What’s a Mayor to Do?
Mayor Jack Batchelor, Jr. knew that students who attend C.A. Jacobs Intermediate School in Dixon, California, have major challenges walking to school. Students coming from the west have to cross Pitt School Road, a heavily traveled thoroughfare from Interstate 80. Students from the east cross State Highway 113 and one of three grade-level railroad tracks that carry 32 Capitol Corridor trains per day. What did Mayor Batchelor do?
Take Local Action
When faced with unsafe walking and biking routes, the City of Dixon, along with the Solano Transportation Authority and the Dixon Unified School District took action.
- Mayor Batchelor asked for data on pedestrian activity
- The city issued LED flashing signage to warn drivers of school zone crossings.
- Pedestrian improvements were identified, incorporated in local improvement plans and were installed at major street crossings.
- City police enforced speed limits near schools
- The city and the school district in conjunction with the Solano Transportation Authority’s Safe Routes to School program, offered activities to encourage bicycle and pedestrian safety. This included an elementary school bike rodeo (PDF) and a bicycle train program.
Become a Regional Leader
To address needed improvements across state highways and train tracks, Mayor Batchelor became active in his local congestion management agency.
- Mayor Batchelor got involved with his local congestion management agency, the Solano Transportation Authority Board where he represented the City of Dixon.
- Mayor Batchelor joined the Alternative Modes Committee that
makes recommendations to the Solano Transportation Authority
- Changes and updates to the Alternative Modes Element of the Comprehensive Transportation Plan.
- Funding for Transportation for Livable Communities Planning and Capital Grants and other alternative modes funds.
- Solano Transportation Authority generates a county-wide array of active transportation plans, including a Safe Routes to School Plan.
- Mayor Batchelor worked with the other 6 mayors and Solano Transportation Authority Executive Director to develop an annual list of top priority projects for their local Metropolitan Transportation Commission. The unanimously supported list eliminates competition between cities by rotating support to specific city projects.
- When the Dixon project was on the top priority list, Mayor Batchelor joined a delegation from his county to lobby Washington for his local project.
- The Solano Transportation Authority process has brought 48 million dollars in transportation funds for Solano County (pop.413,000) since 1990.