Active transportation includes any method of travel that is human-powered, but most commonly refers to walking and bicycling. Thanks in part to recent improvements in bicycling and pedestrian planning, Californians are increasingly likely to get out of their cars and opt to walk or bicycle instead. By using active transportation more often, Californians can make strides towards meeting their recommended daily activity levels, saving money on transportation costs, and reducing their carbon footprint. Combined with other transportation and land use strategies, active transportation can help build more sustainable communities in California.
CARB Research and State Programs
The purpose of Active Transportation under the CARB’s sustainable community programs is to advance the active transportation efforts of regional agencies to achieve Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reduction goals, pursuant to SB 375 (of 2008) and SB 341 (of 2009). On September 26, 2013, Governor Brown signed legislation creating the Active Transportation Program (ATP) in the Department of Transportation (Senate Bill 99, Chapter 359 and Assembly Bill 101, Chapter 354). The ATP consolidates existing federal and state transportation programs, including the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP), Bicycle Transportation Account (BTA), and State Safe Routes to School (SRTS), into a single program with a focus to make California a national leader in active transportation. The ATP is administered jointly by CalTrans and CTC. The following CARB and other state agencies’ research and programs offer more information about making active transportation safer and more accessible, enhancing public health, ensuring that disadvantaged community has equal shares in the benefits programs.
Research on the Impact of Bike and Pedestrian Activity on Vehicle Miles Traveled (2013-2014)
A collection of policy briefs and technical background about the impact of active transportation policies and strategies on vehicle miles travelled.
California State Bike Plan
The process is underway to develop the first-ever California State Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan, which will guide the State in developing an integrated, multi-modal transportation network for all users.
California Transportation Program
Resources of Active Transportation Programs and supporting tools, resources, and funding for projects and elements. Including CTC’s Active Transportation Resource Center, Active Transportation Symposium, Green Books for ATP programed projects, and other reference documents.
California Active Transportation Safety Information
Resources to encourage and promote safety for pedestrians, bicyclists and other non-motorized road users, including links to Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plans across the state.
Creating Healthy Communities
Tools and resources from the Let’s Get Healthy California’s program for Creating Healthy Communities and Increasing Walking.
Caltrans Bicycle Program
Caltrans program to improve safety and convenience for bicyclists.
Safe Routes to School Technical Assistance Resource Center
Trainings, technical assistance, and resources to implement safe and successful Safe Routes to School strategies throughout California.
Resources, Portals, and Programs
At each level- State, Regional, and local- there are opportunities to raise awareness, improve safety, and increase participation in active transportation. This can range from better safety laws for bicyclists, like the 3-foot bicycle passing distance law, to greater investments in bicycle and pedestrian amenities like those included in recent Sustainable Communities Strategies.
Local and Regional Planning
Local governments are working with health groups, environmental justice advocates, transportation organizations, and others to make active transportation in California safer and more convenient. Over 80 local jurisdictions have adopted pedestrian, bicycle, or combined pedestrian/bicycle master plans. Regional governments, MPOs, are increasing their investment in bike and pedestrian infrastructure through their Regional Transportation Plans and adopting supportive policies which their SCSs project to increase the bike/walk mode share in those regions.
Many State agencies support active transportation safety, planning, and implementation efforts, such as the Governor’s Office of Planning & Research, Caltrans, the California Highway Patrol, the Department of Motor Vehicles, the California Department of Public Health, the Strategic Growth Council, the California State Transportation Agency, and the California Office of Traffic Safety. California continues to pass legislation and build programs that boost use of active transportation. Examples include the Complete Streets Act, the Active Transportation Program, the Three Feet for Safety Act, the Sustainable Communities Planning Grants, and the Caltrans Complete Streets Deputy Directive.
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