Complete Streets slated for funding through Senate cap-and-trade proposal
April 15, 2014 Leave a comment
Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg announced a new proposal for long-term spending of cap-and-trade revenue at a press conference on Monday, demonstrating that he’s been listening to advocates calling for more and safer active transportation options.
The proposal aims to establish reliable funding streams for affordable housing, transit, roadway maintenance, and implementation of other sustainable communities strategies, in addition to high-speed rail. Importantly, Steinberg’s proposal would invest in creating Complete Streets through road maintenance and retrofit projects, and fund active transportation infrastructure alongside affordable housing through transit-oriented development and other transportation projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Starting in fiscal year 2015, this new investment plan would apply to the remaining years of the Cap-and-Trade program and would direct investment to low-income and disadvantaged communities.
The Safe Routes to School National Partnership joined a broad group of organizations and allied partners at the Monday press event to support many of the concepts outlined in the investment strategy. Many of the key priorities of the Sustainable Communities for All Coalition, of which we are a member, are highlighted in Steinberg’s proposal – transit, walking and biking improvements, and affordable transit-oriented housing development.
While we applaud Steinberg’s commitment to putting significant funding behind meeting AB 32 and SB 375 goals, there is plenty of work to be done and we will continue to work with our partners to recommend improvements to Steinberg and his colleagues in the Legislature. Many details still need to be hashed out before this proposal takes the form of bill language, and then it will undoubtedly be the subject of spirited debate as it moves through the legislative process. At this early stage, we’re cautiously optimistic.