2013 Campaign – MAP-21, Active Transportation Funding & Safe Routes to School
Changes to policy affecting Safe Routes to School are afoot in Sacramento! The National Partnership is working with our partners to protect and grow funding levels for critically important programs that benefit all bicyclists and pedestrians in the state, and want to keep all stakeholders across the state informed. See below for news and actions to date:
May 1 – State Assembly Appropriations Committee hears the Safe Routes to School bill, AB-1194
AB-1194, which would maintain level funding, a state SRTS coordinator, and the Technical Assistance Resource Center for the Safe Routes to School program, is waiting for votes in the Assembly Appropriations Committee for passage to the Assembly Floor. WE NEED YOUR ORGANIZATION’S SUPPORT TODAY!
Send a letter of support for AB-1194 to the Appropriations Committee from your organization, or request one from your town/city/county. Tailor this draft letter to your local or personal experience. Get your letter in NOW before final committee votes are tallied on May 24! Please contact Jeanie@saferoutespartnership.org for more info.
We need your support to save Safe Routes to School!
May 1 – 55 organizations sign on to letter to Governor Jerry Brown asking for 15% of transportation-related Cap-and-Trade revenue invested in active transportation
The California Air Resources Board released its three year Draft Investment Plan (DIP) on April 16, which outlines a proposal for how California should spend revenues generated by Cap-and-Trade. Thanks to the countless voices that have pledged their support for active transportation, the plan lists Safe Routes to School and the Bicycle Transportation Account as eligible recipients for this funding! In mid-May, Governor Jerry Brown’s administration will outline in the May Revise of the state Budget allocations for cap-and-trade revenue to specific projects and programs.
A sign-on letter lead by the California Bicycle Coalition, California WALKS, and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership with supporting signatures from 52 other organizations was sent to the Governor’s office this week. The letter outlined the importance of active transportation infrastructure to encouraging reduction of car vehicle-miles traveled and resulting greenhouse-gas emissions, as well as other safety, health, and community co-benefits. Based on the great potential of walking and bicycling to contribute to sustainable communities in California, the letter recommended that at least 15% of transportation-related cap-and-trade revenues be invested in Safe Routes to School, the Pedestrian Transportation Account, and the Bicycle Transportation Account.
Stay tuned for an update on whether the Administration took these concerns to heart when the May budget revise is released in two weeks.
April 15 – State Assembly Transportation Committee passes the Safe Routes to School bill, AB-1194, by unanimous vote 11-0!
Read a summary of the Transportation Committee hearing. AB-1194 will next advance to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for approval, likely sometime in May 2013.
January 17, 2013 - Shape California’s New Active Transportation Program for Future Generations
Sign the Petition to Governor Brown Today
Governor Brown is proposing to create a new Active Transportation Program with his 2013-14 budget to make California a leader in bicycle and pedestrian transportation, but we are asking for your support of a petition that urges the Administration to first address several concerns. The proposed new program consolidates several existing programs, including Safe Routes to School (see details below), in order to focus state investment on active transportation safety and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Join the Safe Routes to School National Partnership and a coalition of organizations to ask Governor Brown to:
1) Match 2012 funding levels initially and grow the program funds in the future,
2) Maintain minimum guarantees for Safe Routes to School, Environmental Enhancement and Mitigation, and Recreational Trails within the new program structure,
3) Ensure adequate staff at Caltrans to administer the new program, and
4) Engage stakeholders in shaping the Active Transportation Program, selecting future projects, and prioritizing social equity.
Please sign the petition today (individuals and organizations are both encouraged to sign on) and spread the word so we can get thousands of signatures!
The organizations leading this petition include: Safe Routes to School National Partnership, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, TransForm, California WALKS, California Bicycle Coalition, Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program, California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, and Regional Asthma Management and Prevention.
January 10, 2013 - Governor’s Budget proposes consolidating federal and state Safe Routes to School into an Active Transportation Program
Review the proposed 2013-14 budget, including possible changes to Safe Routes to School and other bicycle and pedestrian programs.
December 19, 2012 conference call
Discussion Forum: Protecting Safe Routes to School and Increasing Investment Opportunities in Active Transportation in California
As the state decides how MAP-21 will affect key programs and looks toward more effective ways to meet statewide priorities for safety and greenhouse gas emissions targets, a new proposal has come out to streamline active transportation and Safe Routes to School funding and increase it in the future! The National Partnership has been working with other active transportation, health, and equity partners to meet with Caltrans and the Business, Transportation, and Housing Agency to discuss this proposal, but we also want to hear from you!
Key documents that outline our recommendations:
- Summary Handout
- Dec 2012 sign on letter to BTH: Active Transportation Account
- Nexus for Dedicating California’s Cap and Trade Program Revenue to Active Transportation
- SRTSNP comments on revision to Statewide Transportation Needs Assessment for Bicycle and Pedestrian Infrastructure
- Nov 2012 sign on letter to Caltrans: Safe Routes to School – a Statewide Priority
- Aug 2012 sign on letter to Caltrans: California Bicycle, Pedestrian, and Safe Routes to School – MAP-21 Program Investment Sign on Statement
December 3, 2013 Sign-on Letter to Business, Transportation and Housing Agency on Active Transportation Proposal
The coalition we are helping to lead continues to advocate for preserving and strengthening walking, bicycling and Safe Routes to School and their funding opportunities in California. Eleven organizations—Safe Routes to School National Partnership, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, TransForm, Transportation for America, California WALKS, California Bicycling Coalition, PolicyLink, California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program, California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, and Regional Asthma Management and Prevention—submitted a sign on letter to California Business Transportation and Housing (BTH) Agency Secretary Brian Kelly.
The letter responds to a proposal from BTH to consolidate five accounts, including the State Safe Routes to School, Federal Safe Routes to School, State Bicycle Transportation Account, Federal Transportation Alternatives Program, and the State Environmental Enhancement and Mitigation Program, into a single Active Transportation Account. Our letter addresses the need for level funding and to emphasize walking and bicycling, to develop an account structure that preserves existing priorities, includes sufficient staffing and stakeholder input, and ensures equity in structure and funding decisions. We also emphasize the need to direct future revenue to active transportation.
View the letter here.
November 8, 2012 Sign-on Letter to Caltrans on Protecting Safe Routes to School as a Statewide Priority
Our coalition working to preserve walking, bicycling and Safe Routes to School submitted a letter, signed on to by 11 organizations, urging the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to continue prioritizing Safe Routes to School.
The letter outlines five recommendations that we believe are critical to continue to advance the success of the very popular transportation and safety program, Safe Routes to School. Safe Routes to School is a community-based program which provides funding for infrastructure projects as well as public engagement, planning and educational activities – all of which promote safety. Caltrans was the first Department of Transportation in the nation to launch Safe Routes to School, due to state legislation passed in 1999. The program was expanded in 2005 thanks to federal legislation. With the flexibility in MAP-21, Caltrans has a unique opportunity to continue the Safe Routes to School program, and make it even better.
The five key recommendations and guiding principles for California’s Safe Routes to School programs outlined in the letter include:
1) Keep Level Funding: The State of California should maintain level funding for both the federal SRTS program, and the state SR2S program. The programs support important statewide goals related to improving safety, achieving health in all policies, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
2) Maintain Program Structure through Funding Source: The federal SRTS program should retain a structure where 70 percent of the funds are used for infrastructure improvements and 30 percent for non-infrastructure activities. The funding source determined should permit activities that were eligible in the past, and should ensure that the program continues to be administered by the state.
3) Continue Current Program Objectives: Since its inception SRTS has had program objectives related to both reducing injuries and fatalities and increasing mode share for walking and bicycling. These goals are accomplished through infrastructure improvements and community based planning and outreach activities. These two programmatic objectives should continue for the federally-funded Safe Routes to School program out of HSIP.
4) Maintain the Statewide Administration of the Program: Safe Routes to School should remain as a statewide program, administered by Caltrans headquarters, with project selection by Caltrans Districts.
5) Prioritize Equity: Through a June 2010 report to the Governor on equity within the Safe Routes to School program, there was a recommendation to increase funding through Safe Routes to School for lower-income communities by five percent for future funding cycles of SRTS and SR2S. This is important because lower-income schools and regions have a greater proportion of traffic safety dangers and fewer resources to resolve those problems.
View the full letter here.
August 20, 2012 Sign-on Statement for MAP-21 Active Transportation and Safe Routes to School Invesment
Through the end of 2012 and into 2013, the State Legislature and the Administration (Caltrans, Business Transportation and Housing and the Governor’s office) will be considering proposals for how to spend $3.5 billion each year in federal transportation act funds from the law MAP-21, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st century. Our goal is to ensure that we don’t lose ground in our efforts to funding walking, biking, and Safe Routes to School. Let’s make sure that we truly do move ahead in California!
We’re moving fast to secure funding for active transportation in CA – In less than a week, over 130 organizations signed on to a statement to save CA funding for walking, biking, and Safe Routes to School. Thank you for your quick and strong support!
In Sacramento, Assembly Speaker Perez introduced a bill on MAP-21 implementation in CA, SB 1027: http://www.aroundthecapitol.com/billtrack/text.html?bvid=20110SB102797AMD – this bill is just a “marker” for discussion – the legislation was not intended to move in the 2012 session, which has now ended. The Speaker’s office will likely be recruiting comments in January for the 2013 legislative season.
In addition, CalTrans is working on a proposal that will be incorporated into legislation next year. They came out with an initial proposal that can be found here, part 1, and part 2. CalTrans has formed a working group that will work on what is ultimately produced. Deb Hubsmith, Director of the Safe Routes to School National Partnership was appointed to this committee.
We need the State of California to keep federal funds for Safe Routes to School, Transportation Enhancements and Recreational Trails level from fiscal year 2012 allocations, $106 million/year. This is only 3% of the MAP-21 budget while walking and bicycling represent 15% of trips and 27% of fatalities in the state of California. Thanks again for your support!
August 16, 2012 Webinar on MAP-21 Updates in California
We are working to keep the lines of communication open between concerned Californians and advocates in Sacramento about policy decisions as they are being discussed, and will continue to do this until this process is completed. On August 16, we and our allies held a webinar on what Map-21 means for active transportation funding in California and what we can do to change things. A presentation by Deb Hubsmith can be found here.