The California Bicycle Coalition is representing local advocates and bicycle programs as we advise the California Transportation Commission on the guidelines for the new Active Transportation Program. The ATP replaces five other funding sources for which bike projects were eligible and represents a 35% increase in funding for biking and walking projects. This spring $130 million will be distributed to local agencies and the state will hold a $130 million competitive call for projects
Our advocacy is designed to focus the ATP on three goals:
• What will do the most to increase the proportion of trips by bike?
• How can we use the ATP to leverage funds from other sources whether federal, state, or local?
• How can the ATP foster good planning?
Among our key recommendations is a request to use the ATP as leverage to get Caltrans to update their design guidelines. We also want to use it to compel local agencies to implement complete streets policies. It makes sense that the state should not be funding bike and ped projects for jurisdictions that don’t carefully be sure to include bike and ped accommodations in existing projects.
Finally, we’re working to update the requirements to have a bicycle plan in place. One of the benefits of the now-defunct Bicycle Transportation Account was its requirement that an applicant must have an approved bicycle plan that addressed certain goals. In the next iteration, we seek to update that requirement to encourage bike plans that don’t merely address a range of topics — i.e. indicate where you’re putting bike parking — but require certain benchmarks to be met — i.e. indicate how much bike parking is necessary to meet projected demand at every significant transit station. We look forward to working with local partners and the California Transportation Commission to fine tune our recommendations.