San Bernardino County Active Transportation Planning: Sustainability Submissions by SANBAG

SCAG Compass Blueprint Program

The demand for active transportation, pedestrian and bicycling, planning and programs grows across Southern California. Regional agencies are seeing openings for public and private grants and increasing their role as a technical assistance providers. These agencies have the unique opportunity to position their cities for funding, direct the framework of policies and implement local programs – especially local land use decisions. Also, regional and county transportation agencies’ roles in funding, programming and policy may be expanded, depending on how new state Active Transportation Program (ATP) will be implemented. In Southern California, the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) is actively working with county transportation commissions (CTCs) and local jurisdictions in both policy and funding.

The guideline for ATP have not yet been drafted by the state but is expected to be by Fall 2013 and implemented in January 2014. The Safe Routes to School National Partnership drafted a July update on ATP discussion and legislative update, link.

In the Inland Empire, San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) is ramping up its active transportation and sustainability programs. SANBAG applied for SCAG Sustainability/Green Region and active transportation grants. Their innovative planning programs, listed below, demonstrates SANBAG’s commitment to providing technical assistance to local jurisdictions and implementing of the 2012 Regional Transportation Plan and Sustainable Communities Strategies, including active transportation, public health and sustainability.

*Status on grants to be updated. None of the proposed projects below have confirmed funding from SANBAG or SCAG.

SANBAG’s five proposals*, all of which will focus on countywide issues and strategies, include:

  • Climate Action Plan Implementation Tools (Green Region Program) – Following the completion of the groundbreaking San Bernardino Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan, the 21 participating cities will need to determine their next steps, including whether/how to proceed with their Climate Action Plan (CAP). SANBAG is proposing to create a set of implementation tools that cities could use in the creation of their Climate Action Plans, should they choose to do so.  An example would be creation of a GHG Screening Tool for development projects, similar to what the County has implemented, as a template for cities to use.
  • Bicycle path/route mapping and phone app for SB County (Active Transportation) – Although the existing and future bike paths and routes are mapped and on the SANBAG website, there is no easy to use map access for cyclists in the field, and the bike route mapping on Google Maps is very inconsistent. Several jurisdictions have developed bike map apps, and SANBAG is proposing to do this at a countywide level.
  • Open Space/Conservation Strategy (Green Region) – The Environmental Element of the Vision may engage in a habitat/conservation area planning activity, although the actual direction is yet to be defined.  A grant is being requested to generate some seed money to help provide a direction for this element of the vision.
  • Complete Streets Strategy (Active Transportation) – AB 1358 requires that consideration be given to “complete streets” as local jurisdictions update their circulation elements.  Although there is a growing body of information on complete street planning and implementation, only a few jurisdictions have initiated work in this area.  A project is proposed to help San Bernardino County jurisdictions with a framework for when and how to incorporate these concepts into their street planning.
  • Active Transportation Safe Routes to School Inventory (Active Transportation) – A number of jurisdictions have taken advantage of Safe Routes to School funding in the past.  The idea behind this grant application is to conduct a basic inventory of sidewalk and cycling facilities in the vicinity of schools, to make it easier for jurisdictions to identify and prioritize Safe Routes to School opportunities.  Alternative prioritization methods will also be identified, and this information will be provided for jurisdictions and school districts to consider for future grant applications.

About Pauline Chow
I am the Southern California Regional Policy Manager at Safe Routes to School National Partnership. Living in the foothills of Pasadena, CA. Our mission is to advance safe walking and bicycling to and from schools, to build a diverse and inclusive movement of champions, to foster the creation of active and sustainable communities, and to improve the health and quality of life for all of Los Angeles County’s youth and families. Also, I think internets and people power go together and interested in using data science to explore social justice and civic engagement in the digital space.

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