By Elizabeth B. Tuck
Piedmont Beautification Foundation
The Piedmont Beautification Foundation Spring mailer arrived in your mailbox not long ago, so dig it out of the pile and take a long look. Donations of any amount are greatly appreciated. PBF will dedicate funds gathered from the Spring Fundraiser to a landscaped peninsula at the corner of Ronada and Ramona Avenues, meant to both beautify and to vastly improve safety.
The driving force behind this beautifully landscaped median is to improve safety for children who walk to school. An added project benefit is the true public private partnership involving funds from the City of Piedmont, the Piedmont Beautification Foundation, the Piedmont Garden Club and immediate neighbors.
For years, local parents have been concerned about the safety of both children and adults trying to cross the Ronada/Ramona intersection. Two very wide streets encourage drivers to take this shortcut from Moraga Avenue to Grand in a speedy fashion. The addition of this colorfully planted soft triangle will slow cars down and convert an overly long crosswalk into a short one.
The carefully considered planting plan emphasizes texture and color that uses water with maximum effectiveness. Winter storm water from the street will flow into the rain garden portion of the median and then percolate into the soil. A large coastal live oak specimen arrives in a 36-inch box and will act as a central anchor for the random-patterned flagstone walkways and semi-circular stone bench. Large boulders, used as bookends for the seated area, will provide protection and add to a feeling of enclosure.
Although approved as part of the city's fiscal year 2009-2010 budget, this project has been delayed after the freeze on capital improvement projects due to economic uncertainty. The largest single infrastructure expense of the project is to provide water to the planted peninsula. Last summer the Piedmont City Council approved funds to be used to complete Phase 1, the installation of a water meter and the creation of the construction documents for the Ronada/ Ramona site. The City has spent $5,778 for a site survey by Coastland Engineering to date.
To further explore safety measures, a traffic engineer will appear before the Park Commission at the Aug. 1 meeting to discuss the installation of a four-way stop sign.
To join this worthy effort, send your contribution to the Piedmont Beautification Foundation, c/o City Hall, 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611. All donors will be honored in the traditional listing in the Piedmont Post as well as other local publications. Safety and beauty is a combination that is hard to resist!