Arroyo Project Milestone

The Sojka for Mayor campaign recently posted an update on their website and Facebook page regarding the Arroyo Project. Brian Dennert recently posted about this topic on his blog after interviewing Steve at his Casino Night Fundraiser.

According to the article on the Sojka for Mayor website:

The Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District has received an $802,000 Proposition 84 grant for upgrades to the Arroyo Simi Greenway, officials announced Wednesday.

The district will use the grant to pay for the first phase of improvements — a cooperative effort that involves the district, city of Simi Valley and Ventura County Watershed Protection District.

The upgrades will include 2 miles of new paved trails, 17 new trail entries and installation of signs, benches, bicycle racks and educational exhibits.

The grant from the California Natural Resources Agency was announced at a news conference on the Arroyo Simi attended by park district, city, county and state officials.

I have spoken to Steve Sojka about the importance of Quality of Life issues in Simi Valley, discussing things like the Arroyo and freeway landscaping. With critical issues facing Simi Valley, he believes it’s important to share news about significant milestones like these in addition to other efforts, such as meeting with the surrounding business owners regarding the Farmers Insurance departure. As the Chair of the Arroyo Simi Greenway Improvement committee, Sojka is delighted with this accomplishment.

“The arroyo can truly become a valuable quality-of-life amenity for our current residents and well into the future for our kids and the next generation.”

The nice thing about this project is that it doesn’t burden the city’s finances. The funds for this project come from a grant specifically designed for public agencies to revamp their river waterways.

The grant from the California Natural Resources Agency was announced at a news conference on the Arroyo Simi attended by park district, city, county and state officials.

“We’re ecstatic about it,” said park district General Manager Larry Peterson. “This is a very big thing for us. I think it’s probably the largest competitive grant our agency has ever received in its 49 years.”

Peterson said that in addition to the grant, the park district and Simi Valley have each committed $100,000 toward the first phase of upgrades.

“It’s going to be a beautiful trail that will serve a lot of needs,” he said. “Phase 1 will be the next great step in this process.”

6 thoughts on “Arroyo Project Milestone

  1. This is truly a diamond in the rough. 30 years from now it will be another part of our beautiful valley where families can walk during the evening hours away from rushing vehicles. Today there are all kinds of wildlife in the Arroyo, from frogs, ducks, egrets (sp) white birds with really long legs, all kinds of marsh; it has the potential to be a truly wonderful addition to our community that our children and grandchildren will enjoy for all the years to come. This is the first step, one of many to come, and I thank the entire Arroyo Committee for their vision and planning of this once in a lifetime project, and a big thank you to the Park District for writing the grant. Although I was unable to make the ribbon cutting I was there in spirit. What a great partnership.

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  2. Yea, we taxpayers pay a gawdawful amount in police OT pay. Get ’em on bikes patrolling the arroyo trail and clean that place out. Actually, it’s really a daytime recreational area. Nighttime usage would require lighting, which probably would not be wise both for energy consumption but mainly out of respect for neighbors. The trail is right along a lot of back yards.

    I walk and bike it all the time, usually near sunset, and it’s not a reason why we’re no longer the “safest city.” That reason is because we now have 125,000 residents, not 101,000 as in the ’90s. The FBI Crime Index favors cities that are closer to the 100,000 cutoff point.

    I have never once felt scared or even remotely threatened while on the arroyo trail, and I’ve transversed it from the train station to Madera Road.

    Getting the Prop. 84 funds was a huge win for Simi Valley. Had the community not been well-positioned with its plans, the funds – already approved by voters statewide – would have just gone somewhere else. Might as well be in Simi Valley. Cheers for this.

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  3. While I’m sure a large male adult doesn’t feel threatened riding the arroyo. I can say as a small female adult, I am in favor of removing all of the benches in the arroyo. Having to endure regular cat calls from the intoxicated and smelly transients who seem to live on the arroyo benches makes me clutch my mace spray tighter. Instead of Sojka proposing Simi Valley taxpayers spend 60 million on an area the cops seems unable to easily reach, how about a jogging path along the railroad so the cops driving on Los Angeles can safely Police the area. This works great for Ojai.

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  4. Jill,
    When this project is completed, I can almost guarantee you there will be no “creepy” people on the benches. If memory serves me correctly there is a police (for lack of a better word) station on site and lots of low lighting as to not disturb the residents, but if this becomes as active as we believe it will be, I am sure it will be a very safe place to walk, run and take your kids.

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  5. I am thrilled at the prospect of making the Arroyo a beautiful public area, but have to ask where the rest of the money for this project will come from? $802,000 plus the $200,000 from the park district and the City is a great start, but the Arroyo is longer than 2 miles. The entire project will cost substantially more than $1,000,000.

    Will other parts of this river waterway go neglected while waiting for more funding? Will the contract go to a local Simi business or get farmed outside of our community? How will we decide who gets the pretty part of the Arroyo and who gets the transients on the benches?

    As a candidate for SVUSD School Board, I question if we are creating a family friendly recreation area, or distracting attention away from the undeveloped areas of the Arroyo where older youth will and do tend to congregate and loiter. As I am just exploring this quality-of-life improvement, I would love to know more about the project plan, action items, time line and accountability. I am excited to see more on this.

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  6. Josie,
    There is a “safe” route to schools built into this beautification. Lots of children have to either go around the Arroyo or cross over it like my kids did back in the 70’s. May I suggest you call someone at the school district, who have been involved with this since the “get-go” and request you see the plans because it is clear you need to see what that plans are, or get in touch with me as I will be happy to share the conceptual plan with you. I m sure you will be quite surprised.

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