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Study says Parkwood and La Vina could use upgrades

A mobility study by Madera County and 4Creeks Engineering has concluded that the communities of Parkwood and La Vina could use redesigned roadways for safety’s sake.

A Planning Technical Assistance Grant funded the study, which examined the conditions under which rural residents get around their communities and proposed solutions and funding sources.

According to the study, 75 percent of Parkwood residents travel by car, 17 percent on foot, and 8 percent use public transit. As for La Vina, 38 percent relied on an automobile, 23 percent on public transit, 21 percent walk, and 18 percent ride a bicycle.

Local issues were identified through a traffic study, community workshops in May and June, and a mailed survey, which had a response rate under 10 percent.

Feedback indicated Parkwood resident concerns as difficulty parking on speed bumps, lack of street lighting, poor visibility when turning onto State Route 145 from Conrad Street, trouble seeing stop signs, and curb heights. La Vina locals expressed worry over high traffic speeds by homes, reoccurring potholes, and a lack of road striping, sidewalks, and residential speed bumps.

Both communities preferred the idea of sidewalk extensions known as “bulb-outs” to help reduce motorist speeds in residential areas, and feel lighting of crosswalks is a problem.

Parkwood residents would prefer a shared bicycle lane to improve pedestrian and cyclist access while La Vina prefer a separate, multi-use trail instead. As for ideas to upgrade pedestrian crossings, Parkwood favored using contrasting materials for crosswalks while La Vina liked raising the height of the crossing, like a speed hump.

Proposals for Parkwood include: adding a sidewalk to the southeast corner of Avenue 13 and Madera Avenue; adding bulb-outs, curb extensions, pedestrian signage, and crosswalk markings to Avenue 13 and Conrad Street as well improving storm drainage; and installing sidewalks and Class II bike lanes to Avenue 13 and resurfacing its south portion.

The report’s proposals for La Vina include: extending sidewalk, adding bulb-outs and a parking lot curb, and several intersection upgrades for Avenue 9 and Road 24; and installing a multi-use gravel path, bollards, curb extension, signage, crosswalks and in-pavement lights by La Vina Elementary School.

County staff and 4Creeks presented their study to county supervisors Jan. 15, and the county will now work to obtain funding for implementation. The Parkwood proposals would cost an estimated $1,008,804.99 for Avenue 13 improvements and $515,744.40 for Conrad Street changes. The La Vina proposals would cost an estimated $2,575,377.91.

The Parkwood study area encompassed a 0.4 mile segment of Avenue 13 from Road 27 to Raymond Thomas Street as well as some other streets. The La Vina area featured a half mile of Avenue 9 from Road 23 1/2 and Road 24 as well as attached side streets.

While La Vina is about 7 miles beyond the city of Madera, Parkwood sits by the city’s southern border.

According to the 2010 Census, 279 live in La Vina, and 2,268 dwell in Parkwood. The median household income of La Vina is $26,589, and of Parkwood is $34,018. The median for the state in 2017 was $71,805, according to census data.

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