California has a current budget surplus of $31 billion. CalBike is advocating for the governor and legislature to put $2 billion of that surplus toward infrastructure projects that will make our communities safer and more inviting for biking and walking. We’re joined by our allies at Safe Routes Partnership, Transform, California Walks, Move LA, Planning and Conservation League, and Active SGV. That $2B would represent a one-time tenfold increase in funding for active transportation projects, but it will only touch the beginning of California’s need for infrastructure improvements.
The Active Transportation Program was created in 2013 by combining several state and federal funding sources into one account to support bike and pedestrian safety. Total funding was $134 million in 2013 ($160 million in today’s dollars), and the ATP had $238 million in 2020 (a 49% increase). Still, that amount does not come close to meeting the exploding demand for safer streets. The most recent round of ATP funding, for example, drew 453 applications requesting a total of $2.3 billion.
At a funding level of about $220 million each year, the Active Transportation Program is the largest single dedicated source of funding for bike and pedestrian safety in the country. Yet, for a state the size of California, with a transportation budget of $32 billion, it’s nowhere near enough to meet the need.
That’s why the $2 billion boost to active transportation is critical. Only 40 submitted proposals were funded in Cycle 5, representing less than 10% of potential projects. In the last cycle, projects had to score at least 92 points out of a possible 100 in the evaluation process to receive ATP money. Our recommendation for a $500 million augmentation to Cycle 5 ATP projects will allow the state to fund approximately 80 shovel-ready projects immediately. That would make almost all the proposals with applications scoring 86 points or above. CalBike has created a spreadsheet showing all 453 applications, sorted by their score, so you can see where a project from your community fits and if it might get funding.
Of course, this one-time boost is just the beginning. With our allies, we are demanding a doubling of the Active Transportation Program to $500 million annually and a new program to build connected bikeway networks to create 15-minute neighborhoods where everyone’s typical daily needs are just a safe and comfortable 15-minute bike ride away. We’ll need your support to get it done. Please sign the petition.