There is little existing infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists

Eastern Coachella Valley Mobility Plans

A memorial for a traffic victim on one of the region's busy roads

Community engagement using a "mobile research beacon"

Priority corridors identified by residents

There is little existing infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists

Eastern Coachella Valley Mobility Plans

Eastern Coachella Valley Mobility Plans

Over the last two years, KDI has been partnering with residents from North Shore, Mecca, Thermal and Oasis - four under-resourced farm working communities in the Eastern Coachella Valley - to create a set of multimodal transportation plans to improve mobility, increase cyclist and pedestrian safety, enhance environmental and public health, and strengthen communications between transit agencies and communities.

Context

Existing conditions in the Eastern Coachella Valley

Residents of the Eastern Coachella Valley often highlight transportation as their biggest challenge, with a dangerous lack of sidewalks and sparse public transport.

Yet the fact that the communities are unincorporated means that they do not have access to municipal transportation planning that could directly alleviate these problems at the community level.

Process

Residents describe their transportation challenges and aspirations through a game

Through a series of on-street engagements, workshops, and pedestrian, bike and traffic analyses, KDI and residents identified transportation challenges and key areas for improvement.

We then co-developed a set of two neighborhood-level plans to address these issues, with proposed improvements suggested across different phases based on community members' priorities about the must urgent, important changes.

Solution

A map describing some of the desires of the community

The two neighborhood plans contain detailed recommendations for the four communities, with a third, regional-level plan showing how they fit together across the Eastern Coachella Valley and connect with nearby cities in the Western Valley.

Recommendations take the form of a menu of design options, including over 100 miles of multimodal paths and sidewalks for cyclists and pedestrians, crosswalk improvements, improved signage, traffic signals, roundabouts, and connections to transit.

Impact

An increased number of crosswalks will improve pedestrian mobility

Once implemented, the plans will drastically increase access to community amenities, as well as improving public health and reducing environmental pollution. The result will be better-connected and more prosperous communities.

The first neighborhood-level plan for Thermal and Oasis has already been awarded $6.8 million in competitive Active Transportation Funding to carry out the first phase, as well as winning a California APA Transportation Planning Award. The second neighborhood plan and the regionwide plan will soon be adopted by the County, making the entire Eastern Coachella Valley eligible to receive funding for the mobility improvements community members want to see.