IMPERIAL COUNTY — Imperial County today received approval for $400,000 in funding for two active transportation and sustainability projects for pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements and climate action planning.
The Imperial County projects were among 54 throughout Southern California that were approved for funding by the Regional Council of the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) and which now move on to the California Transportation Commission and the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee (MSRC) for final approval.
The money will be used to finance – or help finance – projects that promote active transportation and smart land use in an effort to improve the mobility, sustainability and economic vitality of communities throughout the six-county SCAG region.
“These projects are critical to our county and our region being able to meet state and federal air quality mandates, and to the overall safety, well-being and vitality of our communities,” said Cheryl ViegasWalker, Past President of SCAG and Mayor Pro-Tem of El Centro. “With this funding, each of these projects moves that much closer to reality.”
Imperial County was awarded $200,000 for the Imperial Valley Regional Climate Action Plan and another $200,000 for a county-wide Safe Routes to Schools program. “Safe Routes to School Programs are proven drivers of student health and reduced collisions and congestion,” said Imperial County Supervisor and SCAG Regional Council member Luis Plancarte. “This funding will allow us to work to extend these benefits to several currently underserved communities.”
“The fact that there’s more funding available than ever before for active transportation and integrated land use shows how big a priority this has become,” said Hasan Ikhrata, Executive Director of SCAG. “The quality of life in our region is very much dependent upon these kinds of projects.”
SCAG, the nation’s largest metropolitan planning organization, has become a leading regional and national voice on transportation alternatives and the relationship between land-use planning, mobility, air quality and economic vitality. Its advocacy of active transportation includes sponsorship of the Go Human campaign, a regional marketing, education and outreach program designed to encourage more walking and bicycling – as well as greater awareness of pedestrian and bicycling safety – in a region of more than 18 million people. SCAG’s recently approved 2016-2040 Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy includes $12.9 billion in active transportation investments in the six-county region.