What Happened at the San Bernardino County Active Transportation Network Kick Off?
April 15, 2013 2 Comments
Last week, forty people came together in San Bernardino County to discuss pedestrians and bicyclists policies and priorities in the region. The group called itself the “San Benardino County Active Transportation Network” (SBCATN), intending to create a space for cities, agencies, organizations and community to collaborate, educate and impact local and regional policies. It was a diverse group of participants, representing cities, transportation agencies, foundation, county department of public health, community stakeholders, nonprofits and advocacy groups. The Kick Off Meeting started with a lively bicycle chain networking activities amount participants – people lined up in two rows and introduced themselves to someone across the way in 45 seconds. There is usually not enough time to engage in a conversation but people quickly learn who is in the meeting and open up to sharing their ideas, challenges and best practices. Then the keynote speaker John Longville – who has been the Mayor of the City of Rialto (1987-1998), California State Assemblyman (1998 -2004), and founder of Metrolink – encouraged participants to be persistent in their advocacy for a better San Bernardino County. Participates noted in their evaluations that they heard the key takeaways of the meeting being: “Persistence, ‘Working with theme’ and Collaboration.” Links to presentations, policy opportunities and important documents below.
“Persistence, ‘Working with theme’ and Collaboration” – Caltrans
Great collaboration and idea sharing – City of Moreno Valley
It was a great convening and interested in hearing more about opportunities for convergence and collaboration – California Endowment
The Kick off Meeting provided a mix of education on what active transportation looked like in San Bernardino County and important opportunities for policy change. In preparation for the gathering, representatives from San Bernardino Association of Governments, San Benardino County Department of Public Health, Safe Routes to School National Partnership, American Lung Association and MoveIE drew from the San Benardino County’s Vision, collected research and statistics on the significant co-benefits of active transportation and laid out policy opportunities in the SBCATN’s County Vision for pedestrians’ and bicyclist’s. The group seeks comments and feedback from the community and stakeholders. The Network’s paints big picture possibilities for the region and creates a resource for stakeholders, leaders and those interested in learning more about San Benardino County. It also intendes to incresase collaboration and coordinated efforts between all stakeholders in the region to raise the profile of active transportation and make the region more competitive for grants and funding. This is especially important to emphasize in light of new legislation and funding mechanisms, see opportunities in linked document or listed below. The presentations at the Kick Off Meeting were dynamic and educational, please view and share:
- Josh Lee, San Bernardino Association of Government (SANBAG): Active Transportation in SBC presentation
- Evy Trevino, San Bernardino County Department of Public Health: Public Health Perspective presentation
- Mike Parmer, City of Rancho Cucamonga: Best Practices Presentation
- Mark Friis, Inland Empire Bicycle Alliance: Bicycling Community Survey and Feedback Presentation
Discussion and feedback from attendees were the focus of the second half of the meeting, where next steps for the SBCATN were mapped out and concerns were voiced by participants The comments from the discussion, feedback on evaluation forms and articulations from sticky notes are complied here. All participants said they were encouraged to increase and influence the active transportation conversation in the county, current roles and in public meetings/forums. Overall, feedback was positive and participants are motivated to expand collaboration and coordination. The most important areas for SBCATN from the meeting were: (1) education of the community and leaders on active transportation, (2) compiling and sharing best practices from the region, and (3) coming together around the topic of funding and grant opportunities for the region.
Overall, it was a successful first meeting for the Network! The active transportation community – planners, walkers, public health, bicyclists, residents, leaders, parents, students, advocates, transportation, designers and more – is hungry for more in their cities and county. If you are interested in what’s next for the San Bernardino County Active Transportation Network, providing feedback on key documents and discussion or educating a local leader, please email Pauline at email@example.com.
We’ve engineered the physical activity out of our everyday lives. – San Bernardino Department of Public Health presentation
SBCATN’s Identified Policy Opportunities for Active Transportation. The following suggestions represent policy opportunities that can help San Bernardino County achieve its countywide vision and improve active transportation conditions.
- Develop a Sustainable Transportation Demonstration Program that will provide local agencies with planning, programming, and/or capital funds to implement SANBAG’s Non-Motorized Transportation Plan and the Access to Transit Plan. This program would develop a project list of high priority Regionally Significant Active Transportation Projects to be included in future long-range planning efforts. Partner with local jurisdictions to apply and support efforts in securing active transportation funds.
- Develop a Countywide Safe Routes to School Strategic Plan to identify a strategy to help local communities establish new Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs and to sustain and enhance existing efforts. The strategic plan will include assessing current SRTS efforts and needs; coordinating with agencies, organizations, and stakeholders for exchange of information and ideas; identifying data needs and performance metrics; pursuing additional funding sources to increase SRTS investment in San Bernardino County and to provide technical resources to communities; and connecting agencies and organizations involved in SRTS with resources and information.
- Support Regional Transportation Agencies in Exploring Opportunities to Expedite Active Transportation Funding planned in the RTP/SCS to ensure local jurisdictions have adequate funding to build active transportation infrastructure. This would include SRTS Projects, first-last mile connections to transit, development of walkable urban centers to stimulate private investment, and development of infrastructure to support the expansion of the Metrolink system at the time when new stations come online.
- Determine a policy framework for a Countywide Complete Streets Policy for SANBAG that would apply to projects that receive funding from SANBAG. In addition, a method for tracking the percentage of Complete Streets projects in the Constrained Plan for the 2016 Regional Transportation Plan and the Federal Transportation Improvement Program (FTIP) and State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) should be developed to track agency progress.
- Routine accommodation in transportation and land use planning Consistently consider bicyclists and pedestrians in the planning and design of land development, roadway, transit, and other transportation facilities, as appropriate to the context of each facility and its surroundings.
- Support SCAG in developing Performance Measurement and Monitoring of the health benefits and co-benefits (greenhouse gas reduction, economic benefit, etc.) of transportation projects and plans and quantifying reductions in chronic disease through the transportation and land use decision making process. Support local agencies by providing grants for automated bicycle and pedestrian counts to improve data available for modeling. Include Active Transportation Estimates and Projections for Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG), Public Health Benefits, Cost Benefit Analysis, and Public Safety in all future studies and planning activities.
- Support Public Health Efforts in Health Impact Assessments related to built-environments to determine the public health impacts and help prioritize projects based on public health performance metrics such as reducing asthma incidence, obesity or heart diseases through promotion of Active Transportation policies and facilities.