ATP update – Cycle 2 coming soon!

atp-webBanner-600x300It’s that time again!  Get your Safe Routes to School, walking, and bicycling projects ready – the 2015 grant cycle of the Active Transportation Program is just two short months away.  The call for projects is scheduled for March 26, with an application deadline of May 31. According to Caltrans, another $360 million will be available in Cycle 2 for ATP projects.  

We previously blogged about concerns that the ATP funding was decreasing in the 2015-16 state budget relative to the last two years.  While the amount in the 2015-16 budget appropriation is lower than the original ATP funding amount by about $5 million, Caltrans and the State Transportation Agency have pledged that the funding amount that will be available for grants will stay level at $120 million per year.  We understand this is confusing (we are confused too!), and we are working to get more clarity on why the appropriation appears lower.  Stay tuned for more on our push to increase funding for the ATP…

Read more of this post

Youth for the Environment and Sustainability (YES) Conference, Oakland

 

 

Saturday, February 7, 2015, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Joseph P. Bort Metrocenter, 101 Eighth Street, Oakland (near the Lake Merritt BART station)STA_YESposter_FINAL_web_1031_11

Join students from around the San Francisco Bay Area to discuss transportation issues, learn how their decisions can impact climate change, and share ways of encouraging others to walk, bike, take transit, or carpool to school.

Free shuttles from the North Bay and the South Bay will be available for students without easy access to public transit.

Register to attend

 

 

California Transportation Choices Summit 2015: Year of Action

Be a part of the movement to create a greener, more equitable future in 2015: come to the California Transportation Choices Summit and Advocacy Day on April 27-28 in Sacramento. Join the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, TransForm and many others for a day of learning, connecting, and strategizing. Hear from inspiring keynote Manuel Pastor. Meet diverse leaders, planners, and community activists from around the state. Relax and plan with newfound allies at sunset along the Sacramento River. Register now. Sliding scale pricing and travel grants available; apply today.

Opportunities to Advance Sustainability and Environmental Justice at SCAG in 2015

In November 2014, the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) hosted an Environmental Justice workshop with the goal of addressing environmental justice and equity issues within SCAG’s 2016 update of the Regional Transportation Plan and Sustainable Communities Strategy (RTP/SCS). Participants agreed that there is a need to create a strong, strategic and intentional vision of community participation, engagement and partnership as the RTP/SCS update begins. Yet there was still some uncertainty about the role of SCAG in implementing sustainable and equitable policies throughout the region, and how stakeholders can participate in its processes.

As a follow up to SCAG’s workshop, ClimatePlan, MoveLA, Leadership Counsel, Natural Resources Defense Council and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership are joining together to host “Opportunities to Advance Sustainability and Environmental Justice at SCAG in 2015″.

This convening is an opportunity for advocates throughout the SCAG region to learn more about SCAG’s role in regional planning and partner together to create clear goals and strategies.  Attendance is free, lunch is included, and travel stipends are available.

Event: Opportunities to Advance Sustainability and Environmental Justice at SCAG in 2015

Date: Thursday, February 5th

Time: 11:00am – 2:00pm

Location: MoveLA offices – Edison Room at 634 S. Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90014

More info: chanell@climateplanca.org

EJworkshop

AHSC grant program update, technical assistance in Feb

IMG_0530This afternoon the Strategic Growth Council approved Guidelines for the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) Program, funded in 2014-15 with $130 million in Cap and Trade dollars.

The AHSC is the primary opportunity for active transportation projects to receive Cap and Trade funding this year, as part of integrated proposals alongside affordable housing and transit developments. The National Partnership and our statewide active transportation partners submitted a letter to the SGC back in October asking for stronger criteria for walk/bike connectivity and integration in the AHSC Program Guidelines, and SGC and member agency staff did a thorough job of incorporating many of our suggestions.

Schedule for applications

The SGC will release the funding announcement and invite concept proposals starting January 30, with a deadline of February 19 for concept proposals. Approved concepts will be invited to submit a full application in March.

Technical Assistance

In early February, AHSC program staff will tour the state giving a series of full-day technical assistance workshops for potential applicants, including training from the Air Resources Board on quantifying greenhouse gas reductions. We encourage all partners interested in the AHSC to attend and get your questions answered. The TA workshops are scheduled on the following days:

Feb 4 – San Diego
Feb 5 – San Bernadino
Feb 6 – Los Angeles
Feb 9 – Bakersfield
Feb 10 – Stockton
Feb 11 – Oakland

More details and locations for the TA workshops will be posted soon on the SGC website.

Governor’s 2015-16 Budget Proposal – ATP funding reduced

california_capitol_buildingGovernor Brown released his 2015-16 state budget proposal on Friday, with $15.8 billion slated for transportation infrastructure.  Despite an increase of roughly $200 million over last year’s transportation budget, dedicated funding for walking and bicycling is proposed to take a cut of approximately $14 million.

The budget proposal highlights two key transportation-related priorities: addressing the maintenance needs on our crumbling roads, bridges, and transit networks, and tackling climate change through Cap and Trade expenditures in clean transportation, high-speed rail, and sustainable communities.  In his inaugural address Governor Brown also expressed a vision for cutting fuel consumption by cars and trucks in half by 2030.

These priorities provide a clear opportunity for significant investment in walking and bicycling.  Road maintenance funding could require that safe and adequate provision for pedestrians and cyclists be included on all maintenance projects, ensuring that we aren’t just paving over a broken system but improving our roads and reducing congestion as we fix them.  Drastic reductions in fuel consumption and turning the tide of climate change will require more than electric vehicles and high-speed rail, we will also need safe and connected walk and bike networks in every community in California.

However, the Governor’s budget proposal fails to make these linkages between investing in our transportation system, commitment to environmental sustainability, and increasing funding for walking and bicycling.

The budget narrative hails the establishment of the Active Transportation Program (ATP) in 2013 and the awarding of over $350 million to ATP projects in the first funding cycle as “significant progress toward achieving multi-modal choice and better transportation system integration”, yet overall funding for the ATP is actually reduced this year. The budget proposes $124 million in state and federal funds for the ATP, or $14 million less than in 2014-15 and $5 million less than in 2013-14, when the program was established.

Despite this missed opportunity to increase the pot of dedicated walk/bike funding, active transportation is eligible for funding through three Cap and Trade programs that were established last year and for which funding is proposed to increase in 2015-16 – the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program, the Transit Operations Program, and the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program.  Since these programs are all still in development stages, it is still unclear whether walk and bike improvements will receive significant funding under any of them.

In response to this proposal, the National Partnership and our partners statewide are gearing up to push the Legislature and the Governor to increase funding for the ATP in the final adopted budget. The legislative budget committees will begin talks over the next several months on changes to the Governor’s proposal, and agreement on a final budget must be reached by the June deadline. Stay tuned for updates and opportunities to express support for more funding for active transportation in California.

MTC Votes to Support Safe Routes to School, Complete Streets

CS logos

Last Wednesdsay, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) voted to fully fund the Regional Safe Routes to School (RSTS) program for a fifth year, and also reiterated a committment to advancing Complete Streets.
 .
Responding to a shortfall in federal funds, MTC staff and the Programming and Allocations Committee had proposed extending the RSRTS program by one year, but at half the funding ($2.7 million as opposed to the current yearly allocation of $5 million). Advocates weighed in that the RSTS is vital to support the health, safety, and education of children, and that the effective cut would result in potential program layoffs and schools being cut from the program. Commissioners at the meeting spoke up in agreement with these concerns, and added that the RSTS helps MTC meet its adopted health, safety, and climate change goals.
 .
In the end, commissioners voted unanimously to direct MTC staff to make up the $2.3 million shortfall and present options for doing so to the commission within six months as part of a broader discussion of the next cycle of RSTS and One Bay Area Grant funding.
 .
Another aspect of the vote maintains the Complete Streets requirement in OBAG, but delays by one year a requirement that General Plan circulation elements be updated. MTC requires jurisdictions to pass a resolution or certify that their General Plan complies with California’s Complete Streets Act in order to receive OBAG funds. Over ninety-percent of jurisdictions have complied with this policy.
.
However, jurisdictions that passed a resolution were to also update their General Plan by the end of January 2015. Last Wednesday’s vote maintains this requirement but delays it by one year. Advocates delivered a sign on letter with 12 signatories to MTC expressing concern that the requirement not be dropped, and instead engage a conversation with  walking, bicycling, Safe Routes to School, and active transportation stakeholders and advocates to determine the best next steps.

Happy Active Holidays from Safe Routes to School!

holidays2014

Update from the San Bernardino Active Transportation Network’s Latest Meeting

The San Bernardino County Active Transportation Network met last week at the San Bernardino Association of Governments, making this the fifth meeting since the Network was created. The Network was started as an information-sharing hub to discuss how to increase Active Transportation funding opportunities with the Inland Empire and is made up of city, county, state and transportation commission representatives as well as community advocates. With 35 attendees last week, the conversation focused on both the successes and challenges with the Active Transportation Project (ATP) grant process. Several jurisdictions commented on their experience in applying for ATP funding and shared their views for future opportunities. Among the success stories, the City of Ontario was one of the top scoring regions within the Inland Empire.

The City of Ontario’s ATP application was successful due in part to the collaboration of engineering department, who has access to data around sidewalk deficiencies and counts of disadvantaged communities. They also utilized data from Free and Reduced Lunch School district data and CalEnviro screen web tool. Kaiser Permanente’s HEAL grant was used to train leaders to do community outreach, engagement, evaluate pedestrian conditions and conduct bike workshops. California Conservation Corps was also involved.

The ATP Cycle 2 grant application process is just around the corner, and Inland Empire jurisdictions and advocates are coming together now to prepare.  The biggest challenges are around resource development, access to data and staff capacity. Collaborating with partners and identifying innovative opportunities to conduct walk audits of safety infrastructure is one way to address challenges. Many of the jurisdictions within the Inland Empire can be defined as disadvantaged communities, and identifying safety infrastructure needs before the next ATP Cycle 2 deadline will be a key to strengthening the region’s chances for increased ATP funding. For more information about the San Bernardino County Active Transportation Network, please email demi@saferoutespartnership.org

ATP Guidelines Workshop Dec 2

CTC_logoThe California Transportation Commission (Commission) will be holding workshops to gather input on updated the ATP Guidelines prior to funding cycle 2 in Spring 2015.  CTC staff would like feedback on a number of sections in the guidelines; changes have already been highlighted in a discussion draft. A second workshop is anticipated in Southern California in early January.  An agenda for workshop #1 will be sent out closer to the workshop date.

Space is limited so if you plan to attend the workshop in person, please RSVP to Laurie Waters at laurie.waters@dot.ca.gov or (916) 651-6145.

2015 ATP Guidelines Workshop #1

Tuesday, December 2, 2014 – 1:00-4:00 p.m.
Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG), Rivers Room
1415 L Street, Suite 300, Sacramento

Teleconference Number: 1-877-411-9748, Participant Code:  254585

Questions about the program can be addressed to Laurel Janssen at (916) 651-6143 or Laurie Waters at  (916) 651-6145.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 179 other followers

%d bloggers like this: