We’re Hiring: Senior California Policy Manager

The Safe Routes to School National Partnership is seeking an energetic and detail-oriented professional with strong knowledge of California state policy and active transportation technical assistance skills to join the National Partnership as our California Senior Policy Manager. We welcome applicants with a passion for advancing safe walking and bicycling to school and in daily life to increase physical activity levels and create livable, equitable, sustainable communities.

The California Senior Policy Manager will serve as the lead for the National Partnership’s state policy work in California and will also provide significant technical assistance to build capacity in low-income communities, including how to submit competitive applications for the Active Transportation Program (ATP). The overarching goal of this position’s work is to ensure that state funding and policies are supportive of Safe Routes to School and active transportation, and to help equip low-income communities to apply for funding and implement effective Safe Routes to School and active transportation initiatives.

We are particularly looking for individuals that have:

  • The policy know-how to shape California state policy and funding on active transportation and Safe Routes to School, along with related issue areas like equity, land use, housing, education, climate, and health.
  • Previous hands-on experience with California’s Active Transportation Program application process, either as a reviewer, grantwriter, consultant, or implementing a project.
  • The skill-set necessary to provide technical assistance to help communities apply for and implement successful Safe Routes to School and active transportation projects.
  • A high level of attention to detail and project management ability paired with excellent writing and verbal communications skills.
  • Experience working in building consensus with coalitions with multiple viewpoints.

Please review the job description for more details about the position responsibilities and qualifications. The salary range for this at-will position is $65,000 – $75,000 depending on experience and qualifications, plus health insurance benefits, paid time off, and optional participation in a deferred compensation plan. A PC computer, telephone and internet access will be provided. Successful candidates will work from their home office, and must be based in California.

To Apply: Interested applicants should submit (via email) a cover letter, resume and three writing samples in one PDF file to hr@saferoutespartnership.org. Ensure that the subject line of your email includes the text “Senior California Policy Manager.” We are not accepting email or telephone call inquiries.

Receipt of applications will be acknowledged with an email reply. Applications will be accepted until May 1, 2017 COB. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, so candidates are encouraged to apply early.

We look forward to hearing from qualified candidates interested in joining our dynamic, visionary and growing national non-profit. Visit www.saferoutespartnership.org for more information about our organization.

The Safe Routes to School National Partnership is an equal opportunity employer committed to assembling a diverse staff with a wide range of life experiences.  Women, people of color, immigrants, LGBTQ candidates, and people with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. 

California Legislature Passes Transportation Funding Package, Including $1 Billion For ATP!

california_state_capitol_front_1999Yesterday the California Senate and Assembly passed the long-gestating transportation funding package after a long debate. Senate Bill 1 will provide 10 years worth of funding for transportation improvements across the state, including $1 billion in new funding for the Active Transportation Program. This funding will be folded into the State Highway Account and will likely be disbursed annually or biannually in $100-200 million increments as part of the regular ATP Cycle process.

We’ve been monitoring the transportation funding proposal for several years as it morphed from a “special session” of the California legislature in 2015 that ended without resolution in November 2016, to SB 1 and AB 1 in December 2016. The bill is not perfect and our coalition has had many concerns along the way, including the last-minute insertion of an exemption of trucks from diesel emissions standards. But we also made significant process in the final bill, boosting ATP from $800 million to $1 billion; significantly boosting public transportation spending; removing CEQA exemptions for roadway projects; and removing cap-and-trade revenue from the bill out of concerns about fluctuating auction proceeds.

Below you can read the coalition statement we issued with over 30 of our partners following the passage of the bill. A print copy is available here:

For Immediate Release

April 6, 2017

 Coalition statement about passage of SB1

 Statement from 32 organizations representing walking, bicycling, public transit, public health, social equity, environmental, and environmental justice concerns on today’s passage of transportation funding bill SB 1

 SB 1 will make major improvements to the transportation system in California, and our coalition of more than 80 organization supported many elements of the package. We appreciate the bill’s focus on fixing roads first and investing significant dollars in public transportation and safe walking and biking, yet we believe there is still more work ahead to target and prioritize transportation investment to benefit disadvantaged communities.

 Several key improvements to SB 1 would have won our support for the package. However, transportation justice means both funding the transportation needs of low-income communities and protecting vulnerable residents from health and other harms. Unfortunately, the bill also includes an unacceptable loophole to allow diesel trucks to keep polluting in communities already burdened with poor air quality. We cannot support a deal that sacrifices public health for public transportation — California communities need both.

 “We deeply appreciate all the work that went into making this bill as good as it was. It has come a long way, and that represents significant progress for public transportation, walking, and biking.” –Joshua Stark, State Policy Director, TransForm.

 As amended recently through the efforts of the Governor, Legislative leadership, Transportation Secretary Brian Kelly, and others, SB 1 now:

  • Triples our investment in public transportation relying on stable revenue sources compared to a previous version of the bill,
  • Nearly doubles the state’s funding for safe walking and biking,
  • Does not further encumber Cap-and-Trade revenues,
  • Eliminates dangerous and unnecessary changes to CEQA,
  • Supports regional and local planning efforts for sustainable communities,
  • Includes funding for workforce development.

 “We commend the Legislature and Governor for including new transit operating funds in SB 1. More frequent and affordable bus service will connect low-income families, seniors and students to opportunity, and help us meet our climate goals.” –Richard Marcantonio, Managing Attorney, Public Advocates Inc.

“Transportation remains the single largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions in California. With our state’s visionary climate goals, it’s critical that our transportation dollars keep us on track to achieve these goals. SB 1 provides $25 million a year to support local and regional agencies’ planning efforts to build sustainable, equitable, and healthy communities. These types of investments will put us on the right track to achieve our state’s ambitious climate goals.” –Chanell Fletcher, Associate Director, ClimatePlan

 “We’re proud that a diverse coalition of more than 80 groups committed to environmental justice, climate protection, public health, and sustainable transportation stood in solidarity throughout this process. Our collective effort moved this deal a long way toward providing safer, cleaner, and more affordable transportation options, and we were disappointed that the last-minute deal adding the trucking provision kept us from supporting.” –Jeanie Ward-Waller, Policy Director, California Bicycle Coalition

 “Together we will continue to fight to reverse this “dirty trucking” policy and ensure that the communities most burdened by poverty and by air pollution from transportation benefit from the state’s investments in transportation. We will continue to fight, in short, for transportation justice.” –Bill Magavern, Policy Director, Coalition for Clean Air

 “We look forward to working with our allies throughout California to ensure that our state’s investments in transportation infrastructure and services benefit—and do not burden—disadvantaged communities, rural and urban alike.” –Phoebe Seaton, Co-Director, Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability

“The passage of the transportation package represents a crucial investment in public transit, but the exemption of ports from our clean air standards is too high a price for our most vulnerable communities. Californians should not be forced to choose between infrastructure improvements, access to public transportation, and the health of their families.” –Sarah Rose, CEO, California League of Conservation Voters

* * * *

Statement issued by the following organizations: Bike East Bay, California Bicycle Coalition, California League of Conservation Voters, California Walks, Central California Asthma Collaborative, Center for Climate Change and Health, ChangeLab Solutions, ClimatePlan, Climate Resolve, Coalition for Clean Air, COAST, Ditching Dirty Diesel Collaborative, Greenlining Institute, Housing California, Investing in Place, Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability, Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, Medical Advocates for Healthy Air, Natural Resources Defense Council, Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition, PolicyLink, Public Advocates, Regional Asthma Management and Prevention (RAMP), Safe Routes to School National Partnership, Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition, Shasta Living Streets, San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, Sunflower Alliance, TransForm, Trust for Public Land, Walk Long Beach, and Walk Oakland Bike Oakland

Sign On to Support Our Complete Streets Bill! Letters of Support due Wednesday, April 12

The Safe Routes to School National Partnership is sponsoring a bill in the California legislature this session that would require complete streets improvements to be made on state highways within California. Senate Bill 760 sets new policies and allocates funding to help Caltrans implement the agency’s already adopted Strategic Management Plan goals to make streets safer and more accessible for everyone, including children, seniors, and families, and to accommodate all transportation modes, including walking, biking, and public transit. We are co-sponsoring the bill with our partners at the California Bicycle Coalition, California Walks, and the American Heart Association. A bill fact sheet is available here.

We need to show broad support across the state for this bill, especially from cities who have state highways running through them. If you are able to get your city to send in a support letter, here is a template.

We are also seeking sign-ons from organizations around the state who focus on community-related issues including Safe Routes to School. If you want to sign on to our existing letter, please contact Jeanie Ward-Waller at the California Bicycle Coalition, at Jeanie@calbike.org, or you can use the template.

At this time we are not seeking individuals to sign on, but you can help by contacting your legislator and asking them to support this bill!

Need more information on the bill? Read our press release below and read our fact sheet. The bill language is available here. You can also contact Bill Sadler, California Senior Policy Manager for the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, at bill@saferoutespartnership.org

Senator Wiener Introduces Complete Streets Bill to Ensure State Highways that Run Through Local Communities Are Safe and Usable by Transit Riders, Pedestrians, and Cyclists

Sponsored by the California Bicycle Coalition, Safe Routes to School National Partnership, California Walks, and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, SB 760 will require Caltrans to make roads safer for people walking and bicycling

February 22, 2017

Today Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) joined a coalition of transportation and health advocates to announce the introduction of SB 760, which will prioritize the creation of ‘complete streets,’ including safer sidewalks, bikeways, and crosswalks, on roads owned and managed by Caltrans in cities, towns, and neighborhoods. The bill sets new policies and allocates funding to help Caltrans implement the agency’s already adopted Strategic Management Plan goals to make streets safer and more accessible for everyone, including children, seniors, and families, and to accommodate all transportation modes, including walking, biking, and public transit.  SB 760 is sponsored by the California Bicycle Coalition, the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, California Walks, and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

“State-owned highways that run through local communities should be designed for safe use by everyone, not just cars,” said Senator Wiener. “For too long, Caltrans has talked about complete streets as a policy, but hasn’t actually delivered these improvements in its projects. SB 760 will ensure that as we rehabilitate roads that run through the centers of our towns and cities, we are prioritizing active transportation uses like walking, bicycling, and riding public transportation. Streets designed for all residents create safer and healthier communities.”

Caltrans owns and maintains 50,000 lane-miles of state roads, investing $2.4 billion annually. State-owned roadways include city and neighborhood surface streets and small-town main streets that carry local traffic as well as people on foot, bike, and transit. Examples of state-owned roads in urbanized areas include:

  • San Francisco: Van Ness Avenue and Lombard Avenue (Highway 101), 19th Avenue (Highway 1), and Sloat Boulevard (Highway 35)
  • Berkeley: San Pablo Ave (Hwy 123) and Ashby Ave (Hwy 13)
  • Los Angeles County: Santa Monica Blvd (Hwy 2), Hawthorne Blvd (Hwy 107), and Alameda St (Hwy 47)
  • San Bernardino: Foothill Blvd (Hwy 66)
  • Bakersfield: 23rd and 24th Streets (Hwy 178)
  • West Sacramento: Jefferson Blvd (Hwy 84)

“Caltrans has a long history of working to make California a better place to drive,” Jeanie Ward-Waller, Policy Director for the California Bicycle Coalition. “We’ve been pushing the agency to make our state roads better for people biking and walking for years, and while we’ve seen progress in planning and goal-setting, that progress hasn’t been realized yet in better projects on the ground. SB 760 will push Caltrans to follow through in project implementation and to be a leader in designing safe streets.”

Caltrans adopted a complete streets policy in 2008 providing that the agency would ‘consider’ safer road design for people walking and bicycling in all projects. More recently, in 2015, the agency adopted goals to triple bicycling and double walking statewide by the year 2020. However, Caltrans has not made a serious effort to implement these goals as part of all road rehabilitation and maintenance work. Instead, Caltrans continues to prioritize the movement of car and truck traffic through cities and towns, increasing congestion and air pollution in neighborhoods rather than creating streets that are safe, convenient, and inviting places to walk, bike, and use public transit. For example, El Camino Real (SR-82) in the Bay Area cuts through Peninsula communities and inexplicably lacks sidewalks in numerous locations, let alone much-needed bicycle lanes and improved crossings for pedestrians and transit users.

“With pedestans and cyclists comprising over a quarter of all traffic fatalities in the state, we need Caltrans to do its part and to take action to make our streets safer for all road users,” said Tony Dang, Executive Director, California Walks.

SB 760 allocates 3% of state road maintenance funds over the next two years to be used for walking and biking improvements until Caltrans can demonstrate that it is meeting its own complete streets goals.

“SB 760 will make our streets safer for children walking and bicycling to school and in daily life,” said Bill Sadler, California Senior Policy Manager, Safe Routes to School National Partnership. “Many schools, parks and other community destinations are located along state highways and busy roads, and children and their families face unsafe conditions trying to access them. This bill will help address these challenges by creating safer crossings, sidewalks and bicycle facilities along state highways that benefit children across the state who walk and bike to school every day, and encourage many more to do so.”

SB 760 changes the guidelines dictating how State Highway funds are spent to ensure that improving accessibility, reducing vehicle miles traveled, and promoting public health are top considerations. The current primary priority for Caltrans is the operation, maintenance, and rehabilitation of state highways. The bill also establishes a Division of Active Transportation within Caltrans, which will be charged with adhering to complete streets performance measures.

“Government leaders can help people live healthier lives by implementing policies that support healthy behaviors like walking,” said Joe Aviance, aka “Papa Joe,” an American Heart Association volunteer who took to the streets and walked as a first step to losing 250 pounds. “I was 450 pounds when I decided to make a change for the better and started walking. Fortunately for me, I live in a neighborhood that has sidewalks and pedestrian-friendly streets so I feel comfortable going out to walk, sometimes for miles at a time, and the sidewalks became my treadmill. Access to safe, walkable streets is not an available option for most people, especially for most communities of color where investment is sorely needed. Creating more complete streets in all neighborhoods will help encourage people to take the first step to living a longer, healthier life.”

 

Weigh In on School Siting Guidelines at Upcoming Workshops

Ever wonder why schools are located where they are? Why cities place schools in places that are difficult for children to walk and bike? This is your opportunity to weigh in on the State of California’s guidelines for school siting and design standards. The California Department of Education, School Facilities and Transportation Services Division (CDE) is updating the guidelines this year, for the first time since 2003. The Guidelines fall under Title V of the California Code of Regulations and can be viewed here.

You can weigh in by:

Submitting written comments by April 28: Comments can be emailed to Title5@cde.ca.gov.

Attend an upcoming workshop: There are four workshops scheduled in the coming weeks to receive comments. This flyer contains additional information:

 

March 22, 2017 1:00 to 4:00 PM Mills College Stern 101, (Lucie) Stern (Hall) is building #29
5000 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, CA 94613

Optional: Registration through the Eventbrite Website External link opens in new window or tab..

March 28, 2017
1:00 to 4:00 PM Sacramento County Board Chambers
700 H Street, Suite 1450, Sacramento CA, 95814

Optional: Registration through the Eventbrite Website External link opens in new window or tab..

April 4, 2017 9:00 to 12:00 PM City of Fresno Council Chamber
2600 Fresno Street, Fresno, CA 93721

Optional: Registration through the Eventbrite Website External link opens in new window or tab..

April 6, 2017 1:00 to 4:00 PM Rooms Lemon, Lime, and Orange
4210 Riverwalk Parkway, Riverside CA 92505

Optional: Registration through the Eventbrite Website External link opens in new window or tab..

Next Steps: No amendments to the current Guidelines have been drafted yet. CDE is using the workshops and comments as an opportunity to learn what needs to change. A formal set of proposed amendments will be released later this year with another opportunity to comment.

Updates on the process are also available here.

 

 

Revised Guidelines for the Affordable Housing Sustainable Communities Program Released

header-organizationThe Strategic Growth Council (SGC) has released revised guidelines for the Affordable Housing Sustainable Communities program in advance of a third round of funding expected this summer. The program funds grants for active transportation as part of larger affordable housing developments, transit-oriented developments and integrated connectivity projects. The funds come from cap-and-trade revenue (the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, a.k.a. California Climate Investments Program) so reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a key criteria in grant selection. Comments on the guidelines are due April 14 and the SGC board will adopt them at their June 1 meeting. The call for proposals will likely come out over the summer.

screenshot-2017-03-01-15-33-35There are four documents that were released by SGC:
Changes to the application process include:
  • 1) There is no more concept application. Applicants will submit just one application instead of going through two rounds. Applicants have the option of a one-on-one consultation with SGC staff before submitting to make sure they would be competitive and checked all the boxes.
  • 2) The scoring has changed (it is still out of 100):
    • 30 points for GHG reductions,
    • 50 points for quantitative policy (the 10 active transportation points were moved here from GHG points section)
    • 20 points for narrative questions (new section)
    • For a full scoring comparison, see p. 22 of the new guidelines and p. 33 of the old guidelines.
Notable changes for active transportation include:
  • There are still 10 points (out of 100) given for active transportation components of a project. The points are now broken out between walking and bicycling improvements, so applicants get up to 5 points for “Safe and Accessible Walkways” and up to 5 points for “Context Sensitive Bikeways.” Up to 4 of those points are given for the length of the project, and up to 1 point is given for how well the walkway or bikeway connects to destinations.
  • All projects must include adequate lighting for the transportation components.
  • All projects must include an Urban Greening component. In previous rounds, points were given for incorporating urban greening, but now they are required to include it in some fashion.
  • All projects must provide free transit passes for residents of the affordable housing. The requirement is one pass per unit for at least three years.
  • BikeScore has been removed from the “Location Efficiency” section but Walk Score remains. The use of these tools has been subject to a lot of discussion because they do not always capture essential destinations that residents of an affordable housing development need to go, but for the time being, Walk Score will remain as SGC explores other tools that can do a better job of measuring accessibility.

Other notable changes include:

  • The joint/several liability requirement remains, which has been an issue for some agencies and smaller organizations that wish to partner on these projects. But joint applications are no longer incentivized, and transportation partners can demonstrate prior experience with a developer through a previous/existing contract with a local jurisdiction or transportation agency.
  • The points for anti-displacement policies have been split between residential and business policies, and the points for workforce development have been separated out into their own category.
  • Parking costs are ineligible expenses.
  • Compliance with a housing element is now required.
  • Environmental clearance for transportation projects is now required at time of grant disbursement vs. time of grant application, giving applicants more time to do their environmental review and thus letting more projects be eligible for funding.

Still to be determined is whether there will be some sort of geographical apportionment of the AHSC funds to certain regions in the state. The past two rounds have not had any geographical apportionment but some regions feel they aren’t getting their fair share of these funds. SGC also is waiting to release an exact date for the Notice of Funding Availability until they have more certainty on how much funding will be available this round, given the recent declines in the sale of allowances in cap-and-trade auctions.

Next Steps: SGC will host workshops around the state to gather feedback on the Guidelines in late March and early April. Comments are due by April 14 and the final Guidelines will be adopted on June 1 at the SGC board meeting. We’ll post the dates of the workshops as soon as we learn them.

For more information about the AHSC program, including data on grants from previous rounds, visit the SGC website here. To see our previous coverage of AHSC, check out our blog posts from late last year:

Urban Greening Program Now Accepting Applications Through May 1, With Workshops Scheduled in March

screenshot-2017-03-01-15-33-31The California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) has announced the call for applications for the next round of funding for the Urban Greening Program. There is $80 million in available funding this round and applications are due May 1. This program will fund active transportation projects including trails; the greening of schoolyards; expansion of parks; and green streets and alleyways. The funding comes from cap-and-trade revenue, also known as the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) or the California Climate Investments Fund (CCIF). Thus, projects must demonstrate how they will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, specifically through one or more of the following strategies:

  • Sequester and store carbon by planting trees
  • Reduce building energy use by strategically planting trees to shade buildings
  • Reduce commute vehicle miles traveled by constructing bicycle paths, bicycle lanes or pedestrian facilities that provide safe routes for travel between residences, workplaces, commercial centers, and schools.

screenshot-2017-03-01-15-33-35Other important notes:

  • Disadvantaged communities will receive priority for funding – a minimum of 75% will be spent in DACs
  • There is no minimum or maximum grant size
  • There is no match required
  • Projects must provide public access where feasible
  • Additional points will be given to projects meeting two of the following statutory priorities (SB 859)
    • Provides park or recreational benefits to a critically underserved community or disadvantaged community.
    • Proposed by a critically underserved community or disadvantaged community.
    • Develops partnerships with local community organizations and businesses in order to strengthen outreach to disadvantaged communities, provides access to quality jobs for residents of disadvantaged communities, or provides access to workforce education and training.
    • Uses interagency cooperation and integration.
    • Uses existing public lands and facilitates the use of public resources and investments, including schools.

The full guidelines are available here.

Technical Assistance Workshops: CNRA will be holding eight workshops around the state to provide information about the program for prospective applicants. If you are thinking of applying, it is strongly encouraged you attend. According to the workshop announcement, each workshop will include a formal presentation and breakout sessions designed to provide help and guidance in preparing grant applications. RSVP’s are appreciated; please email urbangreening@resources.ca.gov or call (916) 653-2812 if you plan to attend a workshop.

 

March 13, 2017

9 am – 12 pm

SACRAMENTO

Resources Building Auditorium

1416 9th Street, 1st Floor

Sacramento, CA 95814

(Webcast available here for first hour and limited to first 100 participants)

Parking Information:http://www.cityofsacramento.org/Public-Works/Parking-Services

March 14, 2017

10 am -1 pm

FRESNO

Caltrans Manchester Office

Yosemite Room 145

2015 East Shields Avenue, Suite 100

Fresno, CA 93726

Free On-Site Parking Available

March 16, 2017

1 pm – 4 pm

COACHELLA

Coachella Corporate Yard

53462 Enterprise Way

Coachella, CA 92236

March 17, 2017

9am-12pm

RIVERSIDE

CalFire Southern Operations Center

2524 Mulberry Street, Media Room

Riverside, CA 92501

Free On-Site Parking Available

March 20, 2017

10 am – 1 pm

TRACY

City of Tracy Public Works

BSC Training Room

520 N. Tracy Boulevard, Boyd Center – Gate 3

Tracy, CA 95376

Free On-Site Parking Available

March 24, 2017

11 am – 2 pm

SAN DIEGO

San Diego Training Center

5500 Overland Avenue, Building 5500

1st Floor Conference Room

San Diego, CA 92123

Free On-Site Parking Available and Paid Street Parking

https://www.sandiego.gov/parking/

March 27, 2017

10 am – 1 pm

OAKLAND

Temescal Beach House

6500 Broadway

Oakland, CA 94618

Free On-Site Parking Available

(If using GPS, make sure to use the address above, not Temescal Park.)

March 28, 2017

11 am – 2 pm

LYNWOOD

Lynwood Civic Center Complex

Bateman Hall

11331 Ernestine Avenue

Lynwood, CA 90262

Free On-Site Parking Available

 

 

 

 

2017 Legislation That Impacts Safe Routes to School

california_state_capitol_front_1999
The deadline to introduce bills in the 2017-18 California legislative session has passed, and the National Partnership’s California policy staff has identified the following bills that impact active transportation and Safe Routes to School. We are sponsoring and/or supporting many of these with other state policy groups, while closely monitoring or opposing others. We will update this page as these bills progress through the legislative process.

Transportation Funding

SB 1 / AB 1These bills would fund transportation projects in the state for 10 years through a variety of tax and fee increases. Both bills include $80 million for ATP plus another $70M potentially available through Caltrans reform efficiencies, for a total of $150M. SB 1 has passed three Senate committees (Transportation & Housing; Environmental Quality; Governance & Finance) and should reach the Senate floor in mid-March. AB 1 has yet to move in the Assembly but is expected to move soon.

Our Position: Oppose unless amended. While we are supportive of the investment in ATP, we have serious concerns about the bill’s overall spending on roads and highways, and its lack of focus on equity and the State’s climate goals. Our concerns are laid out in this comment letter.

AB 96 / SB 72: These are the annual budget bills for each house, and are companions to the Governor’s budget proposal, announced January 10. The deadline to pass the budget is June 15.

Our Position: We support the $100M additional investment in ATP. See our previous post for more details on the Governor’s budget.

Bills We Are Sponsoring:

SB 760This bill would require complete streets on state highways that are funded through the State Highway Operations Protection Program (SHOPP). We are sponsoring this bill with the California Bicycle Coalition, California Walks and the American Heart Association (see our press release for more details on this bill).

Our Position: Sponsoring, Support

Transportation Equity Package: We are working with other advocacy groups at the state level on several bills that advance transportation equity A fact sheet on all three is available here. They include:

AB 17This bill would create a student transit pass program at the state level. It would provide free or reduced-fare passes to students in middle school and above.

Our Position: Support

AB 179This bill would make a series of reforms to the California Transportation Commission, adding expertise in active transportation, public health, equity, environmental justice and other issues.

Our Position: Support

AB 1640This bill would dedicate a portion of funding from the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) for disadvantaged communities.

Our Position: Support

Other Bills Related to Pedestrians & Bicycling:

AB 342This bill would authorize a pilot Automated Speed Enforcement program in San Francisco and San Jose. It is a core part of the Vision Zero movement in both cities.

Our Position: Support (support letter here)

AB 1103This bill would allow rolling stops for bikes approaching stop signs.

Our Position: Neutral. We are not taking a position on this bill.

AB 390This bill would explicitly authorize pedestrians to cross the street against a countdown clock.

Our Position:Neutral. We are not taking a position on this bill.

AB 694This bill clarifies “as far to the right as possible” when bicycling on the street. Addresses earlier concerns with the bill.

Our Position:Neutral. We are not taking a position on this bill.

California Rebuild Package: In addition to AB 1 / SB 1, state legislators have proposed a package of bills to address transportation, housing, freight and parks. More details are available in this fact sheet.

SB 2This bill would fund affordable housing with a $75 real estate transaction fee.

Our Position: We have not taken a position on this bill.

SB 3This bill would authorize a statewide housing bond to pay for affordable housing. Would go to the ballot in 2018 if approved.

Our Position: We have not taken a position on this bill.

SB 4This bill would authorize a statewide bond to pay for freight and goods movement improvements. Would go to the ballot in 2018 if approved.

Our Position: We have not taken a position on this bill.

SB 5This bill would authorize a statewide bond to pay for parks, water, coastal protection and related improvements across the state. Would go to the ballot in 2018 if approved.

Our Position: We have not taken a position on this bill.

Other Bills:

SB 263This bill would create a Technical Assistance program to build capacity among local community organizations, municipalities and small businesses to apply for statewide funding from the cap-and-trade (GGRF) program. It would set up 10 Climate Assistance Centers around the state and be administered by SGC.

Our Position: Support

 

Last Chance to Apply for Active Transportation Technical Assistance!

ca-atp

Application form available here

If you are working to make streets safer or to increase access to schools and parks so that children and families in your community can have more opportunities for physical activity – we can help!

The Safe Routes to School National Partnership can assist your efforts to make your community a place where kids can easily be active and healthy. We are offering long-term, free technical assistance to disadvantaged communities in California that are working to obtain funding to support of walking, bicycling and Safe Routes to School. We are specifically interested in helping communities seeking funding from the State’s Active Transportation Program or other regional and state funding sources that fund Safe Routes to School projects, including both infrastructure and non-infrastructure activities.

If your community is selected, you will receive technical assistance over several months valued at more than $20,000 to help you achieve your goals, including:

  • Regular one-on-one consultation with your project lead
  • An in-person one-day workshop
  • An action plan specific to your project
  • Help navigating the application process for the Active Transportation Program and other funding sources for active transportation and Safe Routes to School

Eligibility is limited to those who are eligible to apply to the State of California’s Active Transportation Program, but who have not previously received ATP funding for this project. At the current time, eligible applicants include local government agencies, school districts and other government entities. Nonprofits and community-based organizations are ineligible to apply, but can partner with a government agency on this application. Please see the 2017 ATP Guidelines for information on eligibility and the type of projects available for funding. Applicants must also be willing and able to commit staff time and availability to the project during the technical assistance period.

To apply, simply describe your community need in detail on the application form available here. Our staff of experts will review and score the applications and select five communities for this opportunity. Applications are due Monday, February 27, 2017, by 5pm PT. If you have any questions during the application process, please contact Bill Sadler, California Senior Policy Manager: bill@saferoutespartnership.org.

The Safe Routes to School National Partnership improves the quality of life for all kids, families and communities by advancing policies that support physical activity, healthy community design, active transportation initiatives, and infrastructure improvements, especially in underserved communities. With a diverse staff spread across the country, we share our expertise and knowledge to inspire and encourage action in local communities. In California, we have four policy staff that work at the regional and state level to advance policies that improve active transportation and increase funding for walking and bicycling. We have been actively involved in the development of the Active Transportation Program and other regional and state funding program and policies that advance Safe Routes to School for many years and are excited to offer this technical assistance opportunity with generous support from The California Endowment.

Apply today!

Complete Streets Bill Introduced in California Legislature

The Safe Routes to School National Partnership is excited to announce that we are sponsoring a bill in the California legislature this session that would require complete streets improvements to be made on state highways within California. The full press release is below and linked to here.

Senator Wiener Introduces Complete Streets Bill to Ensure State Highways that Run Through Local Communities Are Safe and Usable by Transit Riders, Pedestrians, and Cyclists

Sponsored by the California Bicycle Coalition, Safe Routes to School National Partnership, California Walks, and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, SB 760 will require Caltrans to make roads safer for people walking and bicycling

February 22, 2017

Today Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) joined a coalition of transportation and health advocates to announce the introduction of SB 760, which will prioritize the creation of ‘complete streets,’ including safer sidewalks, bikeways, and crosswalks, on roads owned and managed by Caltrans in cities, towns, and neighborhoods. The bill sets new policies and allocates funding to help Caltrans implement the agency’s already adopted Strategic Management Plan goals to make streets safer and more accessible for everyone, including children, seniors, and families, and to accommodate all transportation modes, including walking, biking, and public transit.  SB 760 is sponsored by the California Bicycle Coalition, the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, California Walks, and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

“State-owned highways that run through local communities should be designed for safe use by everyone, not just cars,” said Senator Wiener. “For too long, Caltrans has talked about complete streets as a policy, but hasn’t actually delivered these improvements in its projects. SB 760 will ensure that as we rehabilitate roads that run through the centers of our towns and cities, we are prioritizing active transportation uses like walking, bicycling, and riding public transportation. Streets designed for all residents create safer and healthier communities.”

Caltrans owns and maintains 50,000 lane-miles of state roads, investing $2.4 billion annually. State-owned roadways include city and neighborhood surface streets and small-town main streets that carry local traffic as well as people on foot, bike, and transit. Examples of state-owned roads in urbanized areas include:

  • San Francisco: Van Ness Avenue and Lombard Avenue (Highway 101), 19th Avenue (Highway 1), and Sloat Boulevard (Highway 35)
  • Berkeley: San Pablo Ave (Hwy 123) and Ashby Ave (Hwy 13)
  • Los Angeles County: Santa Monica Blvd (Hwy 2), Hawthorne Blvd (Hwy 107), and Alameda St (Hwy 47)
  • San Bernardino: Foothill Blvd (Hwy 66)
  • Bakersfield: 23rd and 24th Streets (Hwy 178)
  • West Sacramento: Jefferson Blvd (Hwy 84)

“Caltrans has a long history of working to make California a better place to drive,” Jeanie Ward-Waller, Policy Director for the California Bicycle Coalition. “We’ve been pushing the agency to make our state roads better for people biking and walking for years, and while we’ve seen progress in planning and goal-setting, that progress hasn’t been realized yet in better projects on the ground. SB 760 will push Caltrans to follow through in project implementation and to be a leader in designing safe streets.”

Caltrans adopted a complete streets policy in 2008 providing that the agency would ‘consider’ safer road design for people walking and bicycling in all projects. More recently, in 2015, the agency adopted goals to triple bicycling and double walking statewide by the year 2020. However, Caltrans has not made a serious effort to implement these goals as part of all road rehabilitation and maintenance work. Instead, Caltrans continues to prioritize the movement of car and truck traffic through cities and towns, increasing congestion and air pollution in neighborhoods rather than creating streets that are safe, convenient, and inviting places to walk, bike, and use public transit. For example, El Camino Real (SR-82) in the Bay Area cuts through Peninsula communities and inexplicably lacks sidewalks in numerous locations, let alone much-needed bicycle lanes and improved crossings for pedestrians and transit users.

“With pedestans and cyclists comprising over a quarter of all traffic fatalities in the state, we need Caltrans to do its part and to take action to make our streets safer for all road users,” said Tony Dang, Executive Director, California Walks.

SB 760 allocates 3% of state road maintenance funds over the next two years to be used for walking and biking improvements until Caltrans can demonstrate that it is meeting its own complete streets goals.

“SB 760 will make our streets safer for children walking and bicycling to school and in daily life,” said Bill Sadler, California Senior Policy Manager, Safe Routes to School National Partnership. “Many schools, parks and other community destinations are located along state highways and busy roads, and children and their families face unsafe conditions trying to access them. This bill will help address these challenges by creating safer crossings, sidewalks and bicycle facilities along state highways that benefit children across the state who walk and bike to school every day, and encourage many more to do so.”

SB 760 changes the guidelines dictating how State Highway funds are spent to ensure that improving accessibility, reducing vehicle miles traveled, and promoting public health are top considerations. The current primary priority for Caltrans is the operation, maintenance, and rehabilitation of state highways. The bill also establishes a Division of Active Transportation within Caltrans, which will be charged with adhering to complete streets performance measures.

“Government leaders can help people live healthier lives by implementing policies that support healthy behaviors like walking,” said Joe Aviance, aka “Papa Joe,” an American Heart Association volunteer who took to the streets and walked as a first step to losing 250 pounds. “I was 450 pounds when I decided to make a change for the better and started walking. Fortunately for me, I live in a neighborhood that has sidewalks and pedestrian-friendly streets so I feel comfortable going out to walk, sometimes for miles at a time, and the sidewalks became my treadmill. Access to safe, walkable streets is not an available option for most people, especially for most communities of color where investment is sorely needed. Creating more complete streets in all neighborhoods will help encourage people to take the first step to living a longer, healthier life.”

###

New Transformative Climate Communities Program Will Fund Active Transportation Projects!

screenshot-2017-02-09-16-41-42The Strategic Growth Council has released revised Scoping Guidelines for the brand-new Transformative Climate Communities program, which is funded with $140 million in cap-and-trade revenue (Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund). The program will fund large-scale community planning and implementation projects in disadvantaged communities, and can include investments in walking and bicycle infrastructure and programming. This initial round will focus on three communities: Fresno, Los Angeles and a third location that has yet to be determined (though likely in the San Bernardino area). Planning grants are also available for up to ten communities. The final guidelines will be released in late April after another round of feedback on these Scoping Guidelines.

Workshops: There will be three regional workshops. Additional details are available in this flyer:

  • Wednesday, February 15, 6-8pm: Fresno
  • Wednesday, February 22, 6-8pm: Los Angeles
  • Thursday, February 23, 6-8pm: San Bernardino

SGC also held an all-day Summit in Sacramento on Friday, February 10 to gather feedback on the program and what stakeholders want to see funded in their communities.

Key Highlights of the Draft Scoping Guidelines:

  • The program objectives include reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving public health and environmental benefits, and expanding economic opportunity. Applicants must identify goals related to these objectives, as well as indicators for how to achieve them.
  • Project thresholds include preventing displacement, ensuring community engagement, leveraging funding (a 50% match is required), and tracking of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Active transportation infrastructure is eligible to be funded with the program.
  • Other eligible projects include those that are eligible under other GGRF program including the AHSC, TICRP, Urban Greening and Low Carbon Transportation programs.
  • Collaboration is encouraged: local governments, nonprofits, community-based organizations and other groups should work together on the proposal and implementation of the project.
  • Even though the cities have been chosen, the selection process will still be competitive, with each city putting forth multiple proposals for different neighborhoods.
  • The project must focus on a particular neighborhood within the city, defined by political or social boundaries.
  • The program will focus on disadvantaged communities. Only Census tracts within the top 5% of CalEnviroScreen are eligible for funding.

For more details, read the draft Scoping Guidelines. For more information on the TCC program in general, visit SGC’s TCC program webpage. We are excited to see another state grant program include funding for active transportation projects!

 

%d bloggers like this: