SCAG Officially Approves Active Transportation Subcommittee Recommendations

The Southern California Association of Governments Regional Council (SCAG RC) approved recommendations by their six policy subcommittees: June 6, 2013 RC agenda (See Item #9 and page 172 for Staff Report). It seems like a long journey from passing a motion at SCAG to creating the 6 subcommittees. On the heels of unanimous approval of the 2012 Regional Transportation Plan and Sustainable Communities Strategies from SCAG General Assembly, the subcommittees covered active transportation, sustainability, strategic finance, public health, high speed rail/transit and goods movement.

These policy recommendations and implementation plans will inform the next iteration of the RTP/SCS in 2016 and updates to SCAG’s annual Overall Work Plan. The 2016 RTP/SCS is closer than you think! Draft frameworks, data gathering and modeling discussions have already started this summer, see 2016 RTP/SCS draft timeline.

Active Transportation Subcommittee recommendations approved by the SCAG RC:

  1. Develop a definition of active transportation which recognizes the varying types and needs of active transportation users
    • Existing: Active Transportation refers to transportation such as walking or using a bicycle, tricycle, velomobile, wheelchair, scooter, skates, skateboard, push scooter, trailer, hand cart, shopping car, or similar low-speed electrical devices. (source: 2012-2035 RTP/SCS)
    • Proposed: Active transportation refers to human powered transportation, and low speed electronic assist devices. Examples include but are not limited to bicycle, tricycle, wheelchair, scooter, skates, skateboard, push scooter, trailer, hand cart.
    • Next Steps: Disseminate local definition throughout the organization, and its deliberative bodies. Pending further discussion and action by TC and Regional Council, include language in drafting the 2016-2040 RTP/SCS.
  2. Consider and refine the availability of data and information to evaluate the RTP/SCS and its alternatives relative to active transportation policy
    • Provide the technical foundation for any potential improvements to performance measures and indicators by conducting research and identifying best methods for RTP/SCS alternatives evaluation and monitoring
    • Strengthen performance indicators to facilitate measuring the benefits of active transportation development
    • Expand our data collection efforts by working with counties, cities and stakeholders. 
    • Next Steps to 2016 RTP/SCS Development: Identify and assist local agencies that are adopting Active Transportation plans and programs. Train local planners through SCAG Programs.
  3. Develop, with partner agencies, a methodology for selecting and prioritizing regionally supported active transportation projects
    • Continue to work with local jurisdictions in coordinating and integrating active transportation data and plans
    • Support the development of cost effectiveness data and methodology to determine which projects may have the greatest benefit/cost
    • Work with partners and stakeholders in Public Health, Land-Use Planning, Environmental
    • Quality and Habitat Conservation to further enhance active transportation options.
    • Next Steps: Continue to work with partners to develop methodologies that may determine active transportation demand (e.g. walkscore/bikescore) and benefits of projects.
  4. Seek opportunities to promote and support transportation investments with an active transportation component
    • Support regulatory framework that considers active transportation an integral part of all transportation planning and development
    • Support regulatory framework that considers active transportation an integral part of land-use planning and development
    • Support and promote the consideration and accommodation of active transportation users, particularly in underserved communities, in all transportation projects, where applicable
    • Support goals and principles of Complete Streets recognizing context of local land uses
    • Support and seek opportunities to promote and implement safety in active transportation
    • Continue to support research, and/or development of best practices to justify investment in active transportation
    • Support and seek opportunities to increase active transportation funding (including, but not limited to Safe Routes to School, Cap and Trade, River Parkway Grants, legislative strategies and other public and private grant opportunities
    • Seek opportunities to streamline environmental review of active transportation projects.
    • Next Steps to 2016 RTP/SCS Development: Develop cost effective investments and strategies that promote active transportation as part of 2016 RTP/SCS development process, subject to further stakeholder input and technical review, and work with transportation finance division to quantify costs and identify funding.

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