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Caltrans Expanding Its Focus

Thomas Hawk, flickr
 

Thomas Hawk, flickr

Californians have a reputation for loving their cars. But an increasing number of us are choosing other modes of transportation. And Caltrans is trying to keep up.

Caltran’s most recent household survey found Californians are walking and bicycling twice as much as they did 10 years ago. The department’s Mark Dinger says the days of simply creating wider freeways are over.

"That was our grandfather’s Caltrans, where we thought about pouring more concrete all the time. Well, pouring more concrete is not the answer," he says. "We need a sustainable transportation system that’s going to be good for our environment and good for our health too."

Dinger says Caltrans is awarding millions of dollars to cities and counties for projects that encourage biking and walking. And he says the agency has become more flexible with street designs to allow for better bike lanes and crosswalks.

Dinger says Caltrans has also gone through internal reforms to more accurately reflect its broader mission.