeting ID 929 2760 7075. By phone it’s +1 (253) 215-8782 with the same meeting ID, 929 2760 7075.

Contact Guy McCarthy at gmccarthy@uniondemocrat.com or 770-0405. Follow him on Twitter at @GuyMcCarthy. 

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