SCAG’s Top Goal for Bike/Ped: Reduce Fatalities by 25%

It isn’t easy to try to analyze a Regional Transportation Plan without a close examination of the project list (which isn’t available yet) but a first read of the Southern California Association of Governments’ RTP shows an agency at least somewhat committed to improving lives for those that don’t take their care everywhere. There will be much more coverage of this report here in the coming weeks, but first lets look at the bike/ped section.

SCAG set out six goals for "non-motorized travel." In short, they are:
1. Decrease bicyclists and pedestrians fatalities and injuries in the state to 25% below 2000 levels.
2. Bike/Ped issues need to be considered as part of all projects.
3. While pedestrian sidewalks are fairly well established in most areas, it is estimated that there are only 3,218 miles of dedicated bicycle facilities in the region, with an additional 3,170 miles planned.
4. Increase non-motorized transportation data: To make non-motorized modes an integral part of the region’s intermodal transportation planning process and system, reliable data for planning are needed.
5. Bicycling and Pedestrians should always be included in general plan updates. SCAG also encourages the development of local Non-Motorized Plans.
6. Develop a Regional Non-motorized plan: SCAG will work with all counties and their cities to coordinate and integrate all non-motorized plans from counties and jurisdictions.

The full text of the goals can be found on page 19 of this link.

Naturally, I have a couple of quick thoughts.

First, a little research shows that CALTRANS already has a goal of reducing "non-motorized fatalities" by 50%. That goal can be found on page 21 of this report. Sometime tomorrow or Friday, I’ll do some research on what this goal actually is in real numbers.

Second, back in Jersey we added specific goal-based language for building 1,000 miles of new bike lanes every five years. While I don’t think we ever made that goal, it was more effective in encouraging bike/ped to be added to road projects than the more vague language that SCAG uses here. Of course, if SCAG is serious about wanting to make sure bike/ped concerns are part of the planning process it could throw its weight behind Complete Streets Legislation.

Lastly, you can tell you’re in Carifornia when walking is defined as "travel without a car."

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