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The Division of Design provides the procedures, policy, standards, guidance, technical assistance, and training needed to facilitate California transportation improvements and system integrity. The Design Program innovates design solutions by:
The Highway Design Manual (HDM) has been revised with the 6th Edition HDM Change 7/15/16. Changes reflect the reorganization of river, stream, and natural channel bank protection guidance within its own Chapter 870. New Chapter 880 has been added to focus on coastal shore and inland bank protection guidance. In addition:
The Protected Bikeways Act of 2014 (Assembly Bill 1193 - Ting, Chapter 495) required the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), in cooperation with local agencies and in consultation with the existing advisory committee of the Department dedicated to improve access for persons with disabilities, to establish minimum safety design criteria for Class IV Bikeways, also referred to as cycle tracks or separated bikeways. Protected bikeways promote active transportation by providing a right-of-way designated exclusively for bicycle travel that is adjacent to a roadway which is protected from vehicular traffic through types of separation including, but not limited to: grade separation; flexible posts; inflexible physical barriers; or on-street parking.
In order to help identify pertinent content, style, format, and other considerations of the design and traffic operation guidance that was published as Design Information Bulletin 89: Class IV Bikeway Guidance (Separated Bikeways/Cycle Tracks), Caltrans sought preliminary input from external transportation partners and stakeholders. A facilitated stakeholder summit, sponsored by Caltrans, was held on May 27, 2015 in Sacramento California. A summary report provides an overview of the Summit, key findings, and next steps for Class IV Bikeway Guidance development. The summit was an opportunity for stakeholders to share with each other their perspectives, challenges, issues and lessons learned. The summit included key external stakeholders such as bicyclists, the disabled community, and pedestrians as well as cities, counties, and transportation planning organizations.
AB 1193 required Caltrans to publish the Class IV Bikeway criteria by January 1, 2016. Caltrans established an External Advisory Committee to provide input on the design and traffic operations guidance (criteria) for Class IV Bikeways during its development. The roles, responsibilities and anticipated effort expected from the members were as follows:
The design and traffic operations guidance in Design Information Bulletin 89 is effective December 30, 2015, and shall be applied to on-going projects in accordance with HDM Index 82.5 - Effective Date for Implementing Revisions to Design Standards.
HQ Design is implementing delegation of design decisions to the districts for specific projects based on facility type. There are multiple reasons for this delegation some of which are identified below.
Divison of Design (DOD) will retain some project level decisions and all program level corporate activities related to delivering the state transportation program, such as leadership, technology deployment, technical assistance, training, problem solving, performance management and process improvement. The delegation of authority transfers approval authority from DOD to the district for specific project level decisions as defined in this Design Stewardship Agreement. The purpose of the Design Stewardship Agreement is to provide a contractual document which transfers the decision making authority from Caltrans Headquarters DOD to individual districts and defines how the district and DOD will operate together with Stewardship delegation. The Design Stewardship Agreement describes a baseline of delegated responsibilities and additional design delegations that may be negotiated between the district and DOD.
To reaffirm the Caltrans commitment to providing flexibility while maintaining the safety and integrity of the state highway system, and local streets and roads under the jurisdiction of cities and counties, the Department recently released a memorandum titled "Design Flexibility in Multimodal Design" dated April 10, 2014. The memorandum highlights the flexibility provided in existing Caltrans guidance, positive steps already taken in underscoring the importance of multimodal design, and recognizes the value of other guidance in supporting planning and design decisions made by state and local decision makers statewide.
Main Street, California - A Guide for Improving Community and Transportation Vitality - California State Highways that also function as main streets through communities are challenged with balancing the public’s need for roadways that provide local, regional and statewide connections, with local needs for a vibrant community street. Just as mobility is essential to California’s economic and civic vitality, the planning, design and operation of main streets is tied to the prosperity of local communities. Well conceived main streets function efficiently as multimodal transportation facilities, and are important civic spaces that support vibrant community life and ecological health. Prudent investments to provide multimodal travel options are a crucial strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts associated with single occupancy driving habits.
Incorporating principles of livability and sustainability into main street projects can help balance the need for an efficient multimodal transportation facility with local needs for a main street that functions as the heart of the community. Some design solutions highlighted in Main Street will be familiar or slight variations of traditional strategies, while others will entail a new and broader vision of how main streets can benefit travelers and the local community.
Caltrans is committed to working with local communities toward a more collaborative, multimodal and productive State-local approach to shared assets.
Department of Transportation
Division of Design
1120 N Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
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