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Mountain Area Transportation Study

The San Bernardino Mountain Area stretches from the Los Angeles County Line on the west to the Lucerne Valley on the east. The communities of San Bernardino County within the study area include Wrightwood, Crestline, Blue Jay, Lake Arrowhead, Running Springs, Green Valley Lake, Arrowbear and Big Bear City as well as the City of Big Bear Lake.

The primary access roadways of SR-18, SR-330, and SR-38 experience unique traffic patterns associated with visitors to the area. While the full time population and associated employment are relatively low, substantial increases occur during the peak winter and summer seasons. As a result, traffic congestion occurs for extended periods as visitors and associated additional employees attempt to access the San Bernardino Mountain communities.

Traffic congestion can also discourage would-be visitors, hindering the local economy in the San Bernardino Mountains. All relevant parties including the County of San Bernardino, the City of Big Bear Lake, Caltrans, SANBAG, SCAG, and the California Highway Patrol are committed to finding solutions to improve access to the study area by identifying, analyzing, and mitigating congested intersections and roadway segments.

Visitation levels clearly affect all mountain communities and mountain infrastructure. On a typical off peak weekday in Year 2012, the City of Big Bear Lake had a full time population of 5,100 in about 2,200 households with employment of 3,800 while serving about 10,000 visitors. However during a peak season weekday for the same year the City of Big Bear Lake had employment of about 5,800 while serving 60,000 visitors. For Year 2040 during an off-peak weekday, the City of Big Bear Lake forecasts a full time population of 7,000 in about 3,000 households with employment of 5,400 while serving about 14,000 visitors. The City of Big Bear Lake forecasts employment of 7,400 while serving 76,000 visitors during a peak season weekday in Year 2040.

  • Mountain Area Transportation Study Files

  • Study Goals

    The study will identify and analyze the major and secondary arterials and intersections that provide access to, from, and within the San Bernardino Mountain communities. The primary goal of this effort is development of a sub-regional transportation improvement plan that identifies key projects that address both existing and forecast deficiencies during both peak summer and winter seasons.

    The study recommendations would not include costly new roadway facilities or realignments but would rather include operations-type capacity mprovements that could then be prioritized and funded by local agencies and Caltrans. The focus will be primarily on the identification of traffic bottlenecks and potential improvement options.

  • Study Tasks

    The following are the key tasks that have been incorporated into the San Bernardino Mountain Area Transportation Study:

    1. Assessment of Existing Conditions – The existing transportation setting will be defined in terms of infrastructure and performance. The assessment will define the relationship of the San Bernardino Mountain communities to the rest of San Bernardino County and the greater Los Angeles/Orange County metropolitan area. To assist in the identification of existing traffic issues, a needs assessment web tool has been developed that will assist the project team in reaching out and obtaining input from project stakeholders.
    2. Develop Refined Traffic Volume Forecasts – A modeling tool will be developed to ensure that reasonable future traffic volumes can be forecast throughout the San Bernardino Mountains.

    3. Identification and Costing of Transportation Projects – Improvement projects will be identified to address existing and future problem locations. Planning level cost estimates will be developed for each project for incorporation into an implementation plan.

    4. Analysis of Transportation Projects – Based on the results of the future forecasts and the potential projects identified for consideration, evaluate the future transportation network with regard to its ability to satisfy future traffic demands in Year 2040 under peak weekday and weekend summer and winter season traffic volumes. Future network performance will be summarized, identifying any remaining bottlenecks and infrastructure needs.

    5. Recommendations and Implementation Plan – A recommended future infrastructure improvement plan will be developed considering implementation timeframe, prioritization, and potential funding sources in the San Bernardino Mountain communities.