AHSC Grant Program – Draft Guidelines out for comments, workshops this week

UCD West Village Family KAREN HIGGINS UC DAVISA couple of weeks ago the Strategic Growth Council released draft guidelines for the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) Grant Program, a potential new source of funding for walking and bicycling in California.  $120M in grants will be awarded in Spring of 2015 for shovel-ready proposals that integrate many aspects of sustainable communities such as affordable housing development, transit improvements and ridership programs, urban greening and other green infrastructure, along with active transportation network connections to other key destinations.  The goal of the AHSC Program is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, invest equitably in disadvantaged communities, and maximize public health, environment, and economic co-benefits.  Read more of this post

Advocacy Tour: A new model for advancing healthy active places?

Healthy Active Places Tour gets a send-off from Sacramento area cyclists.

Sacramento, CA – Eight energetic women- aged 26 to 63-embarked on a bicycle-powered mission to get schools in the Central Valley ready for Safe Routes to School. Hopes were high among the riders as they departed the State Capitol on a misty Sunday morning. Resource kits for school principals had been assembled, prizes for school assemblies were packed, and a shiny new bicycle to give away was hanging in the back of the support vehicle. Will anyone care about Safe Routes to School? The question was on everyone’s mind as they headed south for the 300 mile adventure.

Read more of this post

Update: LA Metro Complete Streets Policy

Metro_logo.1Yesterday, the Los Angeles County Metro board sustainability committee adopted a long-awaited Complete Streets Policy for the transportation agency. Metro is responsible for the planning, funding, development and operation of Los Angeles County’s increasingly multimodal transportation system. This new policy will govern Metro’s performance of all of its many responsibilities, as well as require local cities to adopt complete streets policies of their own in order to qualify for Metro grants. Read more of this post

$9.8 Million Available through Caltrans Sustainable Transportation Planning Grants

Caltrans has released the Call for Applications for the 2015-2016 Sustainable Transportation Planning Grants. $9.8 million is available to regional and local government agencies through two programs—the Strategic Partnerships grants and the Sustainable Communities grants.

The Strategic Partnerships grants fund planning projects that address statewide/interregional deficiencies in the state highway system and strengthen government-to-government relationships. Example project types include corricaltrans logodor studies, studies for relinquishment of state routes, transportation demand management plans, and system investment prioritization plans.

The Sustainable Communities grants fund planning projects that address multimodal transportation deficiencies, encourage stakeholder collaboration, involve active public engagement, and integrate Smart Mobility 2010 concepts. Example project types include Safe Routes to School plans, complete street plans, bicycle and pedestrian safety enhancement plans, health equity transportation studies, and studies that evaluate accessibility and connectivity of the multimodal transportation network.

Applications are due October 31st!

We encourage communities to apply for these grants as they are excellent opportunities to move your multimodal transportation initiatives forward. The National Partnership is available to support your efforts to work with Caltrans to create a balanced, comprehensive multimodal transportation system by providing feedback on your application or through a formal partnership as a sub-applicant. Please contact Michelle Lieberman, Technical Assistance Project Manager, at michelle@saferoutespartnership.org to discuss ways in which we can support your efforts.

Visit http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/tpp/grants.html for more information about the grants and to download application materials.


Planada’s Huge Welcome …And, a Ride into the Mountains

The HAPT Team rolled into Houlihan Park in Planada yesterday morning to find over 100 parents, teachers, school administrators, and students ready to walk to Planada Elementary. The school even arranged to have the buses drop kids off for the event so that everyone could get exercise. The energy was high and kids were excited to have their picture taken with the  HAPT Team and their school mascot.


Planada Elementary Students at Houlihan Park for Walk to School Event


Whole families came out for the Walk to School Event!


After a short walk to the school we led an assembly for several hundred students and -in partnership with the school and community members- gave away FIVE (!!) bikes. Planada’s community has so much going for them. Already they’ve made improvements – and we can’t wait to see what is in store!


Principle Lopez gets the students ready for the Healthy Active Places Team.


The ride from Planada to our campout at Indian Flat Campground was beautiful, hot, hilly, and wonderful. We rode through rolling hills of grasses and crept up arid foothills until we were riding through a sparse pine forest that peaked at town Midpines before a huge 7.5 mile descent that dropped down to the last winding 12 miles along the Merced River.

We’re halfway through the tour, and while we can’t wait to be home, we don’t want the experiences at schools to end.


MTC Finalizes Regional ATP Award Recommendations

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) this week finalized awards for the 2014 Regional Competitive Active Transportation Program (ATP).  MTC approved funding 11 projects totaling $30.9 million in the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Sonoma, and for the regional bicycle share program. This represents the addition of one project in Contra Costa County over the earlier MTC staff proposal. The final description of projects can be found here.

MTC Logo

Forty percent of the state ATP funding is being awarded by Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) in urban areas with populations more than 200,000. At least 25% required to benefit disadvantaged communities. MTC’s share of the ATP funding for 2014 was about $30 million. MTC received 127 applications requesting over $200 million.

This list still needs final approval from the California Transportation Commission (CTC), which will consider adopting the regional portion of ATP on November 12.


Governor vetoes Safer School Zones Bill

IMG_0943The Governor let us down!  SB 1151, the Safer School Zones Bill, which would have increased safety for children walking and bicycling to schools statewide, passed the Legislature with unanimous, bi-partisan support in August only to be vetoed by Governor Brown this week.

SB 1151 would have gone a long way to improve safety near schools by increasing fines for driving violations committed in school zones, and increased revenue for Safe Routes to School projects and programs by putting the additional fine revenue through the state Active Transportation Program.  Sadly, the Governor didn’t support a strategy that would put the same value on school zone safety that we currently apply to construction zones on our state highways.

The National Partnership co-sponsored SB 1151 this year with TransForm and the Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program, and after all the support the bill received in the Legislature we’re very disappointed that the Governor passed up a critical opportunity to fund more Safe Routes to School.  We’ll be back next year to keep fighting for safer streets for our children, and we’ll continue to need your support!

Send an email to your California legislator right now to thank them for supporting SB 1151.

LA Metro’s Draft Complete Streets Policy – comments and recommendations

Metro_logo.1In August 2014 Metro released it’s draft Complete Street Policy. The Los Angeles County Active Transportation Collaborative supports the development of a visionary and achievable countywide Complete Streets Policy. We appreciate this opportunity to comment on the draft Metro Complete Streets Policy which aims to increase mobility options, improve air quality and health, and strengthen local economies across Los Angeles County. Metro’s recent leadership in developing a more multimodal transportation network is continued and strengthened in the draft Complete Streets Policy. We find the draft to be a strong foundation which, with modest improvements and clarification on its applicability, will serve the region well into the future.

See our comment letter and recommendations here.

And please save the date for Metro’s Ad Hoc Sustainablity committee meeting on Wednesday October 15th at 10am when the Metro Directors will consider this policy for adoption.

Our primary objective for Metro’s Complete Streets Policy is to make the innovative multimodal planning work happening in different silos across the agency routine in all planning, project development and funding decisions. We compare the draft policy with national best practices to assess its specificity, applicability and enforceability to ensure that the policy goes beyond rhetoric to inform real decisions that the agency makes every day. A summary of our findings is available in the attached “report card” evaluating Metro’s policy against ten national criteria. We also solicited feedback from our partners across the county at our most recent collaborative meeting to refine our recommendations.


Welcome new Southern California Regional Policy Manager, Demi!

We are pleased to welcome Demi Espinoza as the new Southern California Regional Policy Manager! Demi joins the team to serve the Southern California region where she will work to increase funding opportunities and improve transportation policies that support safe walking and bicycling for children and families.

Demi originates from the Inland Empire region,  where she grew up in the Riverside area and obtained a Bachelor of Arts from Cal State San Bernardino in Sociology. After graduating college, she worked locally as the Inland Empire Regional Field Manager with Equality California. Since then she has spend four years in Portland, Oregon working as a Field Organizer with Basic Rights Oregon and then as a Coordinator with the Coalition of Communities of Color. During her time in Portland, she focused on an array of issues including LGBT advocacy, racial equity and public policy. Issues of equity, sustainability and community engagement are among her top priorities. She looks forward to working with community partners and local groups.

Please welcome Demi at: demi@saferoutespartnership.org

Complete Streets training course coming up in Long Beach

UC Berkeley ITS Tech Transfer is offering a new training course on Complete Streets coming up next month in Long Beach.  With Fehr & Peers as consultant, Tech Transfer has developed this new course in collaboration with Caltrans Division of Transportation Planning and Division of Local Assistance.  The course will focus on critical issues for local and regional agencies in the planning and implementation of Complete Streets, as required by CA State law.

Location: The Westin Long Beach
Date: October 8 and 9, 2014
Time: 8am-5pm (both days)
Register here (fee to register)


Who Should Attend?
This course is intended for urban planners and transportation engineers at local, regional, and state agencies as well as consultants. Both new and experienced planners and engineers will benefit. The course is primarily appropriate for urban perspectives; however, it will address Complete Streets in rural environments as well. Read more of this post


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