Rialto Receives Active Transportation Funding
For many residents without cars in the City of Rialto, public transportation is the lifeline to employment and educational opportunities. However, Rialto severely lacks the infrastructure that can help residents, particularly those of low-income, get to the transit station and to the jobs, they so desperately need. The city’s efforts to remedy its transportation infrastructure issues are now accelerating thanks to some much needed funding. The city just received $200,000 in SB1 funding to create an Active Transportation Plan, which comes directly on the heels of a grant to support Safe Routes to Schools.
Currently, there are only 1.5 miles of shared use paths, and just over 10 miles of bike paths. Most of the bike lanes are narrow and located on wide roadways with high speed limits. Because of this, many bicyclists choose to use sidewalks instead, upsetting many pedestrians.
Neighborhoods on the north side of town currently face the greatest challenges. This gap effectively prevents these residents from accessing Metrolink, which provides service to employment opportunities in other communities.
“Many individuals in Rialto face limited employment options based on the transportation choices available to them”, says Mayor Deborah Robertson. “Planning a holistic active transportation network will provide access to economic opportunities for residents without cars, and will increase public transit options by providing first-and last-mile connections on foot and by bicycle.”
Without clear solutions, the situation for residents will likely worsen. As Rialto continues to grow, most new housing is anticipated to occur in the northern neighborhoods. By creating an Active Transportation Plan, the city hopes to address deficiencies and identify additional bicycle and walking improvements in all areas of the city.
The city has experienced great success implementing its new Safe Routes to School Program. Along with efforts to host a walking school bus event at six schools, the city just recently enhanced the crosswalk in front of Myers Elementary to support a healthy and safe way for students to get to school.