MTC Supports Increased Funding for Climate Change Education

The Administration Committee of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) voted on June 8 to reauthorize funding for the Spare the Air Youth (STAY) program, while directing MTC staff to pursue ways to increase funding even further.

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Tommy Bensko of the Bay Area Bike Mobile, and Kerri Heusler of Street Smarts Diablo 511 Contra Costa

 

STAY provides education on climate change and active transportation to Bay Area youth, including family bicycle workshops, mobile repair of bicycles in schools, high school Safe Routes to School, an annual youth and sustainability conference, and more. An evaluation found that STAY succeeded in reaching more than 30,000 students throughout the region, repairing more than 7,000 bicycles, and leading to a 22% average mode shift.

The program began with $3 million in 2009, and there was concern MTC would not continue any of the funding. Finally, a proposal was put forth by MTC staff to continue funding for a subset of grantees at $660,000 – a massive cut.

Bay Area organizations including the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, East Bay Bike, the Bay Area Bike Mobile, Ybike, the Center for Climate Protection, and 511 Contra Costa joined the National Partnership in providing testimony to the committee in support of the program.

The testimony made a significant impact. Virtually every commissioner present including MTC Chair Dave Cortese, Jason Baker, Mark Luce, Amy Rein Worth, Jake Mackenzie, Dorene M. Giacopini, and Scott Haggerty spoke in favor of expanded funding for the program. Scott Wiener moved to adopt the proposal with the direction of committee chair Adrienne Tissier that staff identify funding sources to increase the program. MTC Executive Director Steve Heminger expressed that he would work to find ways to address the commissioners’ sentiments. Advocates will work with MTC on continued progress to support vital non-infrastructure programs such as this.

MTC to Hold Plan Bay Area Open Houses

In May and June, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) will hold a series of open houses in each of the region’s nine counties to inform and hear comments on Plan Bay Area, the area’s Regional Transportation Plan.

Attend to learn about and comment on the three land use and transportation scenarios developed to inform the update of the region’s long-range transportation and housing plan, known as Plan Bay Area 2040. Your voice will contribute to the selection of a preferred scenario, which is slated to be approved by the Association of Bay Area Government’s (ABAG) Executive Board and MTC in September 2016.

Your participation can help ensure that Safe Routes to School, Complete Streets, and active transportation are prioritized. Find more information and the open house schedule here.

 

MTC Releases ATP Regional Cycle 3 Call for Projects and Workshops

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) has released its call for projects for the Regional ATP Cycle 3. ATP Cycle 3 will cover FY 2019-20 and FY 2020-21, and $20 million is available for projects in the nine counties of the Bay Area through the regional pot. This is in addition to the statewide ATP, which Bay Area projects can also compete for.

In order to be eligible for both Statewide and Regional ATP, applicants must submit the statewide application to Caltrans and both the statewide and regional supplemental applications to MTC by the June 15 deadline. Information on the regional guidelines can be found here.

MTC will also host a series of workshops throughout the Bay Area in May to provide information to potential applicants. More information can be found at the bottom of this page.

MTC to Hold Bay Area ATP Cycle 3 Workshops

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) will host a series of workshops at locations across the Bay Area to discuss programming the upcoming Active Transportation Program (ATP) Cycle 3. These sessions are open to anyone, but will be tailored to new applicants, applicants seeking assistance in preparing a competitive application, and agencies or organizations interested in partnering on an application.

LOCATIONS:
South Bay –
Monday, May 2, 2016; 10:00a – 12:00p
City of San Jose
200 East Santa Clara Street, Wing Rooms (118-120)
San Jose CA 95113
Central Bay –
Tuesday, May 3, 2016; 1:30p – 3:30p
Metropolitan Transportation Commission
101-8th Street, 1st Floor, Auditorium
Oakland, CA 94607
North Bay –
Wednesday, May 4, 2016; 1:30p – 3:30p
Napa Valley Transportation Authority
625 Burnell Street
Napa, CA 94559

Please register via email to Marcella Aranda at maranda@mtc.ca.gov, no later than Friday, April 22. Please be sure make the subject line of your RSVP email: “ATP CYCLE 3 WORKSHOP – (location)”. Space is limited.

MTC Releases Revised Complete Streets Checklist

MTC has released a revision to its Complete Streets checklist. The checklist was first developed in 2006 and is required to be filled out by cities and counties as part of all applications for regional funding.

The updated checklist includes questions related to which design standards and guidelines were followed, whether road diets were considered as part of the project, and how community feedback was responded to in designing the project. Last October, the National Partnership joined six other organizations on a letter to MTC outlining some of these suggested changes.

MTC Approves Regional ATP Guidelines

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) approved the guidelines for the regional portion of the Active Transportation Program. Forty percent of the statewide total of ATP funds are distributed by larger MPOs, and MTC for Cycle 3 will be awarding $20 million.

The guidelines reflect some differences from the statewide ATP requirements. There will be a set-aside target of 20 percent of the regional funds for projects that are under $1 million. Forty percent of the points that will go for projects that support disadvantaged communities in the statewide application will instead be used to give points for projects that have been identified in MTC’s Community-Based Transportation Plans (CBTPs). A carryover from prior regional ATP guidelines is that additional points will be awarded to jurisdictions that have complied with MTC’s Complete Streets policy as part of the One Bay Area Grant.

The National Partnership and Public Advocates submitted a  letter expressing support for some of the changes, including the points for Complete Streets and the small-project target, but expressed some concern that projects identified in the CBTPs need to demonstrate continued relevance to disadvantaged communities.

Bay Area Regional Safe Routes to School Funding and Complete Streets Policies Advance

Updates to Regional Safe Routes to School funding and Complete Streets requirements continue to advance at the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC).

The current staff proposal was discussed but not voted on at a meeting of the MTC Programming and Allocations Committee last week. The proposal calls for filling a gap in Regional SRTS funding and continuing to fund the program for five additional years. It also alters the Complete Streets policy, requiring a jurisdiction to either pass a policy resolution or certify that their general plan has been updated with Complete Streets elements more recently than 2010.

The updated funding and policy issues are part of the proposed Cycle 2 of the One Bay Area Grant (OBAG), which in turn is part of the ongoing Regional Transportation Plan known as Plan Bay Area.

Seven organizations including the National Partnership sent MTC a letter outlining our desire to see the Complete Streets requirement move in the direction of on-the-ground implementation, including developing measures of success for Complete Streets policies and better use of MTC’s Complete Streets checklist. The current policy has resulted in over ninety percent of Bay Area jurisdictions having some kind of Complete Streets policy on the books.

The OBAG2 proposal will next be taken up at the MTC Commission meeting on November 18.

Fresno COG Regional Forum

The Fresno Council of Governments (COG) will hold a regional forum on transportation issues on October 14. 

When: Wednesday, October 14, 2016
Where: Doubletree Hotel by Hilton — Fresno Convention Center
Time: 8:00 am to 3:30 pm

There will be presentations from federal and state and local transportation agencies, and discussions on transportation and public health, technology and more.

Confirmed speakers include Malcolm Dougherty, Director of the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), and Will Kempton, Executive Director of the California Transportation Commission.

Registration and other information is available here.

 

MTC Proposes Funding Safe Routes to School for Six More Years

Staff for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) have proposed continuing to fund the Regional Safe Routes to School (RSTS) program for an additional six years at $5 million per year.

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This good news represents a full funding of $25 million for Cycle 2 of the One Bay Area Grant (OBAG), as well as a restoration of full funding for the final supplemental year of OBAG 1, 2016-2017. Originally, funding for that year had been cut in half, but advocates and MTC commissioners raised concerns about those cuts at a meeting last December.

The funding proposal was presented to MTC’s Programming and Allocations Committee at an informational hearing mid July, but an actual vote will not come till later in the year.

In a shift from earlier in the year, MTC is also recommending maintaining the process for disbursing funding according to school enrollment figures, rather than using the OBAG formula, which would have changed the amount of funding that went to each county while holding the regional total constant. By keeping the original formula, the RSTS program will remain essentially unchanged.

The OBAG 2 proposal also advances an alteration of the region’s Complete Streets requirement that had been contained in OBAG 1: Instead of requiring every jurisdiction to update their General Plan circulation element, MTC proposes requiring jurisdictions to pass their model policy resolution with its minimum criteria, or certify that the General Plan currently meets the Complete Streets Act criteria. What’s different from last cycle is that a jurisdiction can’t self-certify a General Plan if it hasn’t been updated since 2010. Jurisdictions with older circulation elements will either need to update them or pass the MTC resolution.

 

Fresno County Issues Call for Regional ATP Projects

The Fresno Council of Governments (COG) has released its call for Regional Active Transportation Program (ATP) projects. 

The Fresno COG Regional ATP Call for Projects will begin on June 26, 2015 and close on August 7, 2015. The guidelines, application instructions, and full application are available here

ATP funds from the State of California provide an important funding source for active transportation and Safe Routes to School projects. Forty percent of ATP funds must be distributed to Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO) in urban areas with populations greater than 200,000. An estimated $3.9 million will be available in this second cycle for the Fresno COG Regional Competitive ATP.

ATP requirements include a process to ensure that no less than 25 % of overall program funds shall benefit disadvantaged communities.  Regional ATP funds must be selected through a competitive process by MPOs in accordance with the state California Transportation Commission (CTC) guidelines. Projects selected by MPOs may be in either large urban, small urban or rural areas.

As discussed on our resources pages, projects that address Safe Routes to School, work with public health departments and include outreach to community members and community-based organizations have an improved chance of success!

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