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Salinas City Council approves unique plan to fix city roads

SALINAS, Calif. (KION-TV)- A new formula that would prioritize road repairs based on social factors was approved on Tuesday night by the Salians City Council.

The proposal which was approved 5-2 means districts in the East Salinas area could be at the top of the list according to city officials.

These are the streets Felipe Navarro has to travel on to get to school. He says his commute has driven him to a point of concern.

"You have to slow down or try to avoid them. said Felipe Navarro a student at Alvarez High School., "I've had a personal experience where I was going over a little hill, and then right at the end of the hill was a pothole,"

The new council plan will take social factors into account when prioritizing which roads should be fixed. This formula includes factors like disadvantaged communities and areas with a lack of trees.

"I've been here since 84, and still, the streets have not been prioritizing for safety, for our children, and for the community members," said Lucia Rodriguez who lives in Salinas.

Alisal Union School District Superintendent Jim Koenig says people are also getting hurt because of the poor roads and sidewalks.

"And we've had people, walk along and get serious injuries on, on these sidewalks," said Koenig. "East Salinas needs a lot of investment in the roads and in the sidewalks, of this part of Salinas,"

Tony Barrera was one of the five council members in favor of this new formula.

"What you're in right now in Salinas has been neglected for many, many years we have thousands of people living in a very dense area in East Salinas," said Barrera. "And when we talk about diversity, equity, of course, we need to look at all of that, but where we can improve the quality of life for everybody."

Councilmember Steve McShane voted against the plan, saying the worst roads should be prioritized. No matter where they are.

"I strongly believe that any funding for pavement should prioritize greatest need based on the condition of the pavement," said McShane. "Streets are shared throughout our City and the policy that dictates where funding goes should reflect that."

The most traveled roads will still get most of the tax dollars for repairs which is 60 percent. Residential roads will get 30%.

Barrera says he hopes repairs can start within the next six months.

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Dania Romero

Dania Romero is an reporter at KION News Channel 46.


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