SCAG RTP/SCS: 16 Organizations Sign On to Our Comment Letter!

Screenshot 2016-02-01 12.12.18
Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) officially released the draft 2016 Regional Transportation Plan and Sustainable Communities Strategy (RTP/SCS) for public comment in early December, and comments were due on Monday, February 1. The Safe Routes to School National Partnership’s Southern California team have been actively participating in the RTP/SCS update process over the past few years, and we are excited to see an increased emphasis on active transportation, public health, social equity and environmental justice in this plan update. But more can be done to advance policies and increase investments in
these areas. Thus, we submitted a comment letter to SCAG in partnership with 16 organizations: Alliance for a Healthy Orange County, California Bicycle Coalition, California Walks, Climate Resolve, East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice, Friends of Harbors, Beaches & Parks, Inland Empire Biking Alliance, Investing in Place, Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability, Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, Los Angeles Walks, Move LA, PEDal, Prevention Institute, Trust for Public Land and VC Cool.

unnamedNext Steps: SCAG will be reviewing comments over the next month and provide a summary to the Regional Council at their March3 meeting. The Joint Policy Committees will consider adopting the changes at their March 24 meeting, and the Regional Council will approve the final RTP/SCS at its April 7 meeting.

A summary of our comments and recommendations is below. Click here to see the full comment letter. Read more of this post

ATP Cycle 3 Draft Guidelines Released; Call for Projects This Spring

It’s that time again! The Active Transportation Program (ATP) will begin accepting applications for Cycle 3 this spring. Caltrans has released the draft guidelines and application and is holding workshops to gather feedback on the following dates: Friday, January 29 in Sacramento; Wednesday, February 3 in Los Angeles; Friday, February 12 in Fresno; and the week of February 15 in Sacramento. The final guidelines will be adopted on March 16-17 at the next CTC Meeting in Irvine, and the call for projects is expected to be announced on March 30, with a mid-June deadline for applications. Cycle 3 will have approximately $230 million available for two fiscal years: 2019-20, 2020-21. A summary of changes to the guidelines for Cycle 3 vs. Cycle 2 is available here. Note that these are still subject to change based on the feedback received at the guidelines workshops. We are also serving on the ATP Technical Advisory Committee and working with our partners to ensure that Safe Routes to School non-infrastructure and planning projects are able to compete well in the program, and that the amount of funding to disadvantaged communities is substantial but also meaningfully benefiting the residents of those communities. For more details visit the Caltrans ATP website and the CTC website and stay tuned to this site in the coming months for more news about ATP!


SCAG RTP/SCS Comments Due February 1

unnamedThe Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) officially released the draft 2016 Regional Transportation Plan and Sustainable Communities Strategy (RTP/SCS) for public comment in early December, and comments are due Monday, February 1. For a summary of what’s in the plan, read our blog post from early December. And if you’re planning on submitting your own comments, you can do so here. There’s still time to attend a public hearing or elected official briefing. The full list is available here.

The Safe Routes to School National Partnership’s Southern California team have been actively participating in the RTP/SCS update process over the past few years, and we are excited to see an increased emphasis on active transportation, public health, social equity and environmental justice in this plan update. We have been attending public hearings on the RTP/SCS throughout January, and will be submitting a formal comment letter by the deadline. Check back to this blog in a few weeks to see our final comment letter!

Prevention Institute Holding a Training on “Building Collaboration for Primary Prevention.” Register Today!

PreventionInstituteOn Wednesday, January 27, Prevention Institute is holding a training in Los Angeles focused on building collaboration. Registration info and details are available here.

Event Description:

Across California, a transformation is underway: more and more, voices for health equity are shaping the landscape of our communities. With major policies, initiatives, and investments underway in the state, there are tremendous opportunities in Southern California to shape a healthier and more equitable region. Yet, significant challenges remain, as certain communities face competing priorities, limited resources, and pressing needs.

Building a healthy future for all Angelenos requires working in collaboration. No one organization, agency, or sector can do it alone. But collaboration is not always easy. Who should be “at the table”? How do you move beyond information sharing to developing joint strategies and achieving shared outcomes? How do you sustain collective impact approaches over time?

We encourage you to extend this invite to your network to join a group of partners, advocates and practitioners on Wednesday, January 27th to discuss these challenges and opportunities at Prevention Institute’s Building Collaboration for Primary Prevention training, where we will share tools and frameworks to support collective impact. Supported by The California Endowment’s Health ExChange Academy, this no-cost training will focus on specific tools and strategies you can use to build effective, collaborative approaches to improve community health, safety, and equity. Registration is filling up very quickly so please RSVP today.

Building Collaboration for Primary Prevention training

  • Who: Community-based organizations, planners, health department staff, housing and transportation professionals, and others engaged in community health and safety efforts
  • When: Wednesday, January 27th, from 12:00 – 3:30pm (optional pre-session from 10:00am – 12:00pm)
  • Where: The California Endowment, 1000 N. Alameda Street, Los Angeles
  • Cost: Free
  • Registration is required and space is limited (please also indicate whether you will join us for the pre-session and lunch)



Training Agenda:


10:00am – 12:00pm Fundamentals of Primary Prevention (optional pre-session)

Designed for those building their expertise in primary prevention approaches, this optional pre-session will ground participants in the community and environmental factors that shape public health, and introduce comprehensive strategies to promote health, safety, and equity.We strongly encourage people who have not attended a previous Prevention Institute training to join us.


12:00pm – 1:00pm Networking Lunch


1:00pm – 3:30pm Building Collaboration for Primary Prevention Training

Through community case studies, facilitated discussion, and interactive activities using Prevention Institute’s Collaboration Multiplier tool, participants will learn how to: build buy-in for shared work, make the best use of people’s time and collective efforts, develop action-oriented joint strategies, and sustain effective collaborations over time.


Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 1.01.58 PMToday, the Governor released his 2016 – 2017 budget summary. Despite California’s ambitious climate goals and the impetus to become an international leader after key climate talks in Paris, the transportation budget continues to prioritize roads and highways instead of investing in meaningful transportation options that will address the safety and mobility needs of all Californians, especially the children who need safe and accessible routes to school.

Safe Routes to School National Partnership worked with California Bicycle Coalition, California Pan Ethnic Health Network, California Walks, Public Advocates, TransForm, and Trust for Public Lands to release a joint statement on the budget calling for transportation funds to be invested in programs like the Active Transportation Program, which prioritizes disadvantaged communities and provides $120 million annually for transportation projects that enable people to travel by bicycle and on foot to work, school, and other key destinations.

Click here to read our full statement on the Governor’s 2016 budget.

OC Register Covers Active Transportation Efforts in Orange County


Credit: OC Register. PEDAL pedestrian and cycling advocacy group founder, Brenda Miller, abides by stop sign and other traffic laws while commuting on her bike with her dog Foxy.

The Orange County Register recently covered the efforts of our partners in Orange County to make it safer to walk and bike. In “Bike/Pedestrian Advocate Sees Changes Coming (12/11/15),”Brenda Miller, policy analyst for the Alliance for a Healthy Orange County (AHOC), discusses the recent Active Transportation Forum held on October 16 which attracted national speakers and local transportation executives, and included an early morning walk audit at an elementary school in Santa Ana. Brenda also cites statistics on walking and bicycling in the county and the return on investment from investing in active transportation.

In “OC Investing in Traffic Safety (12/13/15),”Santa Ana City Councilwoman Michele Martinez discusses how the City of Santa Ana, and Orange County as a whole, have been making strides to improve safety for people walking and biking, which includes receiving over $40 million in Active Transportation Program (ATP) funding for capital and non-infrastructure projects. The article also mentions the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) recently released draft of the 2016 Regional Transportation Plan and Sustainable Communities Strategy (RTP/SCS), which as our recent blog post mentioned, doubles the amount of investing in walking and bicycling over the next 25 years and includes a number of strategies to make the Southern California region a safer place to walk and bike.

Links to the two articles are below. Congratulations to our partners in Orange County for the press coverage!

OC Investing in Traffic Safety (OC Register 12/13/15)

Will the 2016 ITIP continue to fund more highway projects or align with new sustainable laws to promote multi-modal transportation?

In October, the draft 2016 Interregional Transportation Improvement Program (ITIP) was released for public comment. The ITIP funds transportation projects that improve travel for the movement of people and goods across California. As noted in the 2016 ITIP, this is one of the many state funding programs that covers a wide breadth of areas including high-speed rail, intercity passenger rail, bus transit, active transportation, urban rail, and more.

Unfortunately in the past, we’ve seen a vast majority of ITIP funding go towards highway expansion projects that do include robust active transportation components such as complete streets. Without these types of meaningful active transportation improvements, we will not meet our  greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals or create livable, sustainable communities where everyone can walk or bicycle to key destinations such as work, school, and home. With limited state funds, it is critical that our state transportation dollars fund projects that promote increased physical activity and help us reach our climate goals.

In November, the Coalition for Active Transportation Leadership (CATL) submitted comment letter on the draft 2016 ITIP, calling for:

  1. Prioritization of projects that reduce GHG, improve public health, and meaningfully benefit disadvantaged communities: For the 2016 ITIP, transportation projects that achieve multiple co-benefits, align with our goals to reduce GHG, and meaningfully benefit disadvantaged communities should be prioritized for spending.
  2. Apply 2016 State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) performance indicators and cost-effectiveness criteria to reprogrammed projects in the 2016 ITIP: With limited state funding available, the 2016 ITIP has reprogrammed previous ITIP projects instead of  funding new transportation projects and elected to not use the 2016 STIP performance measures and cost-effectiveness criteria. We believe this is a missed opportunity to reprogram ITIP projects on their ability to move forward our climate goals. For the 2016 ITIP, we recommend using  the 2016 STIP performance measures and cost-effectiveness criteria to elevate the projects with the highest ability to reduce GHG.
  3. The 2016 ITIP should not fund any highway expansion projects: We are concerned that the 2016 ITIP continues to move forward capacity expansion projects despite how they could undermine our ability to meet our state’s climate goals. We recommend the ITIP, in the 2016 reprogramming and going forward, does not fund any highway expansion projects.  
  4. Projects should clearly state the improvements and how they will benefit communities: Projects should explicitly detail project impacts – both positive and negative in terms of environmental health and safety, as well as any benefits provided in terms of mobility, safety, and public health.

We submitted our comments in November and plan to continue our work with Caltrans and the California Transportation Commission (CTC) to further improve the 2016 ITIP. In the coming months, there will be public hearings on the ITIP so stay tuned for more information.

Final guidelines released for Affordable Housing Sustainable Communities Program!

On Monday, December 7th, the Strategic Growth Council released their final guidelines for the Affordable Housing Sustainable Communities (AHSC) Program. Since the summer, Safe Routes to School National Partnership worked tirelessly with Sustainable Communities for All (SC4A) and the Coalition for Active Transportation Leadership (CATL) to promote robust improvements and measures for active transportation to ensure the next round of AHSC funding increased walking and bicycling in communities throughout California.

In our comment letter with SC4A, we expressed our concern with the current model, CalEEMOD and the Transit and Connectivity Methods (TAC), due to the fact that it continues to undercount the true impacts from active transportation. We recommended the Air Resources Board (ARB) revise CalEEMod and the TAC to account for the higher GHG impacts of transformative projects such as protected bicycle lanes and other traffic calming measures that result in better connectivity, less people driving, and more people opting into bicycling or walking.

In comment letter with CATL, we recommended a number of improvements – specifically:

  1. A tiered approach to awarding points for projects that incorporated active transportation: We were grateful that the draft guidelines allocated 10 points for projects that incorporated active transportation improvements, but we wanted to see a scoring system that created incentives for more transformative projects. In our letter, we outlined a scoring system based on the level of innovation of the improvement – the projects that include more innovative active transportation improvements were awarded more points.
  2. 10 percent minimum floor for Rural Innovation Project Area (RIPA): We are supportive of the creation of RIPA, we believe this project area will ensure that rural areas receive funds from this program. However we believe 10 percent is not sufficient based on the need and opportunity in rural California. We asked the SGC to change the language from 10 percent target to 10 percent minimum funding floor to better express that 10 percent is only a minimum and not a maximum investment.
  3. Increase points for funds leveraged from the Active Transportation Program and traditional state transportation funding sources: We acknowledge that the draft guidelines already award 5 points for funds leveraged but we believe these guidelines can spur stronger coordination and planning from other state funding sources that reduce vehicles miles traveled and support community-driven projects.

Unfortunately, in our review of the final AHSC guidelines, we did not see significant changes or revisions from the draft guidelines. We will continue to meet with SGC staff to push forward these recommendations for future guidelines, and we will also attend the next SGC council hearing in December to express our recommendations to the council members. We encourage you to attend – see below for meeting details.

Date: Thursday, December 17th
Time: 1pm – 5pm
Location: California Environmental Protection Agency, Sierra Hearing Room. 1001 I Street, Sacramento, CA 94812

Click here for meeting materials. And if you can’t attend in person, click here to access the live webcast on Thursday, December 17th at 1pm.  

SCAG Holding Public Workshops on 2016 RTP/SCS in January

scag50logoThe Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) will be holding three public hearings and more than a dozen elected official briefings in January to discuss key components on the recently released draft of the 2016 Regional Transportation Plan and Sustainable Communities Strategy (RTP/SCS) and draft Program Environmental Impact Report (PEIR). To learn more about the active transportation investments and other key highlights of the RTP/SCS, read our recent blog post. The dates, times and locations are as follows (a flyer is also available):

Public Hearings

These will be held concurrently at six different locations (one in each county in the SCAG region):

Dates & Times:

Tuesday, January 12, 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, January 19, 10:00 a.m.

Saturday, January 23, 10:00 a.m.

Imperial County
1405 N. Imperial Avenue, Suite 1, El Centro, CA 92243

Los Angeles County
SCAG Main Office, 818 W. 7th Street, 12th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90017

Orange County (January 23rd TBD)
600 S. Main Street, Suite 912, Orange, CA 92868

Riverside County
3403 10th Street, Suite 805, Riverside, CA 92501

San Bernardino County
1170 W. 3rd Street, Suite 140, San Bernardino, CA 92410

Ventura County
950 County Square Drive, Suite 101, Ventura, CA 93003

Elected Official Briefings

January 27, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
ICTC Board Meeting, County Board Chambers
940 Main Street, El Centro, CA 92243

January 11, 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
South Bay Environmental Services Center
20285 S. Western Avenue, #100, Torrance, CA 90501

January 13, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Gateway Cities COG Office
16401 Paramount Blvd, Paramount, CA 90723

January 14, 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Plummer Park – Fiesta Hall
7377 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069

January 25, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
North County Transportation Coalition
City of Palmdale–City Hall
38300 N. Sierra Highway, Palmdale, 93550

January 26, 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Monrovia Community Center
119 W Palm Avenue, Monrovia, CA 91016

January 12, 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
OCTA, First Floor Conference RM 103/104
600 S. Main Street, Orange, CA 92863

January 20, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
OCTA, First Floor Conference RM 103/104
600 S. Main Street, Orange, CA 92863

January 11, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
CVAG Offices
73-710 Fred Waring Way, Palm Desert, CA 92260

January 13, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Riverside County Administrative Center, Board of Supervisors Chambers
4080 Lemon Street, 1st Floor, Riverside, CA 92501

January 6, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
San Bernardino Associated Governments, Santa Fe Depot–SANBAG 1st Floor Lobby
1170 W. 3rd Street, San Bernardino, CA 92410

January 15, 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Town of Apple Valley Conference Center
14975 Dale Evans Parkway, Apple Valley, CA 92307

January 14, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
VCOG Board Meeting, Camarillo City Council Chambers
601 Carmen Drive, Camarillo, CA 93010

PEIR Workshops

There will also be two public workshops on the PEIR, both scheduled for Tuesday, January 19 at SCAG’s main office downtown and videoconferencing from the same locations above in the Public Hearings section:

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

For more information and updates, see the SCAG meeting webpage.

A message to our San Bernardino Active Transportation members and partners

San Bernardino Active Transportation Network Members,

On behalf of the network core team, We send our deepest sympathy to all those affected by yesterday’s tragedy. Our heart goes out to their families and all our Inland Empire community.
We want to acknowledge all of your work in keeping our communities safe and healthy. Thank you for all you do on a daily basis. We are a strong community. As advocates, public servants and government representatives, let’s continue to work together to serve our community especially during this time of healing. We will send a note about the details of our next meeting very soon.
All the best in this time of healing,
San Bernardino Active Transportation Network organizers

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