Big Bear Modal Alternatives Analysis
Society is increasingly recognizing the need for man to live in balance with the environment, using the earthís natural assets in ways that will sustain a high-quality living standard over time without depleting essential resources. In few places around Southern California are these issues more relevant than in the mountain travel corridor between the Los Angeles Basin and the communities around Big Bear Lake.
Located high in the San Bernardino National Forest, the Big Bear Valley is both an active community and a popular recreation destination throughout the year. Primary access to Big Bear from the San Bernardino Valley and the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area is limited to three state highway routes that have been increasingly plagued by a number of challenges that inhibit safe and convenient travel, especially during winter snow storms when travel demand is at its peak.
Without improvements to the system, traffic and maintenance-related problems can be expected to worsen. Various types of roadway-based strategies have been suggested to help address the systemís capacity deficiencies. However, while each approach would increase capacity, improve roadway operations and safety, or make better use of existing capacity, all have significant financial, environmental, or community impact issues that make them unsatisfactory approaches to addressing the long-term access needs.
On the other hand, adding capacity by developing an alternative (non-roadway) transportation mode offers multiple advantages by providing convenient, environmentally-friendly, weather-resistant mountain access with minimal or no auto driving for the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area via connection to Metrolink in San Bernardino.
Because of these factors, the Cities of Big Bear Lake, San Bernardino, and Highland, and the County of San Bernardino have partnered with the regionís transportation planning agencies (the San Bernardino Associated Governments, the Southern California Association of Governments, and Caltrans) and the Inland Valley Development Agency to explore the feasibility of non-roadway alternatives for future transportation of people and goods between the San Bernardino and Big Bear Valleys. This study explores the feasibility of developing a non-roadway mountain transportation alternative, based on the recognition that a prosperous future in the Big Bear Valley depends upon the Southern California Region's ability to take advantage of the four-season recreational assets of the San Bernardino Mountains.
Most Cost-Effective Corridors
San Bernardino Valley Connections
Key Financial Findings
- Operations & Maintenance costs can be covered by passenger fares and freight revenue
- Capital costs could be covered without sizable grants if:
- Capital cost toward lower end of range
- Future conditions attract more passengers and freight
- New local or regional revenue sources provide reliable funding stream
- Very low interest bond financing available
- Project included in SCAGís 2012-2035 Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy
- SANBAG decision-makers to consider next steps
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