Statewide transportation leaders are set to converge on Santa Ana later this week to hash out a series of key policy issues.

One of the topics up for approval by the California Transportation Commission is the statewide guidelines for transporting pedestrians, cyclists, cars and transit riders.

The goals of the 2014 Active Transportation Program Guidelines include:

  • Increasing the proportion of trips accomplished by biking and walking.
  • Increasing the safety and mobility of nonmotorized users.
  • Enhancing public health, including reduction of childhood obesity through the use of programs like those eligible for Safe Routes to School Program funding.
  • Ensuring that disadvantaged communities fully share in the benefits of the program.
  • Providing a broad spectrum of projects to benefit many types of active transportation users.

(Click here to read the draft guidelines.)

Commissioners also plan to discuss the statewide policy for toll lanes, which local officials have warned could be on the table for Orange County freeways.

The state transportation agency, Caltrans, sees toll lanes or “managed lanes” as a key option for future freeway upgrades, particularly to comply with a federal mandate to speed up traffic for zero-emission cars.

Staffers at the Orange County Transportation Authority were generally supportive of that idea as well, though the effort has so far been met with significant pushback from local elected officials and chambers of commerce.

A proposal to put toll lanes on the Interstate 405 freeway, for example, was recently scrapped amid the backlash.

Caltrans is also reportedly running far short of cash it needs for freeway maintenance.

The meetings kick off at 10 a.m. Thursday at the the DoubleTree Hotel in Santa Ana (map available here). You can click here for Thursday’s agenda and here for Friday’s agenda.

Curious what else is happening this week? Click here to check out our rundown at On the Agenda.

Please contact Nick Gerda directly at and follow him on Twitter: @nicholasgerda.

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