It’s wonderful to hear that the Rim of the World Recreation and Park District has received a $285,000 grant as part of the Caltrans Active Transportation Program (ATP). For those of you who may not know Caltrans is the state’s transportation department (Cal (for California) and (Trans) for transportation.
This grant was awarded to the recreation district to provide inter-mountain pathways for pedestrians (people walking the trails) as well as bicyclists (who are bicycling on the trails). The new trail will also help local mountain residents and visitors who are in wheelchairs. Many wheelchair-bound people find it difficult to get out of their homes to get to different places due to a variety of reasons, including the lack of trails and roads throughout the forest. This trail will hopefully help uplift wheelchair-bound residents and visitors and to let the world they live in expand as they enjoy the outdoors in a safe way.
One of the priorities of this Caltrans grant is to provide alternatives that reduce the number of motor vehicles traveling in the Rim of the World communities as well as to Big Bear. Another major goal is to get people out of their cars and to get outdoors where they can walk, ride a bicycle or engage in other forms or recreation and/or exercise. The new path should also help cut down on traffic congestion and it should help improve the public’s overall health by participants doing less driving, but more walking due to the construction of the new paths that connect the major areas. Other things the grant is intended to do, according to information from the recreation district, is advance transportation efforts of regional agencies by reducing the number of vehicles and thus (hopefully) help to reduce greenhouse emission issues.
The planning grant is the first step toward linking non-motorized pathways from Lake Silverwood State Recreation Area all the way to Big Bear. Throughout the areas under study for this grant, major attractions and connections include the rural alpine villages of Crestline, Lake Arrowhead and Running Springs that are located within a network of five state highways. These highways serve the enormous San Bernardino National Forest, Lake Silverwood State Recreation Area and Lake Gregory County Regional Park which is located in Crestline.
“While focusing our efforts on serving the health and safety needs of our children traveling to and from school, we anticipate serving local residential and commercial recreational needs as well as visitors from down the hill,” said longtime Rim of the World Recreation and Park District Director Dr. Hugh Bialecki.