Lompoc was approved for a state transportation improvement grant for a project to improve pedestrian and bicyclist connections along main highway corridors, a Caltrans spokeswoman said.

The city’s Planning Division was awarded $258,508 for the Lompoc Streetscape Multimodal Improvement Plan through a Sustainable Communities grant, Caltrans spokeswoman Angela Tillotson said Wednesday.

Grant funds will be used to develop a plan for improving the quality of key connections for pedestrian and bicycle transportation along North H Street, which is also Highway 1, and Ocean Avenue, which is also Highway 246.

The goal is connect pedestrians and cyclists to surrounding disadvantaged communities, the downtown, retail shopping centers, civic facilities, neighboring schools and Hancock College, according to the city’s grant application.

Planning Division officials will study the existing conditions, analyze areas where efficient integrated multi-modal connections can be established.

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The city also will identify the design and streetscape beautification improvements needed to address goals included in the city’s comprehensive Zoning Code update.

Improvements also will be designed to meet the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments’ Regional Transportation Plan and the California Transportation Plan 2040, Tillotson said.

City officials will develop the plan using feedback from such community groups as the Lompoc Beautification Commission, Lompoc Valley Chamber of Commerce, Lompoc Valley Community Healthcare Organization and Santa Barbara County Housing Authority, according to the grant application.

In addition to identifying improvement areas along the main transportation highway corridors, the plan will provide recommendations for financing and implementing the improvements.

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County Reporter/Associate Editor

Lee Central Coast Newspapers associate editor Mike Hodgson covers Santa Barbara County government and events and issues in Santa Ynez Valley. Follow him on Twitter @MHodgsonSYVNews.