Planning agencies have to be forward looking.
The Cross Valley Corridor (CVC) is a vital existing east-west rail corridor between the cities of Huron and Porterville in the Central San Joaquin Valley. With a proposed California High-Speed Rail Station located in the middle of the CVC there is an opportunity to improve connectivity and mobility throughout the communities and cities in Tulare, Kings, and Fresno Counties.
Because of its vital connection in 2016, the Tulare County Association of Governments (TCAG) initiated the Cross Valley Corridor Plan (Plan) to study connectivity and mobility improvements in the Central San Joaquin Valley in partnership with the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority). Currently there are limited transit options around these rural communities resulting in transit trips being twice as long as trips taken in private automobiles. Therefore there is no incentive for people to use transit resulting in greater amounts of GHG in the region because people continue to drive private automobiles. But in the future parts of the highway network are likely to become more congested causing travel times to increase so by building the CVC people will have an faster alternative to driving which will reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled overall.
Subsequently in planning for future conditions this Plan aims to increase transit service efficiency, enable communities and cities in the CVC to promote developments that support transit usage, encourage revitalization and economic development, and facilitate growth in support of the California High-Speed Rail (HSR) investment. This Plan enabled TCAG to evaluate a range of new public transit service alternatives that would be able to accommodate future population and economic growth, while being compatible with existing land uses and future development opportunities. By planning for a CVC transit system well in advance, right-of-way and land needs can be identified and protected now, avoiding costly acquisitions or eminent domain processes later.
TCAG understands the importance of connecting these communities throughout their region and are thinking towards the future in creating this plan. They understand that as time passes, population and housing also change. To adapt to these changes they are planning ahead and responding to future changes currently to make these changes more effective by being proactive. The Plan represents an initial step in implementing passenger rail service on the CVC. Through further planning, stakeholder coordination, and effective policy and financial strategies, TCAG strives to fulfill the mobility, economic, and quality of life needs of their growing population.