SACRAMENTO — Caltrans is adopting a set of new, high-priority actions to improve access to walking, bicycling and transit options throughout California.
Expanding these transportation opportunities reduces dependence on driving, promotes safety and emphasizes social equity by reconnecting communities that have been divided by freeways and high-speed roads.
“The safety of all Californians, including those who walk and bike must be a priority when we consider future projects,” said Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin in a statement Monday. “This action plan represents a critical step in our effort to build and enhance a transportation system for all users and make our communities more livable and vibrant places.”
Caltrans developed the updated action plan in consultation with the California Walk/Bike Technical Advisory Committee to increase bicycling, walking and transit trips statewide.
A key effort in the action plan is to identify bicycle and pedestrian-focused needs at the community level in each region of the state through Caltrans District Active Transportation Plans. Adding more dedicated bike lanes and walking paths is a crucial safety component in reducing the number of deaths on state roads.
The recently approved 2020 State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP) represents a significant funding commitment to integrating bicycle and pedestrian improvements into our State Highway System. More than 40% of the nearly 900 SHOPP projects include such investments, with an additional $100 million in funds explicitly allocated to expand bicycle and pedestrian access. The SHOPP is Caltrans’ “fix-it-first” program to preserve and improve state transportation infrastructure for all users.
A critical element of the projects featured in the action plan and SHOPP funding is a robust public engagement process. Caltrans is already communicating with local stakeholders to identify walking and bicycling improvements to 22 current projects, with additional projects determined through community outreach and collaboration. Caltrans is developing tools, training, and guidance for each district to lead its own public engagement activities.
The District Active Transportation Plans underway will inform future projects. Caltrans encourages stakeholders and the public to provide input on improving bike lanes and walking paths in their local areas. More information can be found at catplan.org.
More information and updates on these and other projects can be found on Caltrans’ social media channels.