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Published February 6th, 2019
Work to begin for safer intersection this summer
The intersection at Canyon Road and Camino Pablo during rush hour, with bicyclists and cars driving north, south and east. Photo Vera Kochan

Improvements to pedestrian crossings at the intersection of Canyon Road and Camino Pablo are coming this summer. Funds from One Bay Area Grant and funds augmented from Measure K have set the wheels in motion on the project first proposed in 2016. Public outreach meetings will be scheduled for February or early March when construction strategies are presented to the town.
Parents of Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School students have long realized the danger this intersection poses when children going to and from school do so at the same time that drivers are going to and from work.
Some of the proposed safety enhancements are to reduce the through-travel lanes from two to one in each direction and assign the remaining area to "bulb-outs," while adding a pedestrian refuge/island to reduce the crossing distance and narrowing the roadway to calm traffic. Additional improvement possibilities are rapid flash beacons, improved intersection lighting and a speed feedback sign in the northbound direction.
During the Jan. 23 town council meeting, Public Works Director Edric Kwan requested and received approval for the Moraga Road/Alta Mesa Intersection Improvements Grant. This intersection is the second most dangerous for pedestrians since 2011 with 27 accidents, three of which involved trips to the hospital for pedestrians.
Kwan stated, "Twenty-two other agencies are vying for the OBAG funding. We need to contribute local funds by matching 50 percent of their grant funds to have a more competitive application." He assured the council that the town's funding of the Moraga Road/Alta Mesa project "has already been included in the budget and will not detract from another project.
"We will make sure that any improvements are safe," Kwan added, "but within our budget." He anticipates construction to begin in 2020.
When asked by the town council if Kwan has received negative public feedback about the intersection, he confirmed that he has received quite a few phone calls. Moraga Chief of Police Jon King interjected, "I get a lot of complaints about the crosswalk; a lot of near misses."

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