Between February 16th and April 6th, The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will host a series of 6 public workshops throughout the state to guide the development of California's next Transportation Plan. Click here to download the flier.
The Healthy Places Coalition encourages you to attend the workshops and participate in the public comment process to ensure that health, safety and equity considerations are embedded in the California Interregional Blueprint. The Blueprint will be the basis for California's next long-range Transportation Plan, CTP 2035.
Caltrans needs to hear clear, consistent and unified messages across the state: transportation decisions impact health, safety and equity and Californians want a safe and equitable transportation system that supports walking, biking, active recreation, and affordable public transit while achieving, or exceeding, the environmental benchmarks for climate change. For background on opportunities to advance health through transportation policy, read The Transportation Prescription.
Here are some key points you can make at the regional workshops. The CTP 2035 should:
Support Health, Equity and Environmental Quality
- Align Caltrans policies with Department of Health and Human Service goals to promote walking, biking, reduce health disparities and decrease respiratory illness.
- Expand the working definition of health within the transportation plan to go beyond air quality concerns and to include chronic illnesses due to inactivity, lack of access to food, and increased commute times.
- Develop strategies specifically designed to meet the transportation needs of low-income people and people of color and to eliminate disparities in access to and affordability of public transit and walking and bicycling infrastructure near homes, jobs and services.
- Expand investment in integrated public transit.
- Include health and social equity within the CTP 2035 vision statement.
Increase the mode share of walking, biking, and public transit (percentage of total trips)
- In response to the requirements of AB 32 and SB 375, reduce vehicle miles traveled and the use of single occupant vehicles
- Include policies goals and indicators within the plan that simultaneously work to scale up walkability, bikability and public transit
Emphasize safe mobility and accessibility for pedestrians and bicyclists
- Include the percentage of people walking and biking as indicators for the productivity performance measure.
- Include the percentage of people within ¼ to ½ a mile of food retail and affordable housing as key indicators of coordinated land use and transportation.
- Incentivize connections between roadways and complementary systems of bike trails and walking paths.
Promote use of planning tools that allow for a fuller understanding of the impact of transportation decisions on active transportation (e.g., walking, biking), safety (e.g. pedestrian injuries) and equity (e.g., effects on low-income communities)
- The public and decision makers need to understand how transportation decisions impact walking, biking, and injury rates for California's diverse road users to understand the true cost-benefits of any proposed transportation plans, projects or decisions. Emerging tools, such as Health Impact Assessments, can be used to better evaluate projects and policies and inform decision making.
- Traditional measures of evaluating transportation projects (automobile movement, economic impact) don't adequately reflect the range of outcomes (walkability, physical activity, injuries, etc.).
Prioritize transportation projects that complete California's streets to safely accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians when building new roads and when preserving and maintaining the existing system
- Build and maintain infrastructure for bicyclists, transit users, and pedestrians of all ages and abilities.
- Traffic calming measures, which include reducing lane widths, construction of raised medians and roundabouts, should be incorporated into new and renovated roads. This design approach acknowledges the relationship between environmental design and behavioral norms, and can dually improve safety for non-motorized travelers and improve the safety of vehicle occupants.
Support Safe Routes to School (SRTS)
- Actively partner with the California Department of Education to develop safe routes to school and to manage growth and support the environment through effective school siting decisions.
- Develop an indicator for percentage of students walking to school for the coordinated land use performance measure.
Incentivize and measure progress toward transit oriented, mixed use development
- Develop indicators related to economic vitality.
- Include affordable housing, jobs and essential services as components of all mixed use and transit oriented developments so that more Californians are within easier reach of public transportation and key institutions.
Emphasize Preservation of farmland and conservation of open space
- Farmland preservation within urban and suburban fringes promotes regional agriculture, provides land for growing food, and helps prevent sprawl.
- Develop measures and indicators within CTP 2035 to address goals for farmland preservation and open space conservation.