Orange County Transportation Authority Board of Directors voted unanimously this week to award approximately $19.5 million in funding for 13 local projects aimed at improving bikeways and creating better regional connectivity.
It’s a major step forward for a county where biking can be life-threatening.
Orange County has the second-highest rate of traffic collisions in the state. In 2013, the last year for which data is available, 14,839 people were killed or injured in a traffic collision. Of those, 841 were pedestrians and 1,286 were bicyclists, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety.
Yet county leaders have only recently begun to dedicate significant resources to biking and other alternative transportation.
Money for the projects announced this week will come from federal funds set aside for reducing traffic congestion and improving air quality — ten percent of which is set aside for bicycle and pedestrian improvements, according to a Transportation Authority staff report. Each project also requires municipalities to provide matching grants of about 12 percent.
The largest grant, $3 million, will go to the county to create four miles of protected bikeways along Hazard Avenue, between Goldenwest Street and Euclid Avenue in Westminster and Garden Grove.
The city of Santa Ana, a hot spot for bike collisions, received funding for four different projects, including: $1.1 million toward citywide bike racks; $1.03 million toward protected bikeways along Hazard Avenue; $2.2 million for 1.25 miles of bike lanes protected by a raised medium along Bristol Street; and another $735,703 toward another 1.75 miles of painted bike lanes.
Tustin will receive $2.2 million toward improvements along its Main Street, including: new lighted crosswalks; buffered bike lanes; bike racks; and a bicycle hut at the library.
Another $2 million will go toward a project in Dana Point to extend an existing bike and pedestrian trial along Coast Highway another 2,200 feet to Doheny Park Road.
The city of Garden Grove will receive $1.1 million to construct 6.5 miles of new bikeways and improve 8.35 miles in existing facilities that are underused.
The county also will receive $1.5 million for design and right-of-way acquisition toward a segment of a 66-mile bike and pedestrian trail project. The funding would go toward completing a half-mile segment along the Carbon Creek Flood channel in Placentia.
Other projects include:
- $2.2 million to the city of Fullerton for improvements along Wilshire Boulevard
- $578,886 to Fullerton for bike and pedestrian improvements citywide
- $850,400 to the city of Anaheim for the proposed Nohl Ranch Open Space Trail
- $883,520 to the county for final design of the Peters Canyon Bikeway Extension
Another 13 proposals which didn’t make the cut could still get some funding, if any of the funded projects fall through or fail to meet requirements.
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