Traveling by foot, bicycle or car to Green Elementary School is expected to be safer now, with new improvements to Carnes Road.
The completion of those improvements was marked with a ribbon-cutting ceremony near the school Wednesday morning.
Green Elementary School fifth grader Quinn Gibson, second grader Miles David and fourth grader Conner Ryan cut the ribbon along with Douglas County Commissioner Tom Kress.
The safety improvements were listed as a high priority in the county’s 2016-2021 Transportation Improvement Plan.
The road offers the only bus and vehicle access to Green Elementary School, and has high levels of traffic often driving at high speeds.
Little aid was offered to bicyclists or pedestrians prior to the upgrade.
Now, the roadway features continuous sidewalks and buffered bike lanes on both sides of the road.
Enhanced striping and school warning signs now make for better visibility at school crossings where Del Mar Drive and Linnell Avenue intersect with Carnes, and a rapid flashing pedestrian beacon with a safety island was also installed near the school.
The improvements also include an upgraded storm sewer system and new pavement.
Green Elementary School Principal Lisa Dickover said she thanked the county commissioners and the Douglas County Public Works Department for their work.
“The initiative is already paying off, parents and students feel much safer in our school zone,” Dickover said in a press release.
She also said families that haven’t walked or bicycled to school in the past now have the option.
“It has been so wonderful to see entire families biking together to school using the new bike lanes,” she said.
Douglas County Commissioner Tom Kress said creating safer access to schools is a high priority.
“The dramatic difference these improvements have made in such a high traffic corridor is just remarkable,” Kress said in a press release.
About half the $4.2 million cost of the project was funded by a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School Initiative.
The county previously completed a Safe Routes to School Initiative project in 2020 on Highway 99 near Winchester Elementary School.
Blue Zones Project, Green Elementary School and Roseburg Public Schools worked with the county on the grant application.
“I’m thrilled we qualified for the grant,” Kress said. “These grants are extremely competitive.”
The Green Sanitary District and Roberts Creek Water District each contributed $200,000 and the remainder of the cost was paid for with Douglas County Road Funds.
The Douglas County Public Works Department worked with David Evans & Associates, i.e. Engineering and Knife River Materials to complete the project.
Kress said the county has just been awarded another Safe Routes to Schools grant, this time for safety improvements along the route to Canyonville Elementary School on North Main Street.