The Ridgecrest City Council at its meeting May 2 approved a Community Development Block Grant activity agreement with the Kern County Planning and Natural Resources Department for the construction of handicapped access improvements. 

The grant is for $206,605 in CDBG funds for Year 1 of a project, the goal of which is “to optimize the pedestrian experience for the disabled, provide safe and usable pedestrian facilities and to assure compliance with all federal, state and local regulations and standards,” according to a staff report. The city has been allocated this amount for year one of the ADA Access Transition Plan.

The project may include mobilization, development of a traffic plan and installing new concrete driveways, sidewalks, truncated domes, fence removal and reconstruction and relocation of pull boxes and/or meter boxes and other related improvements according to the report.

The first phase of project implementation will involve the segment of West Ridgecrest Boulevard between Norma Street and the intersection of China Lake Boulevard.

Mayor Pro Tem Michael Mower said the topic seemed fairly straight forward.

Ron Porter spoke up saying that in his opinion “those bumpies they put down there for the blind” can be a trip hazard for the elderly and are difficult to navigate for people in wheelchairs.

“I appreciate what they are trying to do, but it’s something that needs to find a better answer,” Porter said.

There was no other public comment.

Approval was unanimous. All five council members were present.