September 12, 2017
The Santa Clara County recently passed Measure B, a transformative, innovative, and comprehensive transportation improvement plan that will invest millions to expand county efforts to support transportation projects and services. Over 30 years, Measure B will provide an estimated $6.3B to offer a multi-pronged, geographically balanced approach to widening and improving highways, expressways and interchanges, repairing potholes and repaving city streets, expanding BART, increasing the capacity of a soon-to-be-electrified Caltrain, and improving bicycle and pedestrian paths and providing additional transit options for seniors, students and the disabled.
Specifically, the measure would allocate $1.5 billion to extend BART to downtown San Jose and Santa Clara; $1.2 billion to the county’s 15 cities to maintain and repair their streets; $1 billion to improve Caltrain capacity and construct grade separations in Palo Alto, Sunnyvale and Mountain View; $750 million to expand the county’s nine expressways; $750 million to improve key highway interchanges; $500 million to bolster transit operations that cater to under-served residents; $350 million to study transit alternatives on the Highway 85 corridor; and $250 million to make safer bicycle paths and pedestrian walkways, including Safe Routes to Schools.
Santa Clara County has a unique collaborative of traffic safety stakeholders, Traffic Safe Communities Network (TSCN), which includes representatives from law enforcement, engineering, public health, injury prevention, elected officials, education, judicial system, emergency medical services, bicycle and pedestrian safety advocacy groups, and other interested community organizations. Coordinated by the Public Health Department since 1997, the combined efforts of TSCN’s members have generated innovative projects that have contributed to the countywide reduction in motor vehicle crashes and improvements in bicycle and pedestrian safety. One of these projects includes the Safe Routes to School Program.
TSCN members, and the Santa Clara County Public Health Department, and Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Providers across the county use a collaborative approach to create safe, convenient, and fun opportunities for students and their families to walk and bicycle to and from school. The program succeeds by including the whole community and encompassing the “5 E’s of SRTS”: Education, Encouragement, Engineering, Enforcement, and Evaluation. The SRTS program incorporates equity and engagement into all activities to ensure that every student, no matter his or her background or situation, has the opportunity to walk and bicycle to school safely. The passage of Measure B including bicycle and pedestrian funding provides a unique opportunity for traffic and transportation partners across Santa Clara County to strengthen community safety and improve physical activity opportunities for children and adults.