$20 million Headed to Boosting Bikeways throughout Orange County

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The following is a press release from an organization unaffiliated with Voice of OC. The views expressed here are not those of Voice of OC.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:                    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 16, 2016
Joel Zlotnik (714) 560-5713
Eric Carpenter (714) 560-5697

 

$20 million Headed to Boosting Bikeways throughout Orange County

OCTA announces call for bike projects and accepts grant funding to create a countywide active transportation plan

ORANGE – OCTA is looking to award up to $20 million in grants for projects that make bicycling and walking easier and safer in Orange County and, this week, the agency accepted a $280,000 state grant to further its regional planning efforts to encourage active transportation instead of more car trips.

Through the Bicycle Corridor Improvement Program 2016 Call for Projects, up to $20 million will be awarded to cities and the county for projects that build bikeways and pedestrian paths. Funding for the program comes from the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program, a federal program that provides funding for transportation projects that help meet federal Clean Air Act requirements.

“OCTA strives to make Orange County a place where the car isn’t the answer to every trip,” said OCTA Chair Lori Donchak, “We want to provide our residents with convenient and safe transportation choices that are good for the environment. Biking and walking are inexpensive, healthy alternatives to driving.”

OCTA’s Board of Directors has awarded $10 million in funding to date through the program to 28 projects. Among the completed projects are the Coyote Creek Class I bikeway and the Newport Beach Class II bicycle facilities.

Each project is eligible for up to $3 million. The program is competitive and projects will be scored based on a range of criteria, including safety enhancements, consistency with bike plans and cost effectiveness. Project applications for the current round of funding are due to OCTA by May 9. Applications will be reviewed by an advisory panel this summer and the board is scheduled to vote on awarding the funds in August.

 

Among the goals of the Bicycle Corridor Improvement Program are:

·       To increase the number of biking and walking trips

·       Close gaps between major bikeway corridors

·       Promote bicycling and walking by increasing safety

·       Improve air quality across Orange County

 

At Monday’s meeting, the board took an additional step to enhancing mobility choices for residents after it was $280,000 in Active Transportation Program grant funding from the California Transportation Commission and the Southern California Association of Governments. This grant will fund Orange County’s first countywide active transportation plan, covering all 34 cities and the county.

OCTA has long partnered with local jurisdictions on transit-access studies, bikeways planning and an inventory of sidewalks. The grant funds will further those efforts by allowing OCTA to consolidate local and regional bikeways master planning efforts and help better analyze and prioritize projects. It will also put Orange County and its cities in a better position to receive ongoing active-transportation funding.

The plan is expected to take up to approximately two years to complete. For more information, visit www.octa.net/bikeways.

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  • BeeBee.BeeLeaves

    I ride a bike daily, here, there, everywhere. For health. And I do hope, I really do, that if they build it, they will come and more people will ride a bikes or trikes.

    I would also like corridors that allow seniors to use their scooters. Or why not golf carts, too? Taking a golf cart to the store would be so much easier for some people, IF, they could safely get there. Tax credits for golf cart buyers, like they did in Arizona decades ago. To which I then say, slow lanes should be made off limits to all cars – yes, you read right, all cars off, no more slow lane for you – and used only for slow modes of transport. All slow lanes, seriously. Turn them over to bikes, skateboards, mopeds, scooters, and again, golf carts. If you build corridors that are safe for non-cars, more people will partake, and that would be a great thing to get off of the fossil fuel madness. But we already have corridors really, in every street, via every slow lane. The conversion of every slow lane by separating them from lanes 2,3,4 with median islands, pocket parks, to keep the slo mo people safe and if they feel safe, they will use this alternative.

    Build it. They will come. Or should I say re-purpose it, they will come?

  • Philmore

    Does ANYBODY know, or even bother to ask, just HOW MANY of OC’s total 3 Million population OWN a bicycle or regularly USE one ? Road funds are paid by ROAD users via gasoline surtaxes, what do USERS pay here? The folks who can TRULY DEMONSTRATE “bang for the buck” here, are construction companies/ unions and cement / asphalt vendors, from their POLITICAL donations. Are these really “Transportation Alternatives” of just expanded recreation opportunities for the upscale areas mentioned above ? HOW MANY low income workers will be trading their car commuting in THOSE locations for the benefits effervesced by Ms. Donchak ? How many of the RECIPIENTS of the $280K, much less the $20 M will be BIKING to work ???

    • David Zenger

      All good questions.