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Riverside County Transportation Commission wants public feedback for its 2024 Traffic Relief Plan

The Riverside County Transportation Commission released its extensive Traffic Relief Plan 2024 Draft Update, detailing a new transportation strategy for the future. The plan works to address some of the county's biggest concerns and and issues for residents and those driving through the area. It was also created to reduce traffic bottlenecks, improve roadway safety, and help create a stronger and more sustainable economy for Riverside County.

To get a more in-depth understand of the proposal, News Channel Three's Tori King spoke with Aaron Hake, the Deputy Executive Director of Riverside County Transportation Commission.

“If you're a resident here in the county, you have probably realized that traffic is increasing," said Hake. "There are a lot of transportation issues as we grow. And as we face increasing amounts of change, whether that's natural disasters or development, we just want to be prepared for the future and make sure that we're being proactive about what we're doing for our transportation system.”

The plan would set aside investments in transportation improvements like building safe streets and roads, and repairing pothole around the county. There is also funding that would be used to beautify roadways in need of a facelift.

The proposal also addresses major congestion issues along highways like the I-10 in the San Gorgonio Pass area.

“There is a lot of room for improvement there," said Hake. "For instance, providing the opportunity for Express Lanes to be built. Also making interchange improvements on the I-10 that will help traffic move smoother on and off the freeway to keep the mainline moving.” Hake also mentioned an additional proposal.

"We're also looking at a parallel roadway that can be built sort of as a relief valve for I-10. Because when there's an accident, people have nowhere to go and they're just stuck on the freeway with no way to exit.”

Public transportation is another one of the focuses going forward.

“One of the cornerstones of the traffic relief plan is bringing daily rail service to the Coachella Valley," said Hake.

Other ideas include bulking up regional connections and commuter assistance. And here in the Coachella Valley, the plan specifically mentions addressing environmental mitigation as well as roads that are prone to closures. That includes roads like Gene Autry, East Vista Chino and Indian Canyon along the wash areas that tend to shut down during weather events for flooding and poor visibility.

“We really want to fix some of the challenges with weather events where we have major regional corridors throughout the valley that have been shut down either due to floods, or to blow sand or to other natural events," said Hake. "And we're looking to make those corridors more resilient. So it could be by building a bridge, it could be by reinforcing the area around the roadway so that it doesn't flood as much or when there is sand, the roadway or the rail or the station is protected.”

Lastly, the Commission wants to improve active transportation, meaning expanding sidewalk and bike lane projects, as well as enhancing recreational trails. They also want to build amenities like parking lots and restrooms along those trails.

And Riverside County wants the public's input on all of these proposals. The Commission wants to hear whether there are additional concerns that may have been missed, or even ideas on how to address some of these problems.

"We want to hear what your experiences," said Hake. "It's a big valley, it's a big county. If there's something that you see or don't see in the plan that you would like us to address, please tell us. We're very open to that. It's really important to the Riverside County Transportation Commission that we understand what the needs of the valley are, and that represent them in that plan.”

The plan is just a draft for now, but it will likely go on to become a voter-approved sales tax measure in the future if the plan gets the go-ahead.

It will be open to public comment until March 31st, and then the overall plan will be voted on before the start of summer. If you want to see the plan itself or to submit feedback, you can find a direct link here:

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Tori King


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