California WALKS is a statewide organization of affiliated nonprofit and volunteer groups dedicated to creating healthy, safe, and walkable communities. Our mission is to provide a statewide voice for pedestrian safety and walkable communities through policy advocacy, community empowerment, and a growing unified statewide network of local community organizations and affiliates—with particular focus on healthy equity and communities disparately impacted by pedestrian injuries and fatalities.
Despite months of our coalition—including California WALKS, California Bicycle Coalition, Rails-Trails-Conservancy, PolicyLink, Safe Routes to School National Partnership, TransForm, and many others—negotiating with the Administration to ensure that walking projects are eligible under the new Active Transportation Program, to preserve level funding for Safe Routes to School and the Recreational Trail programs, and to prioritize program investments in disadvantaged communities, the Governor has not met us halfway: In the latest revision of the Governor’s budget, no changes were made to the proposed Active Transportation Program despite our many modest recommendations.
As the Legislature takes up the May revise of the budget, we are asking you to make a call to Governor Brown at (916) 445-2841 or e-mail now! The Assembly and Senate Budget Subcommittees will be reviewing the Governor’s proposal on Tuesday, May 21 and Wednesday, May 22 in Sacramento—if you are interested in attending, please contact Jeanie Ward Waller, California Advocacy Organizer for the Safe Routes to School National Parternship for details.
Gov. Brown needs to hear that Californians strongly support walking, biking, and Safe Routes to School programs, and want to see MORE investment, not LESS.
Though we have our reservations about the Governor’s proposed Active Transportation Program (ATP), the ATP does have great potential to increase funding for walking, bicycling, and Safe Routes to Schools programs over time. On March 13 and 14, the Assembly and Senate Budget Subcommittees held hearings on the ATP proposal, and based on the legislators’ responses, we believe there is strong support and will in the Legislature to ensure that the ATP can be a truly transformational program for Californians who walk and bike. Walk, bike, health, environmental, and equity advocates from across the State showed up in full force for the hearungs, and testified passionately to the subcommittees about the importance and benefits of active transportation and Safe Routes to School.
Many subcommittee members responded with strong support, and both committees directed the Adminsitration to work closely with our coalition of advocates to address our concerns. Assembly Subcommittee Chair Richard Bloom of Santa Monica was concerned that the ATP does not address the needs of pedestrians with disabilities, and also expressed interest in the ATP receiving future revenue from his AB 1002 proposal (increased vehicle registration fee).On the Senate side, Subcommittee Chair Jim Beall of San Jose spoke passionately about his own experience as a child witnessing a classmate struck and killed by a motor vehicle, and strongly supported focusing ATP funds on projects that improve the safety of Californians walking and biking.
California WALKS continues its work with the California Bicycle Coalition, the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Safe Routes to School National Partnership, TransForm, and a coalition of advocates to negotiate a final ATP proposal with the Administration, and we expect to be meeting with the Administration in the coming weeks. And after the budget hearings, we are reinvigorated to seize this opportunity to strengthen the ATP for the millions of Californians who walk and bike.
Cal WALKS Twitter Feed
- Walking, Biking, & Safe Routes to School Being Thrown Under the Bus!
- Pounding the Pavement at the Capitol
- Does the Active Transportation Program Live Up to Its Promise?
- Californians to Gov. Brown: More Walking, More Biking, & More Safe Routes to School!
- Shape the Future of Walking & Active Transportation in California