August 8, 2020
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The California Department of Transportation released its California Freight Mobility Plan 2020 alongside the final two of 12 district-based Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment Reports – strategic documents aimed at making the state’s transportation system more efficient and resilient to extreme weather events.

[Above photo by Caltrans.]

In a statement, Toks Omishakin, director of Caltrans, noted that “the COVID-19 health crisis has increased our understanding of how important the freight industry is to our health and economic well-being. This plan will inform our decisions and help grow our economy through increased competition, efficiency and sustainability of our freight system.”

Toks Omishakin

He said his agency’s freight plan details the immediate and long-term policies, strategies and investments necessary to support the ever-evolving, complex network for transporting goods – “whether by truck, train, ship, airplane, automobile, bicycle, foot or robot” – and highlights ways to lessen the freight system’s “negative environmental impacts,” particularly on low-income communities near trucking corridors, by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The environmental aspects of the Caltrans’ freight plan dovetail with information compiled within the last of its climate change assessment reports issued two of its coastal districts – detailing how rising average temperatures, higher sea levels, storm surge, and precipitation increase the incidence of flooding, drought, wildfires, coastal erosion, and mudslides.

Photo by Caltrans

Caltrans is also providing the data from those 12 climate change reports in the form of “interactive online” maps with local, regional, state and federal agencies to facilitate use of the information for their own analysis towards achieving a more resilient transportation system.

“The completed assessments cover all 58 counties in the state and give California a comprehensive evaluation of climate change effects on the State Highway system,” Omishakin noted in a separate statement. “We are now integrating the findings into our planning process to better protect California’s citizens, economy, and transportation investments.”

editor@aashto.org

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