The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) recently awarded $34 million in state and federal funds to cities, counties, tribes, and transit agencies throughout California to improve the state’s transportation network.
The grant money—including $25 million funded by Senate Bill (SB) 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017—will be used to plan sustainable transportation projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve the state highway system, enhance access to safe walkways and bikeways, and increase natural disaster preparedness, according to Caltrans.
“Investing in transportation planning is essential to our goal of providing a safe, sustainable system that advances equity and livability throughout the state. These grants will help our communities create more connected routes for all residents, regardless of whether they travel by car, bike, foot, or mass transit,” Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin said in a statement.
In total, Caltrans allocated:
- $17.4 million—including $12.38 million from SB 1—in Sustainable Communities Competitive and Technical Grants to 50 local, regional, tribal, and transit agencies for climate change adaptation, complete streets, transportation and land use planning, and natural disaster preparedness. This includes more than $4 million to fund planning for 13 projects that improve safety and access for people who walk and bike.
- $12.5 million in Sustainable Communities Formula Grants, completely funded by SB 1, to metropolitan planning organizations to further regional transportation plans and sustainable communities strategies.
- $4 million in federally funded Strategic Partnership Grants to nine projects that will plan for next-generation freeways, improve transit options between communities, research alternative funding for road repairs, and advance the timely and efficient movement of goods throughout the state.
Caltrans awards transportation planning grants each year through a competitive process to encourage local and regional projects. Applications are evaluated on how they further state transportation goals by identifying and addressing statewide, interregional, or regional transportation deficiencies on the highway system.