Big Win for Bike Funding in Washington State
Thanks to a grassroots effort led by Washington Bikes, the Washington State Legislature recently approved a transportation funding package that includes a big increase in funding for bikeways. The package would mean a long-term investment of roughly half a billion dollars in state and federal funds in bicycling and walking. It would fund dedicated bicycling, walking, and safe routes to school projects and grant programs as well as major roadway safety and complete streets projects that include significant bicycling and walking improvements. Compared to the last major transportation funding agreement 10 years ago, Washington will increase its investment in bicycling and walking seven-fold!
Here’s a quick snapshot of how the funding breaks down:
$75 million for the state Bicycle and Pedestrian Grant Program
$142 million for the Safe Routes to School Program
$105 million for specific bicycling and walking projects of statewide significance
$56 million for bicycling and walking safety projects
$106 million for the Complete Streets Grant Program, which aims to improve conditions for all users on main streets and local arterials
Additional funding to include multimodal features on significant road projects
In total, Washington Bikes estimates that the Legislature would invest close to $600 million in bicycling and walking over the next 16 years. We commend the Washington Legislature and our colleagues at Washington Bikes for this impressive win for bicycling, which amounts to $5.36 per person per year in Washington. By comparison, California’s Active Transportation Program, at $120 million, amounts to $3.16 per person.
When the California Legislature reconvenes from its summer recess in late August, our representatives will also be focused on approving a major new transportation funding package as part of the extraordinary session on transportation infrastructure. Your California Bicycle Coalition is working to achieve a significant boost in funding for California’s bikeways in that new funding package, and are hopeful that we could see a similar win by the end of the year.