California eighth in nation for being bike-friendly
Speial to the Tribune
California continued its climb up the ranks of bike-friendly states, moving up to eighth in the nation according to the annual list compiled by the League of American Bicyclists.
With the release of its 2015 rankings, the league’s assessment of California shows continued improvement for the Golden State, which was rated at ninth and 19th in 2014 and 2013, respectively. Ratings were based on overall scores added up from five categories: Legislation/enforcement, policies/programs, infrastructure/funding, education/encouragement and evaluation/planning.
The rankings come on the heels of a multi-tiered effort by Caltrans to increase options for bicyclists as part of its approach to multimodal transportation.
“Bicycling is fast becoming a key component of California’s transportation system, and we’ll continue to make improvements to keep it accessible and safe for the millions of cyclists that use it every day,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “These rankings reflect our continued commitment to improve our cycling facilities and encourage active transportation.”
In its recently released Strategic Plan, Caltrans included a goal of tripling the frequency of cycling. Caltrans also will add bike-friendly features to streets as part of its Complete Streets Implementation Action Plan.
2014 was a benchmark year for California and bicyclists, as well. The California Transportation Commission allocated more than $360 million for locally administered Active Transportation Program (ATP) projects, with 2015 ATP grants expected to total even more in direct funding for local projects. In 2014, Caltrans also officially endorsed the street design guidelines of the North American City Transportation Official, which includes augmented features for bicyclists and pedestrians.
Earlier this month, Caltrans awarded $9.8 million in Sustainable Transportation Planning Grants to support cities, counties, agencies and transit operators in their efforts to integrate transit, bicycling and walking into their local transportation plans. Several of these grants included planning for bicycle and pedestrian paths and for connectivity of multimodal options such as light rail, bus service to biking or walking.
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