Orange County has a robust transportation network consisting of freeways, toll roads, bicycle paths, bus transit, railways and walking paths. However, with the county’s population expecting to increase by more than 400,000 residents by 2035, ensuring transportation mobility throughout the region is an ongoing challenge.
Fortunately, Orange County voters passed Measure M2, a 30 year half-cent transportation sales tax, which provides approximately $14.8 billion through 2041 for a variety of voter approved transportation improvements. The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) administers the Measure M Plan with major improvement plans targeting Orange County freeways, streets and roads, transit and environmental programs. Although this additional funding will go a long way towards improving mobility, it alone will not solve the county’s transportation mobility problems. In fact, even with the current committed projects, transportation experts are still projecting a 64% increase in delay countywide.
Last May, the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA), which operates the 51-mile Orange County Toll Road system, retained Sharon Browning and Associates to conduct an independent analysis of mobility concerns in South Orange County. The Community Ascertainment Study predominantly focused on the community’s thoughts and perspectives regarding transportation infrastructure and mobility problems in South Orange County — such as traffic on highways and arterials.
The Community Ascertainment Study indicated there is high agreement that a mobility problem on the Interstate 5 Freeway exists but the severity of the problem varied based on personal travel patterns, use and location. In addition, there were several recommendations for collaboration among community members, regional transportation planners and stakeholders. Get Moving Orange County, is a result of these recommendations and is the first part in a series of next steps led by the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA), along with participation from multiple transportation planning agencies throughout the region, to address transportation mobility concerns in South Orange County. These agencies include Caltrans and the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA).