California Walks and our partners have beeen hard at work these past few weeks during the Governor’s special session on transportation, and thanks to our collective efforts, we have helped shift the conversation from simply repaving roads and fixing potholes to linking up to $6 billion of potential new state transportation investments with our state’s climate change, social equity, and complete streets goals.
California Walks and the Coalition for Active Transportation Leadership are championing two transformative bills that will make complete streets a reality so that every Californian can walk, bike, or take transit if they so choose. Here’s what these bills would do:
- Implement a Complete Streets policy for new state funding: Senator Jim Beall has included a sensible complete streets provision in SBX 1-1 that will make the most cost-effective use of road maintenance funding to meet our state’s many ambitious goals–from state of good repair to climate, public health, and social equity goals.SBX1-1 would require all SHOPP and STIP projects to provide safe, protected facilities for people walking and bicycling in transit-dense areas on most roads with a speed limit over 25 miles per hour. Additionally, the bill would require Caltrans and local agencies to report on the impacts of all SHOPP and STIP funded projects in terms of their greenhouse gas emissions; public health, air quality, and natural resources impacts; pedestrian, bicycle, and transit mobility improvements; and co-benefits to disadvantaged and underserved communities. If these Caltrans and local agency projects do not further the state’s climate, equity, and health goals, their funding could be withheld in the future.
- Increase dedicated funding for biking and walking projects: Assemblymembers Eduardo Garcia, Autumn Burke, and David Chiu have co-authored ABX 1-23, which doubles the size of the Active Transportation Program (ATP) with a $125 million increase. The ATP is the sole source of state funding dedicated to walking, biking, and Safe Routes to School projects. Last year, the ATP was underfunded by nearly $800 million for shovel-ready walking, bicycling and safe school access projects. ABX 1-23 also includes a new ATP category to fund complete networks of walking and biking facilities that would connect every destination in communities throughout the state with an unbroken web of sidewalks, safe crossings, bike paths, protected bike lanes, and quiet bicycle boulevards. A minimum of 1/3 of funding available for these network grants shall be reserved for Safe Routes to School projects and of that, a minimum of 10 percent and a maximum of 30 percent shall be used to fund noninfrastructure programs.
What You Can Do
- Contact Your State Senator & Assemblymember Now to let them know that you support implementing strong “complete streets” policies to ensure that state funding is spent to build sidewalks, safe crossings, and protected bike lanes; increase the Active Transportation Program; and enable communities to build out entire walking and biking networks. Send an e-mail here
- Send In an Organizational Letter of Support: We’ve made it easy for you to send in a letter of support from your organization! Modify these template letters for SBX1-1 (here) and ABX1-23 (here) and send in to show your organization’s support.
- Spread the Word! Share the action link (http://fundingaction-calbike.nationbuilder.com/) by posting to Facebook & Twitter using #CompleteStreets