LA Metro calls for Active Transportation Finance Strategy

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Thank you to all our Los Angeles County Active Transportation Collaborative Partners for attending Metro’s Policy and Programming committee. Your support for an active transportation strategy was heard! Thanks to the leadership of Metro Directors: Mike Bonin, Pam O’Connor, John Fasana and Mark Ridley Thomas, next Thursday (7/24) the Metro Board will consider adoption of this motion to:

1. Develop an Active Transportation Finance Strategy for Los Angeles County by January 2015 that:

    • Defines performance metrics to measure improvements for walking and biking, including: access to walking and biking infrastructure, access to education and encouragement programs, rates of Metro customers walking and biking to transit, collision and injury/fatality rates and greenhouse gas reductions from active transportation
    • Sets benchmarks based on the developed performance metrics and identifies what level of annual investment is necessary to meet those goals
    • Inventories available funding sources to meet the investment need
    • Recommends possible changes to Metro, state, and federal policies to increase access to existing funding sources if the need exceeds available funding, including but not limited to an analysis of the funding priorities of Metro’s Call for Projects and the state Active Transportation Program.

2. Report back in October on what steps are necessary to incorporate walking and biking in Metro’s travel demand model, with an assessment of best practices by other regional transportation agencies for accounting for active transportation with interim off-model approaches, and expanding data sets to include all trips not just commute data.

See the full motion here.

National Partnership asks for transparency for California’s STIP funds

National Partnership staff and partners will be going to a STIP workshop in Los Angeles tomorrow to push for greater transparency in state transportation investments and accountability to ensure those investments support state goals.

So, what is the STIP and why does it matter that the Safe Routes California Network is part of this workshop?

 

The STIP in under 80 words
The State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) is a five-year funding plan for allocating state and federal dollars to capital improvement projects in California, revised and adopted every two years by the California Transportation Commission. The STIP requirements are biased toward big, expensive projects, and lack strong ties to state goals. Metropolitan Planning Organizations and Caltrans select STIP projects based on regional and interregional priorities. As a result, 81% of the 2014 STIP will go to highway expansion, and only 2% will fund active transportation.

Why the National Partnership is involved
Through our work with the CTC on the Active Transportation Program, the STIP drew our attention as a potential source of walking and bicycling funding that only minimally invests in active modes. We teamed up with ClimatePlan’s State Transportation Work Group to send a comment letter to the CTC in March asking for serious change to the STIP Guidelines and greater transparency in how STIP dollars are contributing (or not) to state goals such as public health, equity, multi-modal mobility, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Partly in response to our letter, the CTC is convening workshops this summer for stakeholders to weigh in on updating the STIP guidelines.

How you can help
Tomorrow’s workshop in LA is the next opportunity to provide input, and we will be there along with many of our partners. If you’re in the LA area, we encourage you to join us!

STIP Workshop
10am-12pm at Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro)
1 Gateway Plaza, Mulholland Room

Stay tuned for a future opportunity to sign on to comments asking the CTC to improve the STIP, which should result in more STIP dollars going to active transportation projects. If you have ideas or questions or want to get involved contact Jeanie Ward-Waller (jeanie@saferoutespartnership.org).

Metro’s Approach to Active Transportation Doesn’t Add up

isabelle.june.2014Join us! July 16th, 2:15 PM, Metro Board Room: Planning and Programming Committee considering $88B plan with only 0.6% for walk/bike

Why should #MetroFundWalkBike? Tweet us your reasons!

Over 60 organizations submitted comments last month to Metro about the Short Range Transportation Plan’s (SRTP) lack of active transportation funding. Recently released, Metro’s staff report responds to these concerns by dismissing the value of walking and bicycling as “regionally significant” modes of transportation and continuing to discount the importance of non-commute trips. In a county where half of all trips are less than three miles and over 90 percent of Metro customers access transit by walking or biking, Metro’s reluctance to plan for and invest in active transportation stands in the way of our region meeting its mobility, environmental and public health goals.

In Metro’s view, walking and biking are the purview of cities, not a regional transportation priority. As a result, Metro has a fragmented approach to walking and biking that does not ensure that all of the parts add up to a region that is in fact multimodal, safe and serves the needs of all travelers and all trips. The draft SRTP is simply a reflection of this fragmented approach and underscores the need for a strategic approach for active transportation. As Metro prepares for a possible new transportation sales tax in 2016, now is a critical time to reevaluate the region’s policy vision and investment strategy to support a transportation system that works for all. Read more of this post

LA2050 grant opportunity – Los Angeles County is the healthiest place to live

la2050 Earlier this month the LA2050 initiative announced its call for projects to for the My LA2050 Grants Challenge of $1M to build the LA2050 of our dreams! Applications are due 7/31 for ideas, projects, efforts that can help the Los Angeles Region become a even better place to learn, create, play, connect and live.

We are working with partners to develop an application to the LA 2050 LIVE category for a regional story telling campaign on mobility in Los Angeles County.  We invite partners to join us at our next working group meeting on Monday July 14th at HubLA from 6 – 7:30pm.  Kindly RSVP to jessica@saferoutespartnership – all are welcome and invited.  Please help us spread the word as we develop this idea!

CA State Network combines forces with BAHT for July webinar

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Please join the CA State Network and Bay Area Health in Transportation Collaborative for Complete Streets: Policy Success and Challenges in the Bay Area on Wednesday, July 16, 2014 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. PST.

REGISTER HERE

Rates of walking and bicycling are rising steadily in California, even as supportive funding continues to hover at around 1 percent of transportation dollars. Read more of this post

Updates and New Legislation on SRTS Slate

advoday 1Bills supported by the Safe Routes to School National Partnership continue to make their way though committees on both sides of the legislature. Meanwhile, two new bills: AB 47 and AB 1193 have been added to our list of bills to track and support.

Check the status of a bill or read more about AB 47 and AB 1193.

$300 Million Requested for Safe Routes to School

ATP Log Cover ImageWe’ve received the final log of applications from the California Transportation Commission showing 771 applications. Total funds requested is just over 1 billionApplicants should verify that their information – especially funding amount - is correct.

The spreadsheet is available in PDF or Excel.

Preliminary numbers indicate that Safe Routes to School and Disadvantaged Community amounts are much higher than expected. 360 of 771 applications were for Safe Routes to School. Of those 360, 107 are non-infrastructure.  Safe Routes to School funding requests total 300 million dollars. Additionally, 465 of the 771 applications indicate that they’re benefiting a disadvantaged community. Disadvantaged community funding requests total 600 million dollars.

Percent SRTS Apps ChartPercent DAC Apps Chart

Finally, make note in your calendars that August 8 is the tentative date the CTC will announce their recommendations. David Giongco from the CTC writes in his blog “…CTC Staff will prepare a programming recommendation for tentative posting on August 8 for presentation to Commissioners at the August 20 meeting.”

Join us! July 16th 2:15 Metro Board Room – Planning and Programming Committee

We are asking asking all partners of the Los Angeles County Active Transportation Collaborative to join us on Wednesday July 16th at 2:30 (meet outside the board room at 2:15) for the Metro Planning and Programming Committee meeting to show support for creating an active transportation finance strategy that calculates the need for investment in walking and bicycling in Los Angeles County and identifies revenue sources to meet that need.

This finance strategy would be a blueprint for Metro to increase funding for walking and bicycling by leveraging additional local dollars against new state and federal funds. What could be included in an active transportation finance strategy?

  • An analysis of which jurisdictions lack bicycle, pedestrian and/or safe routes to school plans
  • Metrics for infrastructure access, education and encouragement programs, greenhouse gas reductions and safety improvements
  • An investment goal for active transportation in each local jurisdiction
  • An inventory of funding sources for active transportation and recommended policy changes at Metro and the state and federal government to increase access to additional funding
  • Recommended policy changes to increase obligation rates and project delivery by local jurisdictions

Read more of this post

Mobility 21 Save the Date: September 5, 2014

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Join Mobility 21 and partners for the largest one-day transportation conference in the California.  Save the date for September 5th, 2014, and register today! Hope to see you there.

LA Metro TAC to expand membership: adding pedestrian, bicycle and public health experts!

Metro Board Meeting: June 16, 2014

Metro Board Meeting: June 26, 2014

We regularly attend Metro policy and board committee meetings where Directors discuss and take action on key regional transportation projects, funding and polices.  In June, the Metro Board made decisions regarding improving connections from transit to LAX, Open Streets, construction budgets and more.  It was exciting to see the Metro Board adopt a motion to expand the Metro Technical Advisory Committee to include experts in pedestrian, bicycle and public health disciplines to expand the committee to better represent all forms of travel in Los Angeles County. Read more of this post

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