Regional Transportation Planning in Southern California: Achieving Federal, State, Regional and Local Goals by Supporting Walkable and Bikeable Communities.
BACKGROUND: The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) is the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) in Southern California. Every four years, SCAG adopts a federally mandated Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). This plan brings together policies and future investments for the next 25 years for a six county region, made up of 18 million people and 38,000 square miles. SCAG is the largest MPO in the country, and includes 189 member cities.
In the last adopted RTP in 2008, an over $530 billion dollar plan, less than 0.5 percent of funding was dedicated towards bicycle and pedestrian projects, yet 12 percent of all trips in the region are already made walking and bicycling.
SCAG is currently working on the development of the next RTP, to be adopted in 2012. In light of state, regional and local legislation and policies (and a forthcoming new Federal transportation bill), there are tremendous opportunities for improving walking and bicycling conditions in Southern California. Focusing attention on the needs of bicyclists and pedestrians, particularly children accessing schools, will help the SCAG Region to achieve goals such as maximizing mobility and accessibility through strategic and fiscally prudent investments in a time of limited resources, address traffic congestion, improve air quality, address public health impacts from the built environment, reduce injuries, decrease greenhouse gas emissions, support regional hubs that attract and maintain families, and more.
The co-benefits from walkable and bikeable communities are outstanding.
WHAT’S NEXT? We are currently seeking endorsements on the Platform. Please share the Platform document, and encourage individuals/organizations to sign on in support of these principals. Our goal is to have 75 Platform endorsements by the end of May -– and you can help us achieve that goal!
LIVE/WORK OUTSIDE THE SCAG REGION? (SCAG Region: Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, Ventura, San Bernardino) That’s okay, you can still sign on and will be listed in a group of signers outside the region.