Tuesday, November 24 , 2015, 6:33 pm | Partly Cloudy 61º

Posted on 08.22.2014 7:04 p.m.

Santa Barbara Receives $8.6 Million from State in Active Transportation Program Funds

Source: Rob Dayton for the City of Santa Barbara

The California Transportation Commission awarded the City of Santa Barbara $8.614 million in Active Transportation Program (ATP) funds to implement four capital projects.

The city will receive more per capita than any other jurisdiction, and nearly 4 percent of the $220 million available in the state. The complete list of ATP projects can be viewed by clicking here.

» What is the purpose of Active Transportation Program? According to the State Department of Transportation (Caltrans), the program should:

» Increase the proportion of trips accomplished by biking and walking

» Increase the safety of non-motorized users

» Achieve greenhouse gas reduction goals

» Enhance public health

» Benefit disadvantaged (minority and low income) communities

“We are delighted with the outcome,” Public Works Director Rebecca Bjork said. “With increasingly fewer resources available, grant opportunities such as this are critical to making community transportation projects possible.”

How will the money benefit Santa Barbara? The Lower Eastside, which recently developed a community transportation plan, will benefit from the city’s successful grant award with the following projects:

» Lower Milpas Street & Calle Puerto Vallarta Sidewalk and Lighting — $1.097 million
(Sidewalk will connect Milpas from the train tracks to the beach)

» Montecito Street Bridge Replacement (adds a sidewalk) — $3.442 million ($433,000 city match)

» Cacique/Soledad Streets Pedestrian/Bicycle Bridges and Lighting — $2.703 million
(Replaces existing and adds a new bridge over Sycamore Creek)

The fourth project selected is in the Los Positas Valley area:

» Las Positas Road Pathway (Environmental and Design Only): $1.372 million ($178,000 city match)

The Las Positas Project was first envisioned by the community in the 1998 Bicycle Master Plan. If constructed, the multi-purpose pathway would extend from Cliff Drive north to Modoc Road along Las Positas Road and west along Modoc Road, connecting to the Obern Trail. The total project will cost $10 million to $15 million to construct. With the use of the state grant funds, limited local dollars can go toward other projects and the initial design and environmental clearance phase can begin.

— Rob Dayton is a principal transportation planner for the City of Santa Barbara.

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