Caltrans Announces ATP Award Recommendations!
September 16, 2015 Leave a comment
On September 15, Caltrans announced the staff recommendations for the state and rural components of Active Transportation Program’s (ATP) Cycle 2. These awards will not be final until the California Transportation Commission formally adopts them at their October 21-22 meeting, but it is a good indication of which projects will be funded. It also shows the allocation for different types of projects, the amount going to disadvantaged communities and the proportion for each region across the state. These award recommendations represent 60% of the total pot of ATP money. The remaining 40% will be allocated by metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) to projects located within their boundaries, some of which have different guidelines or formulas for allocating ATP funding. Those award recommendations will be announced later in the year.
The good news for Safe Routes to School advocates is almost half of the recommended projects (47.9%) from the state and rural pots combined will go to Safe Routes to School Projects. Forty-three (43) of the 86 projects recommended for funding from the statewide pot, and 15 of the 27 rural projects, are Safe Routes to School Projects. This comes out to approximately $103 million for Safe Routes to School projects across the state including rural areas. Moreover, 88% of funds from the statewide pot, and 72% from the rural pot, will directly benefit disadvantaged communities, a huge win for many places around the state that have some of the biggest challenges to walking and bicycling.
The bad news is that these awards barely meet the need. Caltrans received 617 applications for ATP funding, requesting over $1 billion total. The statewide pot has only $179.7 million available, while the rural one has $35.5 million available. While 40% of ATP funding is still to be allocated by MPOs (approximately $140 million total), the demand for active transportation funding significantly outweighs the supply.
This is why we are working hard in Sacramento to increase the amount of funding in ATP. ABX1-23 would increase the Active Transportation Program by $125M to develop walking and bicycling networks that will connect schools, shopping centers, and jobs. This bill also ensures that new funding for road maintenance will prioritize disadvantaged communities. There is still time to take action to let your legislators know to support this bill!
The full list of award recommendations is available here. The awards will be considered for approval at the next California Transportation Commission meeting on October 21-22.