County awarded Caltrans transportation grant

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Santa Barbara County has announced that it has received a $475,000 Sustainable Transportation Planning Grant from Caltrans.

The grant, along with more than $60,000 in county matching money funding, will fund development of the county’s Active Transportation Plan. The plan will integrate and update existing plans, including the circulation element, bicycle master plan and community projects, said Lael Wageneck, spokesman for the county Public Works Department.

The ATP will also serve as a master plan and policy document to guide development and maintenance of active transportation infrastructure, including sidewalks, multi-use trails and bikeways, as well as Safe-Route-to-School programs for unincorporated areas of the county. The project includes public outreach, an existing conditions analysis and user needs assessment, along with an innovative plan that officials say will serve as a blueprint for other rural and coastal counties throughout the state.

The countywide planning process will begin this fall and finish in spring 2023, Mr. Wageneck said.

“This grant will help us address alternative transportation in the County as part of our current update of the County’s Circulation Element to address vehicle-miles-traveled. We don’t have an Active Transportation Plan or a recent countywide transportation plan, so this is a first-of-its-kind planning document,” Dan Klemann, planning and development deputy director for the Public Works Department, said in a statement.

The Public Works and Planning and Development departments will co-manage ATP development to ensure the plan identifies and prioritizes facilities that will best promote active modes of transportation throughout the unincorporated county, including its disadvantaged and underserved communities.

“The hard work paid off for the teams from both departments that submitted this application,” Public Works Director Scott McGolpin said in a statement. “This is a very competitive grant. Caltrans awarded 77 grants from 178 applications, and the County received one of the highest amounts in the State.”

The ATP will also guide the county’s efforts to pursue funding opportunities for new or improved facilities. 

For more information on the grant program, visit https://dot.ca.gov/programs/transportation-planning/regional-planning/sustainable-transportation-planning-grants.

email: mwhite@newspress.com



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