Photo courtesy of Wallace Group
A dirt road in Los Osos was given an asphalt makeover. Walkers, cyclists and neighbors in the 7th St. & Ferrell Ave. area are enjoying a new multiuse path thanks to funding and direction from the Los Osos Community Services District.
The path connects the two streets and creates a safer environment for those not driving cars.
The project had been under consideration by the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee (PRAC) since late 2019.
“The project planning, design and permitting process began in earnest June 2020,” said Los Osos Community Services District General Manager Ron Munds. “A biological assessment discovered evidence of Morro Shoulderband Snails at the site, which added a layer of complexity for permitting approvals. Because of the permitting delays and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service construction window from June 1 to October 15, the construction did not begin until June 7, 2021.
The total price tag for the pathway was just under $80,000 which included permitting, biological monitoring, design, construction management and construction.
“This project was completely funded from the CSD parks and recreation fund,” Matthew Fourcroy, Los Osos Community Services District Parks and Rec committee chair. “This is money that had been collected from the entire community in the past for use only on parks and rec.”
The engineering firm Wallace Group prepared the construction documents and oversaw the construction that was completed by R. Burke Corporation in a little over two weeks.
So why this particular project?
“Because of the limiting funding that the CSD has to allocate to parks & recreation type projects, the PRAC spent a fair amount of time evaluating all CSD owned properties to see if there were any opportunities to better utilizes any of these properties for a greater public benefit,” Munds said. “This particular property had an unimproved (sand) pathway connecting Ferrell Avenue and 7th Street that was already being used by the community, so we knew there was a need for the pathway. After talking with area residents and support from Bike SLO County, it was evident that improving the trail would provide for safe access between the north and south parts of town for both bicycles and pedestrians. The pathway is also ADA compliant, which is an added bonus.”
In addition to providing a safer route to the north and south parts of town, it will take people through areas of low traffic to either get to the park and library areas or down to Baywood part of town.
“The sand pathway was difficult for many residents to navigate especially with strollers, bikes, and wheelchairs,” Fourcroy added.
Another advantage of the new smooth ride is that it won’t take a lot of maintenance, which was one of the primary financial considerations. Munds said
Dirt pathways are not uncommon in Los Osos, but for now plans don’t include paving them, mostly due to financial concerns, but they still want input.
“The Parks and Recreation Committee would like to hear from residents about other opportunities in town,” Fourcroy said.
The committee meets the third Tuesday of each month. Schedules and agendas can be found on the CSD website: www.losososcsd.org