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Roads? Where we're going... we'll need more roads

Tehachapi City Council Update

How are our roads going to change in the next 24 years? This week, Tehachapi City Council was visited by Robert Ball from the Kern Council of Governments (Kern COG), a small group of council members which helps guide the county and acquire funding for transportation improvements.

Ball was at the meeting to talk about the new Regional Transportation Plan. Every four years, Kern COG revises their 24-year plan for the region's transportation network based upon changes in land use assumptions and local planning.

Kern COG acknowledges the county's unique position economically, as we are made of both small towns and global industries. Trucks use Highway 58 to connect the central valley to the rest of the southwest along with Interstate 99 and Interstate 5 being the primary routes for all traffic going north or south. Their mission is to ensure efficient transportation for anyone driving, cycling, walking or riding through our county.

The current plans have some ambitious goals such as doubling the number of homes within walking distance of quality public transit and providing more funding for bike and pedestrian friendly roads. These transportation improvements mean more jobs for locals, better air quality and reducing the loss of farmland to urban sprawl.

Having goals is important but what does Kern COG do to meet their goals? They help acquire funding from local, state and federal sources. Kern COG also forecasts where funds should be spent in order to lower costs and maximize positive externalities. This includes early repairs to ensure longevity. On their list of proposed projects are an extension of the MetroLink to extend to Rosamond with the goal to reach California City and Tehachapi, an extension of Class II bike lanes throughout Tehachapi, and widening Valley Blvd. to four lanes in between Tucker Rd. and Curry St.

In a Kern COG meeting held on April 21, they voted to adopt a resolution for Tehachapi to claim funds totaling $171,701 for the purposes of supporting public transit systems, streets and roads. The Transportation Technical Advisory Committee has reviewed this item and unanimously recommended the adoption of this claim at its April 6 meeting.

To view the 2022 Regional Transportation Plan, visit: http://www.kerncog.org/2022-rtp/.

If you want more information about Kern Council of Governments, email Becky Napier at [email protected] or call (661) 635-2910.

The Tehachapi City Council meets on the first and third Monday of the month at 6 p.m. They are currently meeting at the Police Department Community Room, 220 W. C St.