More than $4.5 million in funding for 26 active transportation and sustainability projects in Los Angeles County, from pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements to climate action plans, was approved Thursday, it was announced.
The 26 projects are among 54 throughout Southern California that were approved for funding by the Regional Council of the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG). Now the projects will move on to the California Transportation Commission and the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee (MSRC) for final approval, according to the release.
“These projects are critical to our county and our region to be able to meet state and federal air quality mandates, and to the overall safety, well-being and vitality of our communities,” said Margaret Finlay, first vice president of SCAG and mayor of Duarte, in a statement. “With this funding, implementation of each of these projects moves that much closer to reality.”
The funds are used to finance, or assist with financing, projects that promote active transportation and smart land use, that would improve the mobility, sustainability and economic vitality of communities throughout the SCAG region, which includes Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties.
Of the $2.28 million received by LA County in active transportation grants, and the $2.53 million in grants for integrated land use and the Green Regions Initiative, $250,000 went to Long Beach’s “Destination Uptown” project.
“The Uptown neighborhood of Long Beach is enjoying a renaissance, and investing in complete streets is a key part of that,” said Long Beach Vice Mayor Rex Richardson in a statement. “This funding will help us continue to build a sustainable and interconnected community that benefits residents, visitors and local businesses alike.”
Other projects that received SCAG approval were $245,000 for a Safe Routes to School program in Commerce and $375,000 for sustainability and integrated land-use projects in Burbank and Los Angeles, according to the release.
“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 for SCAG, in a statement. “The quality of life in our region is very much dependent upon these kinds of projects.”
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. SCAG undertakes a variety of planning and policy initiatives to plan for a livable and sustainable Southern California now and in the future.
For more information about SCAG’s regional efforts, please visit the website here.