ATP update – Cycle 2 coming soon!
January 28, 2015 2 Comments
It’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…
The California Transportation Commission and Caltrans have been hard at work preparing for Cycle 2. The CTC held two well-attended workshops on the ATP Guidelines in December and January to discuss a few suggested changes, and presented the draft Guidelines to the Commission last week. Key changes to note in the Guidelines are:
- Safe Routes to School projects are not guaranteed a minimum level of funding this cycle (but they still compete well and the CTC intends to continue it’s commitment to Safe Routes to School, so don’t let that discourage you from applying for your safe routes projects!)
- The requirement for local matching funds has been eliminated, and replaced with an additional 5 points in the scoring criteria for “leveraging of non-ATP funds”.
- Caltrans has developed a cost-benefit tool for applicants to use in answering the cost-effectiveness question in the application. Because the tool is new this cycle, the cost-effectiveness question in the guidelines has been reduced to 5 points instead of 10.
CTC staff will make final changes to the Guidelines in time for the Commission to adopt the final Guidelines on March 26.
Meanwhile, Caltrans has been updating and making improvements to the ATP application document, with the hopes of streamlining the application instructions and creating a more user-friendly document. Caltrans is accepting comments on the application until the end of this week (January 30), and plans to hold a workshop to discuss changes to the application in late February. Comments can be emailed to Ted Davini (Ted.email@example.com).
The National Partnership and several partners submitted comments to Caltrans on the application last week, with a particular focus on making the application more applicable to non-infrastructure applicants and applicants from disadvantaged communities. We have also requested that Caltrans organize an ongoing ATP Advisory Committee of interested stakeholders and content experts to help evaluate and improve the program.
Keep watching this space for updates as the ATP Cycle 2 call for projects gets closer.