Bringing Community Voice and Priorities to Policy
Everybody has to walk at some point during the day-even if it’s just from the parking lot to the office. That is why transforming community environments to support walking is of paramount importance to prevent injuries and to increase opportunities for safe physical activity. California WALKS believes that state policy is an effective venue for creating healthy and safe communities, and one of our founding principles is integrating community-level concerns to regional, state and federal level policies. Our staff are engaged in many policy work groups and committees.
For current state legislation we are monitoring, please visit californiawalks.org/legislation
Statewide Policy Areas
California Implementation of Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21)
Because MAP-21 gives great flexibility for Caltrans to shift (or “flex”) money between its many programs, California WALKS, Network Affiliates, and statewide partner organizations are working together to advance a unified call for full funding and implementation of the TAP and a dedicated HSIP set-aside to reduce pedestrian and bicycle injuries and fatalities.
Through the California WALKS Network Initiative, Achieving Walkable Communities for Health, Cal WALKS works with local and regional partners to shape SCS/RTPs across the state to increase investments in active transportation; elevate community resident voices in transportation planning; build advocacy capacity of individuals and groups within the Cal WALKS Network; and to advance state, regional, and local policies that increase opportunities for walking.
Complete Streets Implementation
California WALKS works to inform statelevel guidance on Complete Streets implementation, as well as regional implementation in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Health in All Policies
California WALKS has worked to inform the HiAP Task Force’s recommendations, as well as to advance Health in All Policies in other contexts. Namely, the Cal WALKS Board of Directors unanimously endorsed AB 441 (Monning)-which was signed into law in 2012 and requires Caltrans and the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) to provide guidelines for incorporating health and health equity factors into Regional Transportation Plans (RTPs) and cities’ general plans.
Roadway Design to Improve Pedestrian Safety
Cal WALKS has worked closely with Caltrans to inform updates to their Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD)-which specifies standards that traffic control devices throughout the state must meet in order to comply with state and federal transportation regulations-and the Highway Design Manual to strengthen the design of intersections for the safety and accessibility of pedestrians.
Safe Routes to School (SRTS)
California WALKS advises communities on how to develop SRTS Action Plans, conducts walk assessments, and works with other state advocacy partners to protect SRTS funding.
Safe Routes for Seniors
California WALKS works to engage and empower older adults to advocate for pedestrian safety improvements. Cal WALKS also seeks to tap into older adults’ position as active family and neighborhood members, as well as their to acquired skills, energy and available time to improve community health outcomes.
Safe Routes to Transit
California WALKS works to ensure that pedestrian needs and facilities are considered and implemented in transit station designs and construction.
Universal Access & Americans with Disability Act (ADA) Design
California WALKS has extensive expertise in universal design, the ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) and the ADA Public Right of Way Accessibility Guidelines (PROWAG). Cal WALKS is heavily involved in the successful settlement and ongoing implementation of a 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Caltrans lawsuit to provide ADA-accessible sidewalks and crossings on the state highway system. The settlement created a new Caltrans ADA Infrastructure Program with $1.1 billion (over 30 years) dedicated to pedestrian safety, the largest single increase in statewide pedestrian investment in Caltrans history. Cal WALKS Board Member Bob Planthold sits on the ADA Infrastructure Program Advisory Committee.