“Basically, we want it to be safer for anyone strolling on these streets,” he said. The installation is the second major sidewalk improvement project near schools for the city. Last year, the city put in sidewalks near Magee, Birney and Rivera elementary schools, using $400,000 from a Pedestrian Safety Program grant. As more grant money becomes available, more neighborhoods near schools will get sidewalks in the future, said Chavez. “Years ago in the city the properties came first,” said Chavez. “With more density in certain neighborhoods there is a greater need for the sidewalks.” Debbie Pfeiffer Trunnell can be reached at (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3028, or by e-mail at [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! PICO RIVERA — Because some stretches of streets lack sidewalks, students walking to and from North Ranchito and Valencia elementary schools often come dangerously close to vehicle traffic. Within the next two weeks, however, a $500,000 street-improvement project will change that situation when sidewalks are installed along such busy streets as Olympic Boulevard, where North Ranchito school is located, and Mines and Cord avenues, near Valencia Elementary. “These are dangerous roads, with parents in a hurry driving fast before and after school and a large concentration of kids walking on the streets,” said Raymond Chavez, senior coordinator of the city’s neighborhood outreach program, who is working on the sidewalk-installation project. “We need to create a safer situation before we have a fatality.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Funding for the new sidewalks came from a Caltrans’ Safe Routes to Schools Program grant that Pico Rivera received in 2004. Construction work will begin Oct. 24 and last for about 60 days, city officials said. Streets will remain open during construction, and residents will be able to access their driveways, Chavez said. North Ranchito Principal Silvia Borjas said she’s glad the work will be starting soon. “We have had concerns because the streets are busy,” she said. “The new sidewalks will make it safer and easier for the students.” Residents who visit the city’s senior center, library, arts center and Smith Park — all on Mines — also will benefit, said Chavez.