PALMDALE — The City of Palmdale was recently awarded two Active Transportation Program (ATP) grants by the California Transportation Commission for the Avenue R Complete Streets & Safe Routes project and the Citywide Active Transportation Plan (CATP).
The Avenue R project will provide sidewalks and bike lanes on Avenue R from approximately Sierra Highway to 25th Street East and some upgrades in school signage and markings for Tumbleweed School, while the CATP grant will fund a study on ways to better integrate bicyclists, pedestrians and other active transportation uses citywide.
The Avenue R project will cost $6.67 million, of which $5.33 million is funded by the grants. Environmental work is anticipated to begin in March 2015, with project closeout in mid-2016.
“This is great news, especially for our east side residents,” said Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford. “The Streets and Safe Route project will eliminate areas along Avenue R where school aged pedestrians currently have to walk in vehicle travel lanes due to lack of sidewalks or shoulders.”
The Avenue R project and the City’s ATP plan, which earned a grant of $595,000, were both brought to the attention of key members of the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) for the organization’s support – including its Executive Director Hasan Ikhrata – by Councilmember Steve Hofbauer who serves as SCAG’s Regional Council District 43 representative for Palmdale and Lancaster, and Palmdale Transportation/GIS Manager Mike Behen.
“Councilman Hofbauer and City staff were diligent in pursuing and securing these grants,” Ledford said. “Kudos to them as well as our Development Services and Public Works staffs for getting the attention of the state transportation commission.”
Palmdale’s proposed Active Transportation Plan has the following goals:
- Create linkages between General Plan, Palmdale Energy Action Plan, Safe Routes to Schools, Bicycle Transportation Plan and other regional plans.
- Promote policies and designs that promote live, work and play ideologies.
- Create funding opportunities through project establishment and phasing.
- Develop a top quality bicycle / trail system within Palmdale that connects to Lancaster and LA County bicycle / trail systems.
- Wayfinding – identify gateway locations at key intersections and develop beautification concepts (Welcome to Palmdale signage, landscaping, art, etc.)
- Promote complete streets.
- Promote first mile / last mile concepts.
- Compliance with AB 32 and SB 375
- Work on the ATP project is expected to be complete by mid-2016.
For more information, contact Transportation/GIS Manager Mike Behen at 661-267-5337. For more information on the grants, visit www.dot.ca.gov/hq/LocalPrograms/atp/index.html.