Sign on to Secure Cap-and-Trade Revenues for Active Transportation!
April 23, 2013 2 Comments
WE’RE GETTING THERE, SIGN ON NOW!
The Safe Routes to School National Partnership is pleased to let you know that the California Air Resources Board recently released its three year Draft Investment Plan (DIP) which outlines a proposal for how California should spend revenues generated by Cap and Trade.
Thanks to the countless voices that have voiced their support for active transportation, the plan lists the Safe Routes to School program and the Bicycle Transportation Account as eligible programs for this funding!
This is a major win for advocates across the state who have been working tirelessly to turn speakers out to meetings, work with their local agencies, and educate elected officials on the importance of active transportation for achieving greenhouse gas reductions and improving public health.
But, the Draft Investment Plan does not specify how much, if any, funding will go to these programs. This decision will be made by Governor Jerry Brown’s administration and set forth in the May Revise of the state Budget.
We need your organization to sign on to this petition by April 30 and tell Governor Jerry Brown that at least 15 percent of the transportation revenues generated from cap-and-trade should be dedicated to active transportation!
Once the May Revise of the state budget is released mid May, we will know whether or not the Safe Routes to School and Bicycle Transportation Account will receive new funding from the cap-and-trade program. The final budget will be adopted in June when the legislature finalizes its appropriations. The National Partnership will work closely with our partners across the state to monitor progress and will report back once we have heard from the Governor’s office.
More about the Investment Plan
The plan outlines three key areas for cap-and-trade revenues – Sustainable Communities & Clean Transportation, Energy Efficiency & Clean Energy, and Natural Resources & Waste Diversion. Of these, the DIP recommends that Sustainable Communities & Clean Transportation receive the largest share of funding, but does not specifically describe how much that would be.
Within the Sustainable Communities & Clean Transportation the plan outlines several areas that meet the DIP’s criteria for cap-and-trade funding. Here, active transportation should be eligible both for direct infrastructure funding as well as funding for bicycle and pedestrian plans that help to implement Sustainable Communities Strategies (SCS).
For the first year of funding (2013-2014) CARB recommends that funding be programmed through existing programs that reduce GHG emissions. The Safe Routes to School and Bicycle Transportation Account have both been listed as eligible programs that could receive funding from cap-and-trade revenues. We are also supporting the Pedestrian Safety Account as an avenue for funding. However, since the DIP doesn’t allocate specific funding amounts, we won’t know for certain until the revision of the Governor’s budget in May whether or not these programs have received any additional funding. The DIP suggests that Metropolitan Planning Organizations and County Transportation Commissions might be eligible for this funding, which may require advocates to engage their MPO’s to ensure that the grant process achieves desired goals.
The DIP also discusses the requirements for Disadvantaged Communities under SB 535. SB 535 required that 25 percent of the funding from cap-and-trade be used for projects that benefit disadvantaged communities and that 10 percent of the funding be spent on projects within these areas. Studies have show that bicycle and pedestrian injury rates are much higher in low income communities. We therefore are recommending to the Governor’s office that Safe Routes to School and the Bicycle Transportation Account be eligible for a percentage of the funding for projects located in disadvantaged communities.
This is the first time in decades that a potential new funding source for active transportation is available. It’s critical that organizations, jurisdictions and agencies that support walking and bicycling join together to let our voices be heard to the Governor, the Administration and the Legislature. A achieve California’s greenhouse gas emission reduction goals, and to improve health and safety, California should dedicate 15 percent of transportation revenues from cap and trade auction proceeds to active transportation. Please sign the petition by 4 PM on April 30.