Measure M Guidelines Update: Read Our Comment Letter and Next Steps

The Safe Routes to School National Partnership submitted a comment letter to Metro regarding the draft Measure M Guidelines last week. You can read our full letter here. Be sure to also check out a letter submitted by our partners at Investing in Place that we signed on to.

Next steps: The Metro Policy Advisory Council (PAC) will continue to convene monthly, meeting next on June 6th at SCAG headquarters. At the June meeting Metro will present its initial revisions to the Guidelines for input. It is never too late to get involved! PAC meetings are open to the public and a great way to stay up to date on important discussions and provide crucial feedback. Find more information on the PAC here.

Apply for a Youth Leaders Training

CalBike and California Walks have released a call for applications for the Walk & Bike Youth Leaders Program. They are aiming to invite a diverse group of 10 youth between ages 16-23 to participate in the program, which will include a four month satellite advocacy training curriculum and culminate in October with a youth advocacy summit in Sacramento in conjunction with the CalBike Summit. The goals of the program are to provide youth an opportunity to build advocacy skills and learn about the policy process, to engage their ideas and energy in our summit as well as in CalBike’s and CA Walk’s future policy agenda, and to contribute to development of a pipeline of future walking and biking leaders. Deadline to apply is May 31!

Youth for the Environment and Sustainability (YES) Conference

Some 500 junior high and high school students from around the region swarmed the Bay Area Metro Center in February for the fourth annual YES Conference. Teen activists presented to their peers on such topics as “Proving That Climate Change Is Not a Hoax” and “Go Away, Throwaway,” to inspire participants to be environmental leaders in their schools and communities. Read more on the Metropolitan Transportation Commission News Page.

Transportation Equity Act Advances

AB 179 (Cervantes), which aims to restructure the California Transportation Commission (CTC) to ensure diverse representation that promotes equitable transportation planning and protect public health, passed out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee and is headed to the Assembly floor. This bill would require that at least one of the eleven voting members of the CTC have qualifications working directly with those communities in the state that are most significantly burdened by, and vulnerable to, high levels of pollution, including, those communities with racially and ethnically diverse populations or with low-income populations. Find a letter of support that you can send here.

Caltrans Finalizes Statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan

Caltrans has adopted “Toward an Active California,” the State’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan. This document is California’s first statewide plan that lays out the policies and actions that Caltrans and its partner agencies will take to achieve the department’s ambitious statewide goals to double walking and triple bicycling trips by 2020. The plan’s vision statement is that by 2040, people in California of all ages, abilities, and incomes can safely, conveniently, and comfortably walk and bicycle for their transportation needs. We have provided comments on the plan before, and are pleased with how the plan has clear action steps to advance Safe Routes to School, biking and walking. Read more on Steetsblog.

California State Budget and the Active Transportation Program

The Governor Jerry Brown administration released its May Revision to the State budget on May 11. The May Revise does not include major changes to transportation funding, as that was handled in a major transportation deal that resulted in the the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, SB 1. SB 1 provides ten years’ worth of funding for transportation improvements across the state, including $100 million a year in new funding for the Active Transportation Program (ATP). The May Revise includes an additional $395,000 and two positions for the California Transportation Commission (CTC) to manage the expanded Active Transportation Program. In addition, at its last meeting, the CTC adopted a plan to use some of the funding that is immediately available to the ATP from the passage of SB 1 to fund some of the high scoring projects from the last ATP round of applications (cycle 3).

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.”

 

Planning for Madera County’s Active Future

The Madera County Transportation Commission (MCTC) is currently preparing an Active Transportation Plan for Madera County.  The plan will provide recommendations to assist in the planning and delivery of cycling and walking infrastructure in the years to come.  MCTC have prepared a couple ways to provide initial feedback to shape this process:

Complete the Active Transportation Plan Stakeholder Survey by visiting: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MCTCATP_Survey

You can also help identify key walking and biking locations in Madera County using MCTC’s Interactive Webmap:http://bit.ly/MCTCBikePedSurvey

 

%d bloggers like this: