County to Develop Sustainable Transportation Plan for Thermal and Oasis
RIVERSIDE – The Riverside County Transportation Department will lead the development of a plan to expand bicycling, walking and public transit in the Thermal and Oasis communities, utilizing a $150,000 state grant accepted by the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.
The goal of the planning effort is to create an economically and technically feasible plan to improve sustainable transportation in the eastern Coachella Valley communities. Community workshops will be held in early 2017, and the plan is expected to be completed in 18 months.
“While the Thermal and Oasis communities have benefited from a tremendous amount of roadwork in recent years, there is still a great need to increase pedestrian and bicycle access and transit service in this geographically expansive region,” said Supervisor John J. Benoit. “This grant is a welcome opportunity to plan for improvements, and we are proud to lead this effort and work with the community to improve mobility, health, air quality and safety for residents.”
The neighborhood and regional mobility plans will identify mobility needs and possible improvements to connect transit service and pedestrian and bicycle access to employment, educational, economic and recreational resources. Although the grant does not include funding for the implementation of these projects, the completed mobility plan is expected to help the county better compete for state and federal funds for construction of identified improvements.
As part of the county-led effort, Supervisor Benoit’s office and the Transportation Department will engage community members to solicit feedback on the mobility needs in Thermal and Oasis. Non-profit organizations have been invited to participate and assist the county with concepts for community engagement and development of the regional mobility plan.
The effort is largely funded by a Sustainable Transportation Planning - Sustainable Communities grant from the California Department of Transportation.