Caltrans sets familiar-sounding goal to triple bicycling by 2020

Last week, Caltrans released a new Strategic Management Plan to chart the course of the Department’s work for the next 5 years. The Plan outlines five cross-cutting goals and dozens of strategic objectives that Caltrans aims to achieve by 2020, under categories that range from ‘safety and health’ to ‘sustainability, livability, and economy’.

There are a number of objectives in the plan worth highlighting, but chief among them from our perspective is the strategic objective to triple the bicycling mode share statewide by 2020 relative to 2010-2012 levels. Why does that sound so familiar? Because it’s identical to the California Bicycle Coalition’s lead goal from our current Strategic Plan.

In addition to tripling bicycling, Caltrans also aims to double walking, double transit use, and reduce vehicle-miles traveled per capita by 15 percent, all while increasing safety across all travel modes by 10 percent! These goals are more ambitious than any we’ve seen in a statewide or regional transportation plan in California. With this Strategic Plan, Caltrans is clearly aiming to establish itself as the new leader in the State’s effort to transform the transportation sector and create sustainable, active communities.

Here at the California Bicycle Coalition and along with our state coalition partners, we are thrilled to see this new direction out of Caltrans and commend the leadership at the Department for the strong statement in support of active transportation. In my first week as the new CalBike Policy Director, the timing of this opportunity to partner with Caltrans to achieve our shared goals couldn’t be better! One near-term action that would advance these goals would be to increase funding for the Active Transportation Program by $100 million in the 2015-16 state budget, and ensure the ATP is adequately staffed and resourced at Caltrans to be effective.

Our coalition will be meeting with Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty and management staff in the coming weeks to discuss how we can work together to collectively advance the Strategic Plan goals. Join us in this effort by signing the petition to increase ATP funding and renewing your commitment to CalBike today!

-Jeanie Ward-Waller
Policy Director