By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley) – Caltrans’ jump into the nation’s top ten bicycle-friendly states and the creation of the nation’s largest active transportation program are just a few of achievements highlighted in Caltrans’ annual Non-Motorized Transportation Facilities Report.
The report is an in-depth look at Caltrans’ successes that emphasize the department’s mission to provide a safe, sustainable, integrated and efficient transportation system to enhance California’s economy and livability.
“California has always been a transportation leader, and this report reinforces that hard-earned reputation,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “Transportation is a vital part of our daily lives, and increasing the diversity of travel options is something the public wants. We are committed to making walking and biking safer.”
The report provides an overview on the state’s Active Transportation Program (ATP), the largest of its kind in the nation. In its first call for projects in May 2014, Caltrans received 771 project applications requesting more than a billion dollars. The California Transportation Commission has adopted the first program of projects for the ATP, which includes 265 projects using $368 million in ATP funds. Of this amount, $311 million is dedicated to 220 projects that benefit disadvantaged communities.
The report also highlights program activities and completed projects, as well as other state and federal partnering programs to establish and improve bicycle and pedestrian facilities. Among the completed projects highlighted in the report is the Oak Manor Trail in the city of Ukiah. The project improved cross-town connection to schools, shopping centers and employments centers. It also gave pedestrians and cyclists a new off-street travel alternative. Southern California saw its first “Bicycle Boulevard” in the city of Pasadena—an area with a high concentration of cyclists. The project improved bicycle safety and advanced the vision of commuting in Pasadena without a car.
“Caltrans’ has historically been known as a highways agency, but we are shifting our focus to creating a California transportation system that links communities and is safe for all travelers, including those who chose to travel by biking and walking,” said
Dougherty. “We couldn’t accomplish this without our partners at all levels, from the federal government to grassroots organizations and the public.”
The state’s jump in 2014 from 19th to 9th in the nation in The League of American Bicyclists annual report is due to notable progress in legislation, funding and policy that will make it easier to build bike lanes and mandate drivers to give cyclists three-feet of space when they pass.
Also, as part of its effort to streamline construction of multimodal local streets and roads, in April 2014, Caltrans became the third state to endorse National Association of City Transportation Officials guidelines that include innovations such as buffered bike lanes and improved pedestrian walkways.
Caltrans also released its 2010–12 California Household Travel Survey Final Report that showed residents used walking, biking, transit and other non-motorized sources for 23 percent of trips. That was more than double the amount in the 2000 survey. This underscores the rising demand for non-motorized transportation.
You can read the full report at http://www.dot.ca.gov/docs/Non-Motorized_Transportation_Facilities_Report_FY_2013-14.pdf.
You can read more about The League of American Bicyclists report cards at: http://bikeleague.org/content/report-cards.