Groundswell of support for more ATP funding – now what?
March 25, 2015 2 Comments
Last month we asked you to sign on in support of a stronger and better resourced Active Transportation Program. In a matter of only two weeks, 120 organizations and nearly 700 individual California residents responded with resounding support! A big THANK YOU to everyone that added your name or your organization’s name to the list.
Strengthening the ATP this year would be transformative at a key time in California’s history – both for the health of Californians and livability of communities across the state, as well as for addressing climate change in the transportation sector. We believe this includes three key strategies:
1. Increase funding to the ATP by $100 million
2. Expand the ATP’s capacity to improve access to green space and integrate green infrastructure such as trees, planters, and permeable paving as critical components of walking and bicycling projects
3. Tighten up the program requirements for projects to provide meaningful benefits to disadvantaged communities (DACs), and ensure that the minimum funding level for DACs is truly being met.
The Legislative Budget Committees will begin to discuss transportation funding tomorrow in the Senate Budget Subcommittee #2 hearing, and will continue the conversation throughout April. There will be several decision points before the Governor adopts the final budget in June, including the Governor’s May Revised Budget.
We will continue to recruit support for a stronger ATP during the next month of budget talks, and you can help in several key ways:
- Ask your colleagues, friends, and family to join you in signing on! We will keep the link live for a few more weeks as we continue to build support.
- Join the 120 organizations (see the impressive list below) that support a stronger ATP as an organizational signer, and encourage your partner organizations to sign too!
- Ask your local elected officials to consider support on behalf of your city or county
And in case you still need convincing of why California communities need a stronger and more effective ATP, here are just a few things our local partners are saying about it:
In San Francisco, we have ambitious goals to make our streets safe for all road users. We also want to improve congestion, reduce our impact on the environment, and re-invigorate our neighborhoods by encouraging people to walk or bike as transportation. We’ve made progress, but there’s lots of work left to do. Without additional funding from the state, many of our safety projects will be slowed down, putting people’s lives at risk. If the state wants cities to meet the environmental and safety goals they have encouraged us to set, they need to provide the funding to make it possible. — Tyler Frisbee, Policy Director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition
An urgent need is in Sacramento’s more rural and low-income areas for safe walkable communities and roadways. Meeting this need with both education and upgrading streets could improve the health, safety and economy of the individual families and region overall. Through ATP funding Yuba County Ella Elementary school children will no longer be forced to walk to school in ditches or in the main roadway. The plan includes sidewalks, curbs, bicycle lanes, gutters and storm drains, providing a safe route to school for over 120 children. — Emily Alice Gerhart, Project Coordinator Walk Sacramento
This program is making inspiring projects possible all across Los Angeles County, from safe routes to school in L.A.’s densest neighborhoods to bicycle and pedestrian plans in communities that have never had them. Increasing funding for walking and biking not only encourages more people to walk or bike, but it also makes it safer for many residents that don’t have a choice. — Tamika Butler, Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition
Here’s the full list of organizational supporters: