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Fontana Community Weighs in on Federal Funding for Transit Infrastructure

Construction vehicles on Foothill Blvd. preparing to repave the streets covering potholes. / IVN Photo Aldon Stiles

Fontana, CA — On Feb 15., the Fontana Chamber of Commerce hosted the 27th Fontana State of the City address at Water of Life Community Church. The city announced the receipt of $19.8 million in federal funding to enhance the infrastructure along the historic Fontana Boulevard to boost transit safety.


“The time is now we must lay the foundation for the next generation of content residents to build on it,” Mayor Acquanetta Warren said.


However, one Fontana resident, who has lived in North Fontana for 24 years, expressed to the Inland Valley News (IVN) a lack of confidence in the city’s ability and willingness to be responsive to some of the public’s apprehensions surrounding infrastructure development.


Gia Kim, Fontana Public Works Director, addressed these concerns in a conversation with IVN on May 9. She highlighted two primary objectives of the Foothill project: enhancing pedestrian accessibility and fostering stronger connections between residents and local businesses.


“Foothill Blvd has been underdeveloped for as long as I can remember living in Fontana,” one resident said. “I am not confident that the city is prioritizing the areas in which improvements need to be made for pedestrian and student safety over the areas that are going to draw more revenue because of new upscale housing.”


Kim reassured that the city is aware that there are some safety concerns and is actively working to address them.


“There are some major dip sections on Foothill Boulevard and we want to make it flat so we can eliminate the dip and then increase the safety for our residents.” Kim


While this resident is unsure of the city’s priorities, she said that she has seen more construction on Foothill over the last year and is hopeful that the end result will be a net positive for the city’s pedestrians.


Another Fontana resident expressed doubts about whether or not the city is allocating federal funds properly, prioritizing development over maintenance.


“It would seem that if the funds are being used, they are used mostly around new projects like the homes around North Fontana or the warehouses on the Fontana-Rialto border,” he said.


He believes that, due to Fontana’s logistical significance to the nation, the development of warehouses can make day-to-day transportation more cumbersome.


Kim acknowledged that semi-trucks and other heavyweight vehicles used for logistical purposes can damage roads “much faster” than standard passenger vehicles but assured Fontana residents that there are measures in place to account for this issue, such as putting down more asphalt to thicken the depth of the pavement so there will be less wear and tear.


“It is causing damage to our pavement and usually requires us to maintain it more frequently than residential cars in residential areas,” Kim said. “We can design the road to mitigate those impacts.”


Kim said that the city has designated routes for big rigs and other large trucks to reduce road damage.


She mentioned that the city is “constantly seeking for state funding to make sure that we can improve the road and safety of our residents.”


Kim said that it can be difficult for local agencies to highlight for the general public some of the roadblocks the city faces when taking on projects like this.


She understands there are some issues and assures Fontana citizens that the city is “working really, really hard to improve it.”

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