Leadership from Caltrans: New plan aims to triple bicycling — and much more

Thanks to ClimatePlan partner Jeanie Ward-Waller for the guest post! She’s had an exciting first week as CalBike’s new policy director — read on to find out why:

By Jeanie Ward-Waller, California Bicycle Coalition Policy Director

Last week, Caltrans released a new Strategic Plan for its work through 2020. The plan takes a new tone: its goals and objectives fall under categories from “safety and health” to “sustainability, livability, and economy.”

The plan’s goals are impressive too. Here’s our favorite: Caltrans aims to triple the bicycling mode share statewide by 2020 from 2010-2012 levels. That goal is identical to the lead goal in the California Bicycle Coalition’s current strategic plan!

In addition to tripling bicycling, Caltrans also aims to:
– double walking,
– double transit use,
– reduce vehicle-miles traveled per capita (VMT) by 15%, and
– increase safety across all travel modes by 10%!

These goals are more ambitious than any we’ve seen in a statewide or regional transportation plan in California. With this Strategic Plan, Caltrans is becoming the new leader in the State’s effort to transform the transportation sector and create sustainable, active communities.

We at the California Bicycle Coalition, along with our state coalition partners, are thrilled to see this new direction out of Caltrans and commend the leadership at the Department for the strong statement in support of active transportation.

In my first week as the new CalBike Policy Director, the timing of this opportunity to partner with Caltrans to achieve our shared goals couldn’t be better!

One near-term action that would advance these goals would be to increase funding for the Active Transportation Program by $100 million in the 2015-16 state budget, and ensure the ATP is adequately staffed and resourced at Caltrans to be effective.

Our coalition will be meeting with Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty and management staff in the coming weeks to discuss how we can work together to collectively advance the Strategic Plan goals. Join us in this effort: please sign the petition to increase ATP funding today!

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