EL CERRITO -- The city's engineering division began making long-desired safety improvements this month to the intersection of Arlington Boulevard and Brewster Drive.
The action comes in part from a community meeting in July after a 92-year-old woman died after being hit by a bicyclist in the intersection.
Many residents at the meeting expressed frustration about speeding and dangerous conditions for pedestrians on Arlington, a two-lane road through the East Bay hills that is often used by through traffic to avoid San Pablo Avenue and Interstate 80.
A crosswalk to the south of the intersection will be moved to the intersection itself and painted in a ladder style with high-visibility paint. The current crosswalk was installed in the middle of the block because it is in the same location as a flight of stairs that gives the neighborhood below Arlington access to the street.
Instead of crossing Arlington at the path a pedestrian walkway will be built on the south side of Arlington leading to the new crosswalk at the Arlington-Brewster intersection, according to city Engineering Manager Yvetteh Ortiz.
The city is installing raised curb markers and a handrail along the path to give additional separation from traffic.
Bicycle direction markers will be installed north and south of the intersection. Raised pavement markers will also be installed in the center divider at the intersection to warn drivers if they are crossing the center line as Arlington turns to the right north of the intersection. Markers will also be installed to separate the shoulder area from the traffic lanes.
In July, the city took the preliminary step of trimming and removing vegetation that blocked the view of motorists driving through the intersection.
The project will be paid out of Measure A Street Improvement funding.
Later, the city will use federal grant money to install standard sidewalks, curbs and gutters on the northwest and southwest corners of the intersection.
"The idea is to form a standard, right-angle intersection in this location," Ortiz said.
El Cerrito also has plans to use grant money to improve the intersection of Arlington and Madera Drive by widening sidewalks and curbs and embed warning lights in the pavement at the crosswalk.
"The goal of the whole federal grant program is to encourage walking, particularly students walking to school," Ortiz said. "Hopefully, we'll begin this part early next year."