TRIP Report Identifies 125 California Transportation Projects with Economic Impact
TRIP, a national transportation research group, has identified 125 transportation projects that are needed to support economic growth. TRIP rated each needed transportation improvement as either having a green light, a yellow light or a red light in terms of the availability of funding, with a green light indicating that adequate funding was available.
The report, “Project Green Light: Moving California’s Critical Transportation Improvements Forward,” finds that more than one-third of the 125 most needed transportation projects in California have earned a red light because funding is not currently available and, under current funding, is not anticipated to be available through 2020. More than half of needed transportation projects in the state have earned a yellow light because only a portion of needed funding is anticipated to be available by 2020 or the funding is uncertain. Only 14 of the state’s most needed transportation projects have a green light, to signify that full funding is likely to be available or is anticipated to be available by 2020.
“The TRIP Report highlighting important unfunded transportation projects in the San Francisco Bay area underscores the vital need for legislative action on a transportation revenue package to support a growing population and a robust economy,” said Will Kempton, executive director of Transportation California.
TRIP has identified needed projects in the Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and San Francisco urban areas, as well as projects outside those urban areas. The transportation improvements outside the state’s largest urban areas, as determined by TRIP, which are the most needed to support quality of life and development goals, and their funding status are listed in the following table. Information on projects can be found in the report’s appendices: Appendix A – Los Angeles, Appendix B – San Diego, Appendix C – San Francisco, Appendix D – Sacramento andAppendix E – projects outside largest urban areas .
The TRIP report also found that California continues to experience significant growth, with the state’s population increasing by 16 percent since 2000 to 39 million, Gross State Product increasing by 27 percent since 2000, when adjusted for inflation, and statewide vehicle miles of travel increasing by 5.3 percent from 2014 to 2015. More than half – 51 percent – of major urban roads in California have pavements in poor condition, eight percent of bridges in California are rated structurally deficient and the traffic fatality rate on California’s rural non-interstate roadways is nearly four-and-a-half times higher than on all other roads and highways in the state, the report found.
Turning the red and yellow lights, which many of the region’s most critically needed transportation improvements currently face, to green lights, will require increased transportation investment at the local, state and federal levels.
Signed into law in December 2015, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, provides modest increases in federal highway and transit spending available to states, allows states greater long-term funding certainty and streamlines the federal project approval process. But the FAST Act does not provide adequate funding to meet the nation’s need for highway and transit improvements and does not include a long-term and sustainable funding source.
“Giving a green light to critically needed transportation projects in the Los Angeles area and throughout the state is going to require increased funding from all levels of government,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Unfortunately, too many of these transportation projects are facing yellow or red lights and potential state funding cuts could slow their progress even more.”