Stockton CA Wants Better Transit, Biking, and Sidewalks, Not Wider Roads

Stockton, California's residents told the city they want active transportation amenities, not car infrastructure. Image: City of Stockton via Stockton City Limits
Residents of Stockton, CA, told the city they want better transit and active transportation, not more car infrastructure. Image: City of Stockton via Stockton City Limits

What happens when you ask people point blank what they want from their local transportation system?

In California’s San Joaquin Valley, the city of Stockton recently asked people at a public meeting what types of transportation investments they’d prefer. Stockton, population 300,000, was especially hard hit when the housing bubble burst, declaring bankruptcy in 2012. With the city regathering itself and embarking on a new general plan, David Garcia reports at Network blog Stockton City Limits that residents left no doubt about the types of transportation options they want:

The findings of this exercise are crystal clear: Stocktonians want more walking, biking and public transportation options.

As you can see, the overwhelming majority of votes cast were in favor of active transportation. 19% of votes were cast in favor of “Pedestrian Sidewalks & Walkability,” 14% for “Mass Transit,” and a combined 25% for cycling for commuting and recreation. Road widening—the only true auto-oriented option—doesn’t register until near the bottom with 6%. While this is by no means a scientific survey, it’s very telling. About 60 residents participated in the exercise according to the city, ranging from the usual advocates as well as private citizens who simply wanted their voices heard.

It is clear that Stocktonians are ready for a more progressive approach to planning, an approach that emphasizes pedestrians and cyclists over the private automobile. It’s up to the citizens to continue to demand these changes and to stay actively involved in this General Plan process.

Elsewhere on the Network today: ATL Urbanist shares the words of an Atlanta developer trying to convince the region to embrace transit. And The Political Environment reports that Wisconsin is building a $1.7 billion interchange project exclusively for the region’s suburban commuters, but those commuters are unhappy with the construction delays.

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