UPDATE: Upcoming Workshops to Discuss California General Plan Guidelines

New workshop added in LA on Monday, November 30 in the afternoon (register here!)

New CPEHN webinar for Orange County stakeholders on Wednesday, December 2 from 10am-12pm (register here!)

The State of California Office of Planning & Research (OPR)’s is updating its General Plan Guidelines and holding workshops across the state starting in November. The California Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN) is also hosting workshops and webinars around the state to discuss how the guidelines can promote health and equity in future development.

CPEHN Workshops:

Join CPEHN in November to discuss the NEWLY revised draft General Plan Guidelines! These guidelines direct cities and counties to consider key issues such as housing, complete streets, and open space in the planning and development of their communities.

In October, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) is releasing the long-awaited revised general plan guidelines, which will include new sections on how cities and counties can also promote health and equity in future development. These draft guidelines have the potential to impact health in many ways, such as encouraging the availability of healthy foods, promoting active transportation, and identifying housing needs.

Come learn about the potential of the new guidelines at A Blueprint for Health: Planning Communities that Promote Equity! Hear about the draft guidelines from staff at the Office of Research and Planning, talk with local advocates about the potential impacts of the revisions, and share your feedback on the new health and equity components of the draft guidelines.

OPR Workshops:

OPR will be holding multiple community outreach events throughout California during the public comment period for the draft GPG update. Planners, practitioners, and community members are invited to attend and learn about the updated guidelines, ask questions, and share their feedback. Check back for upcoming dates, or join our email list to be informed when events are scheduled.

Dates & Locations:

LA Metro Holding Active Transportation Strategic Plan Workshops in December

Screenshot 2015-07-21 16.16.12LA Metro is holding the second round of public workshops for its Active Transportation Strategic Plan in December. Dates, times and locations are below. Registration is available here.

  • Thursday, December 3, 2015 4:00pm-6:00pm (4:15pm presentation)
    North Hollywood Senior Citizen Center
    11430 Chandler Boulevard
    North Hollywood, CA 91601
  • Monday, December 7, 2015
    4:00pm-6:00pm (4:15pm presentation)

    Norwalk Community Meeting Center Sproul Room
    13200 Clarkdale Avenue
    Norwalk, CA 90650
  • Tuesday, December 8, 2015
    4:00pm-6:00pm (4:15pm presentation)

    Torrance Cultural Arts Center
    George Nakano Theatre
    3330 Civic Center Drive
    Torrance, CA 90503
  • Wednesday, December 9, 2015
    4:00pm-6:00pm (4:15pm presentation)

    Julia McNeill Senior Center
    Celebration Hall
    4100 Baldwin Park Boulevard
    Baldwin Park, CA 91706
  • Monday, December 14, 2015
    9:00am-11:00am (9:15am presentation)

    Roy A. Anderson Recreation Center Comrie Hall
    3980 Bill Robertson Lane
    Los Angeles, CA 90037
  • Tuesday, December 15, 2015
    5:00pm-7:00pm (5:15pm presentation)

    Santa Clarita Activities Center
    Sycamore Room
    20880 Centre Pointe Parkway
    Santa Clarita, CA 91350

Register here.

For more information on Metro’s Active Transportation Strategic Plan, see their website. A flyer is also available.


SCAG Update: Draft 2016 RTP/SCS Set For Release on December 3!

unnamedThe Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) will formally release the draft of the 2016 Regional Transportation Plan and Sustainable Communities Strategy (RTP/SCS) on Thursday, December 3 after the Regional Council voted to release the plan to the public at its November 5th meeting. The full draft is expected to be available the week of November 23 on SCAG’s website though the formal rollout will occur at the December 3 Regional Council meeting. SCAG staff have been working hard over the last few months to get the plan ready for release, and National Partnership staff have been participating in working group meetings and providing testimony in support of active transportation and public health investments at Regional Council meetings along the way. We are happy to report that SCAG is set to double its investment in active transportation in the 2016 plan, from $6.7 billion to $12.9 billion, between the 2012 and 2016 plans, and there will be a new public health appendix and added features to the environmental justice analysis thanks to the advocacy of us and our partners in Southern California. Once the plan is released, it will be out for public comment for 55 days (January 27 is the anticipated deadline), and SCAG will be holding public workshops and other outreach activities during this time to educate the public about the plan and its impacts.

In conjunction with this release, our partner ClimatePlan will be releasing a report tracking the progress SCAG has made on the 2012 RTP/SCS. We have been working with ClimatePlan and other partners in Southern California to shape the content of this report and conduct outreach to SCAG, other government agencies and important stakeholders to ensure the Southern California region is making meaningful progress toward meeting its greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets by 2020 and 2035, as well as providing important co-benefits such as increased investment in active transportation and improved public health outcomes in the process.

The RTP/SCS will be approved at the April 7 Regional Council meeting. For more information about the plan, check out SCAG’s RTP/SCS website, and stay tuned to this space for details on how you can help in the coming months!

Bay Area Regional Safe Routes to School Funding and Complete Streets Policies Advance

Updates to Regional Safe Routes to School funding and Complete Streets requirements continue to advance at the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC).

The current staff proposal was discussed but not voted on at a meeting of the MTC Programming and Allocations Committee last week. The proposal calls for filling a gap in Regional SRTS funding and continuing to fund the program for five additional years. It also alters the Complete Streets policy, requiring a jurisdiction to either pass a policy resolution or certify that their general plan has been updated with Complete Streets elements more recently than 2010.

The updated funding and policy issues are part of the proposed Cycle 2 of the One Bay Area Grant (OBAG), which in turn is part of the ongoing Regional Transportation Plan known as Plan Bay Area.

Seven organizations including the National Partnership sent MTC a letter outlining our desire to see the Complete Streets requirement move in the direction of on-the-ground implementation, including developing measures of success for Complete Streets policies and better use of MTC’s Complete Streets checklist. The current policy has resulted in over ninety percent of Bay Area jurisdictions having some kind of Complete Streets policy on the books.

The OBAG2 proposal will next be taken up at the MTC Commission meeting on November 18.

On the Road: SGC hosts Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Workshops across the state!

The Strategic Growth Council (SGC) is hosting workshops around the state so people can weigh in on the draft Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities guidelines. We encourage you to attend one of the workshops in your area and provide public comments to ensure the guidelines promote innovative, community-driven active transportation projects! See below for information on the the workshops:

Date: Friday, October 23rd
Time: 9am – 12pm
Location: Elihu M. Harris State Building
1515 Clay Street
Oakland, CA 94612
Click here to register

Date: Monday, October 26
Time: 1pm – 4pm
Location: Hugh Burns State Building, Room 1036
2550 Mariposa Mall
Fresno, CA 93721
Click here to register     

If you want to submit written comments, make sure you send your comments to AHSC@sgc.ca.gov by October 30th. The National Partnership will submit comments with our partners in the Coalition for Active Transportation Leadership (CATL) so stay tuned for our comment letter!

California Transportation Commission approved Cycle 2 Active Transportation Program awards!

CTC_logoThis Wednesday, the National Partnership and other allies attended the California Transportation Commission (CTC) meeting to weigh in on one of the most anticipated agenda items, the staff recommended Cycle 2 Active Transportation Program awards. In our analysis of the awards, we noted several things that we highlighted for the commissioners and staff:

  1. The Active Transportation Program (ATP) continues to be oversubscribed: For each cycle of the ATP, all the applications total to $1 billion dollars in need. Unfortunately, only $360 million dollars has been provided for each cycle. With these limited funds, the program cannot fund all of the good innovative projects that will increase walking and bicycling, improve public health, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We recommend the CTC and Caltrans work with the Administration to identify and secure additional funds to make this program robust.
  2. Almost half of the recommended projects were Safe Routes to Schools: We were pleased to see that 50 percent (including 15 percent non-infrastructure) of the statewide program’s funding and 55 percent of the small urban and rural program’s funding was recommended for Safe Routes to School projects. We worked hard to outreach and educate cities, counties, school districts, public health departments, and others about this opportunity so we are excited for all the communities who will benefit from these projects.
  3. Disadvantaged communities continue to be prioritized in Cycle 2: 88 percent of funds from the statewide program and 72 percent of funds from the small urban and rural program went to projects that directly benefit disadvantaged communities. We continue to support and advocate for this prioritization because these communities’ infrastructure has suffered from years of neglect and under-investment. We believe that the ATP provides a much-needed opportunity to ensure these communities can safely walk or bicycle to school, work, and other key destinations. And with two cycles completed, we recommend the CTC and Caltrans carefully analyze the awarded projects to ensure they are providing direct and assured benefits to disadvantaged communities.
  4. Planning and non-infrastructure programs did not compete well: Only 6 planning projects were recommended for funding, and only 23 projects included non-infrastructure programs. Planning is necessary for community to identify the need and address the gaps in their pedestrian and bicycling networks. The ATP should promote planning and infrastructure equally to ensure we create complete walking and bicycling networks in all communities. In the same vein, non-infrastructure programs are vital to Safe Routes to School. Community led encouragement and education programs ensure that children – and the greater public – support and use the new infrastructure. The National Partnership plans to partner with the CTC and Caltrans to ensure that Cycle 3 prioritizes planning and non-infrastructure.

After public comment, a couple of the commissioners responded to our comments. Some commissioners addressed the recommendation for additional funding with an ask for the active transportation community to work with other transportation advocates to enlarge the pie versus further slicing the pie to go to many different interests. However, other commissioners echoed the sentiment that we need additional funding for the program and should not fight over crumbs. As we are in the midst of a special session, this was a very timely conversation. A bill that we are sponsoring, ABX1-23, increases the amount of funding in the Active Transportation Program. The National Partnership will follow up with commissioners to discuss this bill and hear other ideas on how we can see more robust funding for the ATP either through the special session or other means.

Soon afterwards, the commissioners adopted the staff recommendations for Cycle 2. The National Partnership is excited to see another cycle of funding awarded for active transportation projects across the state of California and looks forward to working with the CTC, Caltrans, and our partners to ensure this program is robust and continues to increase walking and bicycling.

First conference hearings for Special Session on Transportation only focuses on roads and business interests


In June, the Governor convened an “extraordinary session” to raise revenue for our roads and infrastructure.

We secured a number of wins in two bills, SBX1-1 and ABX1-23, that would put in place the following:  

  • Any road maintenance project funded by the State Highway Operation Protection Program or State Transportation Improvement Project must provide for complete streets improvements where feasible
  • Require comprehensive reporting on new revenue raised in the special session to show how the projects move the state forward on our ambitious climate, health, and equity goals
  • Increase the Active Transportation Program by $125 million
  • Prioritize disadvantaged communities in new funding for road maintenance   

Unfortunately, legislators could not come together in time to make a deal during the regular session. Now, the special session on transportation has moved into conference. Both the Assembly and Senate have selected members to work together in conference to create a deal that promotes bipartisanship and fixes our streets, highways, and bridges. The National Partnership attended both conference hearings in Sacramento and Ontario to encourage legislators to work together to move forward a deal that focuses on fix-it first infrastructure and invests in transit, walking, and bicycling so we can meet our ambitious climate, health, and equity goals. We also signed onto a coalition letter and statement of principles to further outline our recommendations for the conference committee.

Unfortunately, the first conference hearings were dominated by road and business interests who want to see this funding continue our status quo of building, expanding, and repair our highway and roads without considering our call to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Over the next couple of months, the conference committee will continue to meet and craft a deal that can be voted on in January by the entire legislature. We need more voices at the table calling for our legislators to ensure that this new funding does not fulfill status quo but instead helps us move forward on our ambitious state goals to reduce greenhouse gases and create sustainable communities with safe walking and bicycling for all. If you are interested in being a part of this conversation, please sign onto our comment letter and email chanell@saferoutespartnership.org to join our coalition and help educate our legislators on this important opportunity!

Highlights from Walk to School Day in Southern California

Screenshot 2015-10-08 15.35.40Many communities in Southern California participated in Walk to School Day on Wednesday, October 7, with more than 100 schools in the City of LA alone! We congratulate all the schools, parents and communities who held successful Walk to School Day events this year. We are also encouraged by the local news coverage, including a Los Angeles Times article highlighting that over a third of Los Angeles city students walk to school:

“People say nobody walks in L.A., but you look at the data and it couldn’t be further from the truth,” she said. Nationwide, 11% of students walk to school. In Los Angeles County, nearly a third do so.”–Jessica Meaney, Investing in Place

LA Metro also got in the Walk to School Day spirit with an event near the Hollywood and Western station. A reminder that Metro is holding six Safe Routes to School summits around LA County starting next week!

In Orange County, Bathgate Elementary School in Mission Viejo received a visit from the staff of U.S. Congresswoman Mimi Walters (CA-45), who presented the school with a certificate of Congressional Recognition for “the school’s outstanding participation and promotion of a healthy lifestyle amongst the school students and community.” Rep. Walters sits on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, so her support of the federal Safe Routes to School program is important and promising!

Finally, in the Inland Empire, a bike rodeo was held as part of the Moreno Valley Safe Routes to School Program.



Congratulations on another successful Walk to School Day, Southern California. See you again next October!

LA Metro Holding Safe Routes to School Summits in October. Register Today!

Metro SRTS logo

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) has announced the dates for six Safe Routes to School Regional Summits in LA County this October. These summits are being by held to gather feedback from community stakeholders on the state of school and youth travel within LA County, identify resource and capacity needs and foster successful implementation and sustainable Safe Routes to School program growth. The expected outcomes of the summits include identifying activities, programs and responsibilities for a regional Safe Routes to School Program; match specific partner organizations with feasible and implementable activities and programs; identify strategies for implementation (both short and long-term) for inclusion in Metro’s Active Transportation Strategic Plan and identify strategies to increase competitiveness of LA County in future grant funding opportunities like the state’s Active Transportation Program (ATP).

Registration for the summits is available here. We highly encourage our partners in LA County to attend these summits and contribute to the discussion on Safe Routes to School. These summits are a great opportunity to showcase your Safe Routes to School efforts, share your successes and challenges and meet others working on Safe Routes to School across LA County.

More information is available on this flyer and this fact sheet. Dates, times and locations are below:

Register now!

Tuesday, October 13
9:00 am – 12:30 pm
Robinson Park Rec. Center – Multi-use Room
1081 N. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena, CA 91103

South LA
Wednesday, October 14
9:00 am – 12:30 pm
The Reef – The Living Room
1933 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90007

San Fernando
Thursday, October 15
9:00 am – 12:30 pm
Recreation Park – Multi-Purpose Room
208 Park Ave., San Fernando, CA 91340

Monday, October 19
9:00 am – 12:30 pm
Liberty Park – Washington Room
19211 Studebaker Road, Cerritos, CA 90703

Tuesday, October 20
10:15 am – 1:30 pm
Carson Library – The Meeting Room
151 E. Carson Street, Carson, CA 90745

Culver City
Wednesday, October 21
9:00 am – 12:30 pm
Veteran’s Memorial Building – Main Room
4117 Overland Avenue, Culver City, CA 90230


Register now!

SCAG Launches Go Human Campaign to Promote Safe Walking and Bicycling!

  GOHUMAN-WEB-BANNER-300x250_WATCH_ENGOn Monday, September 28, the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) officially launched the Go Human campaign, a safety and encouragement campaign meant to promote safe walking and bicycling while also reminding drivers to pay attention to pedestrians and bicyclists. The campaign is funded through a $2.3 million Active Transportation Program (ATP) grant from Cycle 1 that SCAG received in 2014. The goals of the campaign are to reduce traffic collisions in Southern California and encourage people to walk and bike more. Messages will appear on freeway billboards, buses and bus shelters across the six-county SCAG region. The Go Human campaign is a collaborative effort between SCAG and the public health and county transportation commissions in Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties. Read more of this post


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