Good news for bikes, pedestrians with new Regional Transportation Plan

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Past transportation plans invested funds mostly in highway improvement projects, but this year’s Regional Transportation plan sets the bar higher.

According to the Kern Council of Governments, the 2014 plan is emphasizing the maintenance, fixing and finishing of what the county already has.

Talking points of the draft include maintaining local streets and roads, easy access to transit from housing and jobs, additional highway and freight capacity, and most importantly, increasing bicycle lanes, paths and sidewalks. 

“We will not be able to achieve the air quality goals unless that the government regulates unless we invest more in bicycle pedestrian and transit improvement,” says Ahron Hakimi, executive director kern council of governments

The plan is calling for a 700% funding increase for bike and pedestrian facilities over the 2011 RTP.  This means raising the budget from 45 million dollars to over 450 million dollars.

The new RTP also hopes to have 3.5 times the number of housing units within walking distance to high-quality transit. 

“We need people involved and engaged in the conversation so that we as a community can grow how we want to grow and not the way urban areas think we should grow,” says Donna Carpenter with the kern transportation foundation

Altogether the project will cost roughly 11 billion dollars over the next 26 years.

Anyone is welcome to share their opinion at a public hearing on the 2014 transportation plan at the April 17th meeting at Kern COG.  For more information on the plan, visit www.directionsto2050.com.

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