Update from the Capitol: We need YOU on Aug 15!
A group of stakeholders, including the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, CalBike, California WALKS, PolicyLink, the Rails to Trails Conservancy and others met twice last month with the State Transportation Agency to discuss detailed recommendations for a potentially transformative new Active Transportation Program (ATP).
The Transportation Agency has made it clear throughout the first half of the year that they are committed to consolidating walking and biking programs into a larger competitive pot. The National Partnership and other advocates have consistently expressed concern about losing the benefits of the existing programs, but are also committed to reaching a compromise that is in the best interest of walking and biking Californians.
Our key recommendations to the Transportation Agency are:
- Maintain a dedicated funding commitment to Safe Routes to School projects, including 10% of the overall ATP funds to non-infrastructure programs to elevate walking and biking through education and encouragement.
- Ensure that no less than 35% of ATP funds directly benefit disadvantaged communities and lower-income schools
- Continue to fund a technical assistance resource center to support grantees and potential grantees, especially in disadvantaged communities
- Establish an open public process to evaluate and provide feedback on the successes, challenges, and improvements to the guidelines and project selection process, including an ongoing Advisory Committee of pedestrian and bicycle experts
Next up: a bill will be crafted in the next two weeks by Administration and Legislative staff to enact the Active Transportation Program. The members of the Legislature, who have been on recess for most of July, will return to the Capitol on Aug 12 to reconvene the remainder of the 2013 session.
The ATP bill will be drafted and under review by the Senate and Assembly during late August. The Legislature must pass the ATP bill by Aug 31, so August 15th will be the perfect time to tell the Legislature why Safe Routes to School projects are critical to California communities.
Sign up for the Safe Routes to School Advocacy Day on Aug 15
Add your voice in support of better walking, bicycling,
and Safe Routes to School at this critical time in the Capitol!