$9.9 Million Approved For Transportation Projects in Inland Empire, Coachella Valley
The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) Thursday approved nearly $10 million in funding for four active transportation projects in the Inland Empire and Coachella Valley. The funding, part of the $100 million a year being directed specifically to active transportation across California as part of Senate Bill 1, provides another major boost to local efforts to increase safety and access for people walking and biking. The SB1 funding nearly doubles the amount available for active transportation investments, and its quick disbursement will allow projects originally scheduled to start as late as 2021 to commence construction later this year. In all, SCAG’s Regional Council approved more than $40 million in active transportation funding for projects in the six-county region.
“Active transportation is an essential element of our region’s long-term mobility plans. Providing safe options for walking and biking is critical to the success of our growing transit network and fundamental to the operations of our increasingly integrated transportation system,” said Alan Wapner, Mayor pro Tem of Ontario and First Vice President of SCAG.
Under the plan approved Thursday by SCAG’s Regional Council, nearly $9.2 million will go to implement active transportation projects in the Inland Empire and Coachella during the 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 fiscal years. An additional $750,000 will be used to help fund the planning of four new projects:
- Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians Active Transportation Plan ($162,650).
- Palm Springs Citywide Pedestrian and Safe Routes to School Plan ($200,000).
- Montclair Active Transportation Plan ($200,000).
- San Bernardino Active Transportation Plan ($200,000).
Under SCAG’s 2016-2040 Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy, approved last year, the six-county region plans to invest $12.9 billion in active transportation projects during that period. About a third of this investment, or $4.5 billion, is expected to be returned to the region through health savings associated with a reduction in chronic diseases resulting from more people walking and biking.
SCAG also recently extended its Go Human regional marketing, education and outreach campaign in an effort to encourage more walking and bicycling and greater awareness of pedestrian and bicycling safety in a region of more than 18 million people.
“With the help of initiatives such as Go Human, Southern California has quickly become a national model for active transportation advocacy and implementation,” said Hasan Ikhrata, Executive Director of SCAG. “The kinds of programs approved for funding today are significantly improving the quality of life for communities and residents throughout our six-county region.”
SCAG is the nation’s largest metropolitan planning organization, representing six counties, 191 cities and more than 18 million residents. SCAG undertakes a variety of planning and policy initiatives to plan for a livable and sustainable Southern California now and in the future. For more information about SCAG’s regional efforts, please visit www.scag.ca.gov.