Kern COG Seeks Public Input for Directions to 2050 Project
Kern Council of Governments (Kern COG) invites the public to play the Choose Your Path to 2050 game by visiting www.directionsto2050.com and clicking the “Play the Game” tab. Playing the game can be an entertaining way to provide Kern COG with your ideas for addressing issues such as economic vitality, transportation, energy efficiency, housing, and conserving natural resources. The game was set to close on June 30 and will now be available through July 15, 2012.
In 2012, the online game along with two cycles of public workshops, a telephone survey, social media, and meetings with local government representatives will inform two projects, the development of local Energy Action Plans (EAPs) and the Directions to 2050 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). The EAPs will guide local government efforts to improve energy efficiency in their operations and throughout their communities. To complete the RTP in fall 2013, Kern COG will conduct further work, including studies and computer modeling over the next 15 months.
Directions to 2050 will contain more than 70 major highway, road maintenance, public transit, pedestrian, bicycle, and energy-efficiency improvements designed to keep the regional economy moving. The plan will direct how more than $5.3 billion in anticipated transportation projects will be developed over the next 28 years. Input gathered during the public outreach in 2012 will inform which policies, programs, and projects will be prioritized and when they will be implemented within the next three decades. So, individuals of all ages are encouraged to play Choose Your Path to 2050!
Many of the proposed projects already have funding dedicated to early phases, such as the initial planning or engineering phases. Others expected to be carried out more than 20 years from now do not currently have identified funding sources but would be eligible should new revenue streams become available. Specific improvements spelled out in the RTP do not include projects that each of Kern County’s 11 cities or the county may choose to complete with their own general funds.
Kern COG will host cycle 2 of the Directions to 2050 public workshops in the fall of 2012! Stay tuned!
Once drafted, Kern COG will offer a series of public workshops throughout the region to solicit public comments on the RTP document and the projects represented in it. Copies will be made available at Kern COG’s office, 1401 19th Street, Suite 300 in Bakersfield; at all Kern County library branches; or on the web at www.kerncog.org.
This program is funded in part by California utility ratepayers and administered by Southern California Edison under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission. Kern COG provides major funding for this project to encourage activities that would lead to long-term, sustainable changes. Southern California Edison also funds the Kern Region Energy Action Plans program, which promotes long-term energy- efficiency efforts.