The San Gabriel Valley stands to generate thousands of jobs annually and billions of dollars in economic benefits over the next 25 years through smart, aggressive planning of transportation and transit improvements.
In its 2012-2035 Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy, the Southern California Association of Governments identified more than $180 billion in transportation projects for Los Angeles County during that period, many of them centered in the San Gabriel Valley
SCAG, which puts together a formal RTP/SCS for its six-county region every four years, is beginning work on the 2016-2040 plan, and experts say the need and expected results should be similar.
“Investing in transportation infrastructure is critical to our future on many levels – mobility, jobs, our overall quality of life,” said Tim Spohn, Mayor of the City of Industry. “This next round of regional transportation planning will determine – literally and figuratively, where we are going as a community."
Planning for the 2016-2040 RTP/SCS will be a major topic of discussion May 1-2 as elected leaders and policy makers throughout the region gather in Indian Wells for SCAG’s 2014 Regional Conference & General Assembly.
For the San Gabriel Valley, among the projects included in the 2012 plan were development of an East-West Freight Corridor to encourage use of clean-air trucks and improve traffic flow, constructing sound walls along the 210 Freeway between Arroyo Boulevard and Orange Grove in Pasadena, and possible interchange capacity improvements at the 605 Freeway in Irwindale.
“Like the rest of Southern California, the San Gabriel Valley is growing, and so is the need for investment in highways and transit systems,” said Hasan Ikhrata, executive director of SCAG.
In 2012, for the first time, SCAG integrated land use, housing and environmental strategies into its RTP to meet emissions-reduction targets by the California Air Resources Board. By encouraging community revitalization and neighborhoods that are bike and pedestrian friendly, with convenient access to transit, Los Angeles County households will save, on average, $3,238 a year in fuel, auto operating, energy and water costs.
The most obvious impact, however, will be felt on the road. Without the investments included in the RTP, average traffic delays in L.A.County are expected to rise to 23.5 minutes by 2035. With the investments, delays would fall to 15.5 minutes.