City of Lancaster Selected to Receive Transformative Transportation Grant
The City of Lancaster has been selected to receive a Caltrans’ Systemic Safety Analysis Report Program (SSARP) grant for $250,000, including a $25,000 local match. Participation in this state-funded grant program will assist the City in performing a detailed collision analysis, identifying safety concerns, as well as developing a prioritized list of systemic low-cost countermeasures. From this process, the City will devise a safety program called the Lancaster Safer Streets Action Plan, which will be used to systematically acquire the funding needed to create a multi-modal sensitive roadway system that offers safer mobility for all.
“The safety of Lancaster residents is of the utmost importance to the Lancaster City Council,” said Mayor R. Rex Parris. “It is through creative strategies like Vision Zero and the creation of the Lancaster Safer Streets Action Plan that we are able to continue to improve the safety of our roadway infrastructure, making Lancaster an even better place to live, work, and visit – and we are immensely grateful to Caltrans for their support in these efforts.”
The Lancaster Safer Streets Action Plan will become the City’s own local commitment to a growing international movement and philosophy called Vision Zero. Vision Zero was launched in 1997 by the Swedish government, rejecting the notion that traffic collisions are simply “accidents,” and instead are preventable incidents that can and must be systematically addressed. From Seattle to New York City, San Diego to Washington, D.C., a number of leading cities have committed to Vision Zero.
By conducting a systematic safety analysis, the City’s current process of cataloguing information obtained from collision reports will be greatly advanced into a dynamic process that will evolve along with the City. Specifically, the information gathered will be used to identify and prioritize specific locations where collisions are more common, as well as trends that might be prevalent throughout the City.
From this extensive report, the City will be able to make strategic investments that will have the greatest cost-benefit results, thus contributing to the highest reduction in serious injury and fatal collisions Citywide. Additionally, this program will allow the City to maintain a ready backlog of improvement projects that can be implemented as soon as funding sources are secured -- increasing efficiency by reducing the time needed to prepare grant applications. As the improvement projects identified with this program are implemented, the needs of local mobility users will be better supported.
The City has contracted with Fehr & Peers to conduct its systemic safety report and the Lancaster Safer Streets Action Plan. The Fehr & Peers team has worked on more than a dozen systemic safety projects and Vision Zero plans for jurisdictions in California, including Alameda County, Marin County, City of Ventura, and the City of Woodland. Moreover, the Fehr & Peers team brings a longstanding familiarity with Lancaster and an in-depth knowledge of the City’s projects and priorities, as well as the City’s Master Plan of Complete Streets, the Master Plan of Trails and Bikeways, and the Safe Routes to School Plan. It is anticipated that Lancaster’s SSARP will be completed by the end of 2018.