Southern California Safe Routes to School Network Regional Goals 2014-2015
The Southern California Safe Routes to School Regional Network, a project of the Safe Routes to School National Partnership (National Partnership), was formed in the spring of 2010 and is currently funded through the generous support of Kaiser Permanente (KP), Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) and a Community Transformation Grant (CTG). The goal of the Southern California Safe Routes to School Regional Network is to build partnerships, leverage resources and improve public health in the seven county Southern California region by improving policies and the built environment which support increases in physical activity through walking and bicycling to school and in daily life. The National Partnership also works at the local level to provide Technical Assistance to six Kaiser Permanente HEAL zones throughout the Southern California region. The SoCal team is staffed by Rye Baerg, Pauline Chow, Jessica Meaney and managed by Regional Network Manager Stephanie Weber.
State of Active Transportation in Southern California:
In Southern California, a significant portion of the population is already walking and bicycling to school, work, and play. Unfortunately, policy, funding and existing transportation infrastructure do not support and encourage walking and bicycling. Current research and trends show that the demand for walkable and liveable neighborhoods is growing. To improve safety, air quality and public health, the Southern California Safe Routes to School Regional Network is working with County Transportation Commissions, Council of Governments (COGs), Metropolitan Planning Organizations, Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and regional partners to change policies and funding opportunities to accelerate the construction of walking and bicycling networks.
How are transportation decisions and investments made in SoCal?
Two Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) regionally coordinate Southern California transportation planning, the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) and the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). These MPOs adopt federally mandated Regional Transportation Plans (RTPs) and Sustainable Communities Strategies (SCSs) which bring together policies and future investments to integrate transportation and land use over the next 25 years. Within the six county SCAG region, County Transportation Commissions (CTCs) are responsible for programming and distributing federal and state funding in coordination with local cities, CTCs by county: Imperial County Transportation Commission, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Orange County Transportation Commission, Riverside County Transportation Commission, San Bernardino Association of Governments, and Ventura County Transportation Commission. SANDAG is both the San Diego region’s MPO and CTC.
MPO and County Strategies for 2014-2015
The following strategies for each county were developed with input from our partners across Southern California. This document is meant to be fluid and if you or your organization has recommendations or questions we would love to hear them.
What’s happened in the last four years: 2010-2013 SCAG RTP Platform
In 2010 the Safe Routes to School National Partnership began its Southern California Network. In its first two years, the network convened a broad coalition of more than forty organizations to support increased funding for bicycling and walking. Through these efforts SCAG agreed to create an Active Transportation Division and include health and active transportation metrics in its transportation planning moving forward. SCAG also increased the amount of funding projected for Active Transportation to $6.7 billion over the next 25 years. To read more click here.
Beginning with the adoption of SCAG’s 2012 Regional Transportation Plan and Sustainable Communities Strategy (RTP/SCS) the partnership has expanded its work in each of the seven counties. Jessica Meaney has been working full time in Los Angeles county to encourage the adoption of a countywide Complete Streets Policy. Pauline Chow and Rye Baerg have been working in the other counties to expand active transportation funding and planning. One of the key objectives has been encouraging the adoption of Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) between the county transportation commissions and SCAG to implement the 2012 RTP/SCS. Today Metro, SANBAG and ICTC have all adopted MOUs. In addition SCAG developed six subcommittees to develop implementation steps following the adoption of the RTP/SCS.