National City has established itself as a leader in active transportation. In the past five years alone, National City has secured over $30 million in “competitive” grant funds at the Federal, State and Regional level to plan, design and ultimately construct much needed infrastructure improvements for its residents and guests. Funding through these grants has allowed National City to deliver projects and programs that set the bar for innovation. For example, National City was one of the first agencies in the State to implement “green” bike boxes for bicycle safety at signalized intersections. National City continues to implement “road diets” that reduce travel lanes to allow for wider sidewalks, bicycle facilities, and traffic calming measures such as “popouts,” refuge islands and pedestrian-actuated flashing crosswalk signs. Major corridors such as Highland Avenue, Euclid Avenue and Division Street are set to receive these types of treatments, while the transformation of Downtown 8th Street has just been completed.
The reason for their success lies with National City’s dedication to working with the community to identify challenges to walking and biking, and developing innovative projects that result in measureable improvements to health, safety and quality of life. For example, in Spring 2013, National City partnered with engineers, planners and mobility specialists from KTU+A, Circulate San Diego and Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego Center for Healthier Communities to conduct neighborhood walk audits in each of the City’s nine neighborhoods to identify barriers to walking and biking. National City leaders, staff and residents actively participated in the audits. The data collected was used to prioritize locations for improvements and develop projects that encourage multi-modal transportation and Safe Routes to School along key corridors throughout National City. These efforts were then incorporated into a unique active transportation planning document called the National City SMART Foundation (Safe, Multi-modal, Accessible Routes To…transit, work, school and recreation).
The City quickly leveraged the community outreach components and project development that was incorporated into this document to secure over $3.2 million in “competitive” grant funds for pedestrian and bicycle safety enhancement projects. In addition, the American Planning Association (APA) San Diego Section awarded National City the 2015 Comprehensive Plan - Small Jurisdiction Award for the National City SMART Foundation. After receiving the award, the Plan was nominated to participate in APA California Chapter’s “Statewide” competition. Incredibly, National City was recently notified that they have been selected as the State winner of the 2015 Comprehensive Plan – Small Jurisdiction Award of Merit for the National City SMART Foundation.
Other recent awards include the following: