A federal grant will make it safer for Hesperia school children to get to and from school.


The city of Hesperia received a Safe Route to Schools grant on Oct. 14. The $834,900 will help improve Willow Street from 3rd Avenue to 8th Avenue, according to city spokeswoman Kelly Malloy.


"It's going to include curbs, gutters, some (handicapped)-accessible ramps, (improved) signage and marking, a multi-use pathway that can be used by both pedestrians and bicycles and some pedestrian and bicycle-friendly street crossings," Malloy said.


Students at 10 area schools within a two-mile radius will benefit, according to the grant application, including Cypress Academy of the Arts, Eucalyptus Elementary School, Hesperia Christian School, Hesperia Junior High School, Joshua Circle Elementary School, Lucy Siegrist School, Maple Elementary School, Mesa Grande Elementary School, New Life Christian Academy and Pathways to College.


About 15 percent of Hesperia Unified students walk or bike to school, according to HUSD officials. The city worked with the HUSD to identify which area could most use the grant money.


"We're always trying to pursue grants that make the streets more bicycle and pedestrian friendly," Malloy said. "We're working to create a network of safe multi-use paths through the city."


Last year, the city was awarded a $430,000 state grant that was used to create the 8th Avenue Paseo, which created a walking and biking path from Willow Street to Smoke Tree Street.


Construction on the Willow Street improvements are expected to begin next year.