California is making progress in prioritizing funding for sustainable transportation projects one year after adopting a new climate action strategy, according to a draft report released this week by the California State Transportation Agency.
The first-ever report detailing the state’s progress in implementing the Climate Action Plan for Transportation Infrastructure is part of an effort to invest billions of discretionary transportation dollars annually to aggressively combat and adapt to climate change while supporting public health, safety and equity, according to CalSTA.
Transportation is the largest contributor of California’s greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for more than half of all emissions, according to the report.
“Now more than ever before, the climate crisis is directly impacting the health, environment and safety of all Californians," said CalSTA Secretary Toks Omishakin. “As stewards of the state’s transportation network, we must do our part to reduce pollution from the transportation system and safeguard our infrastructure from the worsening effects of climate change. This plan and our progress on implementation demonstrates California’s continued commitment to equitable climate leadership.”
Among the early accomplishments in implementing the climate plan:
- Committing $150 million in the recently enacted state budget to a newly established Highways to Boulevards pilot program to support reconnecting communities and $1.05 billion to the Active Transportation Program to expand safe walking and biking options.
- Aligning program guidelines for the Solutions for Congested Corridors Program, the Trade Corridor Enhancement Program, and the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program with statewide climate goals to prioritize multimodal, zero-emission, and pro-housing projects as well as strengthening the community engagement processes.
- Including nine new multimodal projects in the Interregional Transportation Improvement Program, including four programmed and four reserve rail projects and one active transportation project.
CalSTA is accepting public comments on the draft report through Nov. 3 and is hosting a webinar on the draft annual report on at 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6. Registration is available here. Comments can also be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.