Turlock City Council approved the submittal of an application for a Caltrans Planning Grant to prepare a Bicycle Master Plan for the City of Turlock, as the City of Turlock is in the process of updating its General Plan.
According to the City of Turlock General Plan Update document, transportation and circulation existing conditions report, Turlock’s flat topography is ideal for travel by bicycle and on foot. However, the hot summer climate can be a deterrent to their travel modes. The current General Plan presents a bikeways and trails map that remains largely undeveloped. Completion of this network would provide the City with a robust bicycle and pedestrian network.
While there are many bike lanes and routes in Turlock, the City of Turlock has yet to fully implement the network presented in the General Plan.
The Bicycle Master Plan for the City of Turlock is among the implementation plans for the transportation system plan that is to be included in the new General Plan.
Caltrans has established a grant program to support local governments in these planning efforts. Although there are several different programs available, the Community-Based Planning Grant program is intended to provide financial support to cities to prepare local transportation plans that encourage more sustainable development and promote public involvement.
Approximately $3 million are available to local agencies under the Community-Based Transportation Planning Program. Local governments may apply for up to $300,000 for each project (with the minimum of $100,000). The local agency must be able to provide a local match of at least ten percent.
To apply for certain State grant programs, the City must prepare a Bicycle Master Plan. The Bicycle Master Plan will include a needs assessment, a detailed project list, cost estimates for each project, and a priority ranking of the projects listed.
Preliminary engineering plans will be developed for each project included in the project list. In addition to these basic elements, staff is proposing to also include a section on safe routes to school.
The total grant request would be for approximately $200,000. Of that amount, approximately $125,000 would be allocated to hire a consultant to prepare the Bicycle Master Plan document. The remaining $75,000 would be to cover staff time and hard costs. The City would be required to provide $20,000 in matching funds. Staff is proposing that this match be paid using Capital Facilities Fees.
The grant application would help the City fund tasks that are outlined in the General Plan Update and reduce the fiscal impact on the City’s General Fund and Capital Facility Fee Program by providing an outside funding source.
To contrast what is currently built versus what is designated in the general plan, here are pictures presenting the existing bikeways and trails and those designated in the current general plan: