Active Transportation Program Quick-Build Project Recommendations Released
8:39 AM PDT on September 17, 2020
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California's Active Transportation Program added a small pilot program this year to test the feasibility of supporting "quick-build" projects. These are durable but relatively inexpensive projects meant to allow a city to quickly redesign a street for safety, provide community members the opportunity try it out on the ground, collect data and public input, and make adjustments before committing to permanent construction.
The California Transportation Commission added the pilot program to test whether these kinds of projects should be part of future ATP funding cycles, and to identify challenges that come up. The CTC received 22 applications on a tight turnaround time - the applications were due in July, after being announced in late April - and staff just released recommendations to fund eight of them, for a total of $4.4 million. This is less than the potential $7 million that had been floated as an upper limit in the ATP guidelines.
This list of projects will be discussed and evaluated by the full commission, and a finalized list of projects will be adopted at their December meeting.
The rest of the ATP Cycle 5 application process is ongoing, with the application deadline just passed - after a delay due to COVID - and new grants expected to be announced in spring of next year.
The quick-build projects that staff recommends for funding are:
- Fresno: $1.4m to build a Class IV parking-protected bikeway, with a road diet, along Belmont and Palm. Construction would entail a "slurry" pavement treatment, restriping, and soft-hit posts and a buffer protecting the bike lanes. These two roads serve local schools.
- Berkeley: $600,000 to complete a quick-build safety project along Martin Luther King Jr. Way, one of its main streets which has a high pedestrian injury rate. The project would include newly painted curbs and crosswalks, median refuge islands, flashing pedestrian beacons, and enhanced pedestrian lighting.
Ten other projects were not recommended for funding, in the cities of Palmdale, Santa Clarita, Costa Mesa, Millbrae, San Mateo, Emeryville, Lancaster, San Luis Obispo, Daly City, and a regional project proposed by the Southern California Association of Governments. Four other projects were deemed ineligible for the funding.
The projects, for the most part, stem from the cities' Active Transportation, Vision Zero, or Bicycle Plans. They are still somewhat in flux, and the grants will not be confirmed until December. It will be later, after the projects have been built and data has been collected, that a real assessment of the success of this pilot funding can be made.
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