SANDAG Leads Southern CA in Active Transportation Implementation
July 24, 2012 1 Comment
With the passage of SANDAG’s 2050 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), the agency has embarked on a number of programs to accelerate the creation of safe bicycle and pedestrian networks. In addition, to merely expanding their capacity for Active Transportation Planning, SANDAG has embarked on an ambitious plan to fast-track or front-load their investments in the next ten years so that the county can reap the benefits of these new investments sooner. Below are a brief description of some of the work SANDAG is currently working on:
The Bicycle Plan Early Action Program was initiated as part of SANDAG’s 2050 RTP and will attempt to build 30 years of bicycle projects in just 10 years. To do this SANDAG will take the lead in developing 4 class 1 bicycle paths and 30 prioritized urban bicycle projects. These projects were prioritized based on “land use intensities, access to public transit, linkages to activity centers, network deficiencies, and safety.” SANDAG will build on its history as a project coordinator to implement this plan and is currently developing cost estimates and a funding strategy to move these projects forward. Funding for these projects will come from a variety of sources such as:
- TRANSNET – Transnet is a ½ cent sales tax similar to Measure R in Los Angeles County or Measure I in San Bernardino. Currently under this program 2 percent of all funding is dedicated to bicycle and pedestrian improvement projects.
- TDA Article 3 – The Transportation Development Act (TDA) provides funding for the region’s public transit operators and for nonmotorized transportation projects. The TDA comes from one-quarter of a percent of state sales tax assessed in the region.
- Transportation Enhancements – SANDAG’s board announced last year that all of its TE money would be dedicated to the implementation of the Bike Plan. It remains to be seen how this decision will be affected by the new transportation bill.
An Active Transportation Early Action Program will also be implemented at SANDAG with scoping to be developed this fall. This program will mirror the work being done on the Bicycle Plan Early Action Program, but will include Safe Routes to Transit (first mile/last mile), Safe Routes to School and other active transportation projects. This program will also seek to implement the Safe Routes to School Regional Strategy.
SANDAG has also been leading the way with the implementation of Safe Routes to School in Southern CA by creating a Safe Routes to School Regional Strategy and using Communities Putting Prevention to Work funding to provide local cities with pass through grants. The pass through grants were used to fund local Safe Routes to School planning efforts. In total six grants of approximately $50,000 each were granted to local agencies. The Safe Routes to School Regional Policy “identifies a regional strategy to support local communities in establishing new Safe Routes to School programs as well as sustaining and enhancing existing efforts.”
In response to the adoption of the 2050 RTP, SANDAG will also be developing a regional Complete Streets policy that will help develop performance metrics and inform funding decisions. Work on this policy is in the initial stages.
SANDAG is also in the process of developing an Activity-Based Model (ABM) which will use “robust data to improve analyses of bicycle/pedestrian usage. SANDAG proposes data collection efforts to count bicyclists and pedestrians, better understand bicycle/pedestrian travel behavior, and capture information about bicycle and pedestrian facilities and safety in the region.”