Next Round of Local Transportation Planning Grants Awarded by Caltrans

May 16, 2018
Caltrans has announced the next round of local transportation planning grants totaling $41 million have been awarded.

Caltrans has announced the next round of local transportation planning grants totaling $41 million have been awarded. Local agencies will put this money to use for planning efforts and projects that support more sustainable communities, reduce transportation-related greenhouse gases and adapt for the effects of climate change.

“These grants will provide much needed funding to support the efforts by local and regional agencies to improve transportation in their communities,” said Caltrans Director Laurie Berman. “Planning is a crucial first step in creating projects that can ultimately lead to more long-lasting transportation improvements throughout the state.”

Among the grants awarded were nearly $31 million in Sustainable Communities grants, including $18.5 million for 64 local and regional multimodal transportation and land use planning projects and $12.5 million for Metropolitan Planning Organizations that represent urbanized areas of the State. These planning grants will provide funding to support regional sustainable community strategies and ultimately achieve the state’s greenhouse gas reductions targets of 40 and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and 2050 respectively. The Road Repair and Accountability Act (SB 1) provides $25 million annually to this grant program which is awarded both competitively and by formula to eligible projects. The remaining $6 million in Sustainable Communities grants consists of a combination of State and Federal funds. Among projects awarded funding are:

  • Stockton Boulevard Complete Streets Plan, $354,120: The city of Sacramento proposes a multimodal complete streets analysis for a 4-mile stretch of Stockton Boulevard from Alhambra Boulevard to 47th Avenue. The goal of the plan is to solidify a common vision to transform a high injury corridor characterized by blight that connects some of the most disadvantaged neighborhoods and challenged business districts in the city to the primary employment center in the downtown core in a safe and economically vibrant multimodal option for commuting, commerce and reinvestment.
  • Sustainable Communities and Climate Resilience for People with Disabilities, $406,000: This Metropolitan Transportation Commission project will develop new strategies to address the specialized needs of the disability community. To achieve this goal, the project will deliver an action plan that includes recommendations for multiple regional plans, funding programs and data collection efforts, including the regional transportation plan, the Lifeline Transportation Plan and the household travel and transit intercept surveys. The project will also create a resource book for people with disabilities.
  • Altamont Rail Connection Feasibility Study, $750,000: The Tri-Valley San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority will conduct a study to develop the basis for investments necessary to establish rail connectivity between BART and ACE, providing direct service connections and serving mega-regional and State goals for inter-connectivity.
  • Riverside County Highway 74 Multi-Modal Transit Plan, $133,000: Grant funds will go towards developing a Multi-Modal Transit Plan for the Highway 74 unincorporated corridor from Lake Elsinore to Perris. Low-income communities along this route face significant barrier to mobility including limited transportation infrastructure, lack of pedestrian and bicycle access to transit and community resources and limited transit.

Additionally, $7 million in Adaptation Planning grants were awarded to 22 projects throughout California. These grants will help local and regional agencies conduct adaptation planning in a way to ensure transportation assets are resilient in the face of climate change and extreme weather events. SB 1 will provide a total of $20 million over three years for this grant program. Among projects awarded funding are:

  • Sea Level Rise Adaptation Plan for Humboldt Bay Transportation Infrastructure, $425,000: This project will develop an adaptation plan for vulnerable transportation infrastructure built along the shoreline in Humboldt Bay that is highly susceptible to sea level rise and extreme weather events. The project area encompasses a majority of the Eureka-Arcata transportation corridor segment of Highway 101, as well as a portions of the Humboldt Bay Trail.
  • Amador & Calaveras County Extreme Weather and Natural Disaster Needs Assessment, $150,466: This project will develop a study to assess the impacts of extreme weather events caused by climate change (wildfires, droughts, flooding, mudslides and tree mortality) on roadways and other related infrastructure, including the development of best practices for preventing major damage, determining costs to the region and how to identify funding sources to fund needed improvements. Additionally, the plan would develop Emergency Preparedness procedures, such as a roadway evacuation network.
  • Ventura County Transportation Emergency Preparedness Plan, $221,325: This project will develop a Transportation Emergency Preparedness Plan that will enable the Ventura County Transportation Commission and the Santa Barbara County Association Governments, in coordination with transit operators, to better prepare the region for future natural disasters. The plan will define roles and responsibilities, work with existing plans, outline communication strategies and create an implementation plan that will specify training, evacuations and handling of service provision.

Twelve projects also were awarded a total of $3.1 million in federally-funded Strategic Partnership Grants. These grants are intended to encourage regional agencies to partner with Caltrans to identify and address statewide/interregional transportation deficiencies in the state highway system; strengthen government-to-government relationships; and ultimately result in system improvements. New for this year was a transit component that will fund planning projects that address multimodal transportation deficiencies with a focus on transit. Among projects awarded funding are:

  • Infrastructure for Prosperity in the Central Valley’s Industrial Triangle, $239,040: This planning project intends to respond to the regions grown by bringing multiple jurisdictions together to determine the local and regional impacts of economic developments on the current transportation system in the industrial triangle. Based on anticipated travel needs, strategies will be identified to: 1) mitigate the impact of the growing industrial center on SR-99, SR-41 and regional roadways, and 2) establish a connected and coordinated transportation system to move people and goods efficiently along these roadways. The final plan will include implementation measures, prioritize recommendations for investment in the area, provide cost-benefit analyses for priority investments and identify potential funding sources for priority infrastructure.
  • Planning for Operations of Mobility Hubs, $300,000: The San Diego Regional Proving Ground is a partnership between SANDAG, Chula Vista, Caltrans and others collaborating around connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) technology testing and deployment. This project, from August 2018-December 2019, would develop a plan for operating a Mobility Hub pilot project in the City of Chula Vista that would demonstrate how shared, electric, CAV services can improve safety and increase access to sustainable transportation choices.