Active Transportation Plan Toolkit


SCAG’s Active Transportation Plan Toolkit (“Toolkit”) offers communities a complete suite of resources for developing an active transportation plan. Here you can learn more about how the Toolkit was developed, what the Toolkit includes and who it can serve, and how to access the Toolkit. We also invite you to share any questions or comments on the Toolkit here.

Disadvantaged Communities Active Transportation Planning Initiative

The Toolkit marks the culmination of the Disadvantaged Communities Active Transportation Planning Initiative (DCPI), a 2.5-year effort to respond to a stark reality for many communities in Southern California: fatalities and serious injuries from traffic collisions are concentrated on a subset of streets, increasing, and disproportionately impacting people walking and bicycling.

Furthermore, 56% of the High Injury Network within the SCAG region is in disadvantaged communities (DACs). Although more than 56% of jurisdictions within SCAG’s planning area are DACs, less than 26% have existing active transportation plans—resulting in multiple barriers to securing funding, implementing comprehensive networks, and improving access, safety, and health.

To change this, SCAG launched the Disadvantaged Communities Active Transportation Planning Initiative (DCPI) in 2019 with Alta, Studio One Eleven, and Urban Design 4 Health to develop, pilot, and refine the Toolkit in partnership with seven DACs in the region. The seven participating communities (Adelanto, Calipatria, Highland, Perris, Santa Fe Springs, Saticoy, and Stanton) offered diverse contexts critical to developing a customizable and useful Toolkit by spanning both urban and rural settings, incorporated and unincorporated status, and all six counties within the SCAG region.

The pilot process culminated in seven complete active transportation plans in which more than 3,000 community members helped develop over 317 miles of recommended improvements for walking and biking.

Toolkit Overview

One of the first of its kind, the Toolkit includes an automated data analysis tool to evaluate existing collisions, bicycling network comfort, and demographics, and 28 map templates to help communities easily visualize data. It features innovative transportation-related health assessments using sources such as the California Healthy Places Index to help communities establish a baseline of their community’s health and better understand the relationship between active transportation and health. It offers a robust Outreach Toolkit with an Outreach and Equity Framework, engagement tracker, and sample materials for hosting Community Advisory Committee meetings, bilingual walk audits, interactive art installations, and more.

It offers guidance for developing recommendations and crafting grant applications, especially for the California Active Transportation Program. It helps build capacity among agency staff with trainings and guidebooks for ArcMap and advanced features in Microsoft Word. Finally, it includes a full, customizable active transportation plan template—and a Spanish version of the executive summary.

These elements together aim to help communities prepare their own active transportation plan, and ultimately, to set them up for potential funding opportunities to improve their pedestrian and bicycle environment.

Toolkit Components

The Toolkit consists of three parts:

1. Manual: Provides an overview of the process behind and how-to guide for using the Active Transportation Plan Toolkit.
2. Template: Includes a customizable Active Transportation Plan document template consisting of all required and best-practice elements.
3. Resources: Offers a suite of materials to guide the planning process and support community engagement, data analysis, project scheduling, graphics, adoption, implementation, and more.

Centering Equity and Impacted Residents

Rooted in improving outcomes for historically excluded, vulnerable, or underrepresented communities, the pilot process and Toolkit are guided by an Outreach and Equity Framework, which ensures that vulnerable residents are identified, listened to, and guide the planning process. Communities that use the Toolkit are encouraged to develop Community Advisory Committees (CACs), partner with Community-Based

Organizations (CBOs), and utilize a variety of engagement activities to advance equity and serve diverse residents.

Who Can Use the Toolkit?

Designed to provide a low-cost model for communities throughout the SCAG region to develop their own active transportation plans, the Toolkit is available at no cost for use by cities, counties, and other governmental agencies, as well as community groups and leaders hoping to conceptualize, articulate, and implement their visions for walking and biking. Although developed for the SCAG region, communities throughout California and beyond may access and customize the Toolkit accordingly.

Communities may also find the Toolkit helpful in supporting efforts related to active transportation planning beyond developing a full plan (e.g., learning about active transportation, developing new programs, conducting outreach during project implementation).

Access the Toolkit

The Toolkit is expected to be launched for public use shortly. Stay up-to-date by signing up for the SCAG newsletter.