Invest/Divest

Call on California policymakers to divest from regressive road-building and invest in Complete Streets and California’s transportation future.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

The Active Transportation Program (ATP) is a competitive funding source for projects across California that support biking and walking safety. It gives out approximately $500 million in grants each two-year funding cycle. The program is chronically underfunded and oversubscribed, and many worthwhile projects don’t get funded each cycle.

In January 2024, Governor Gavin Newsom initially proposed cutting $200 million from the ATP. He increased the cutback to $600 million in the May Revise, a deep spending reduction that could delay and jeopardize projects awarded in Cycle 6 and would likely eliminate a full future cycle of ATP grants. No corresponding downsizing was proposed for funding for highway projects that increase vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and greenhouse gas emissions.

There is no deficit in California’s transportation budget, which receives ample federal funding in addition to state funds.

CalBike, along with our allies and supports, is pushing back hard against this regressive cut. Thousands of you emailed your legislators, and they listened, restoring full ATP funding in its proposed budget.

We need to convince the governor to maintain funding for critical biking and walking projects in the final budget, which will be released on June 15. Please email the governor today.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Take Action

The People-First Mobility Budget

California has laid out admirable goals to reduce GHG emissions from transportation, which contributes the most to climate change in our state, but we’re still not moving fast enough to stop climate change before it’s too late. In fact, California continues to apply billions of dollars from its transportation budget to projects that increase greenhouse gas emissions. So CalBike has drafted a People-First Mobility Budget, an alternative transportation spending plan for California that gives residents more mobility options, improves health, increases equity, and helps us meet our climate goals.

  • 50% of the California State Highway Account (SHA) to active transportation projects and other vehicle miles traveled (VMT)-reducing projects. We need to build protected, connected bikeways to make biking a realistic option for more Californians to get more places. We need Complete Streets with protected intersections and bikeways to create bikeable, walkable neighborhoods. We need to build this quickly; we know it’s possible with enough funding. The SHA is expected to be $5.4 billion this year.

We propose the $2.7 billion from SHA be distributed as follows:

    • $700 million to the Active Transportation Program (ATP). The ATP is chronically underfunded. An infusion of an additional $700 million will launch dozens of worthwhile projects cities are ready to build. This should be the funding floor for all future appropriations.
    • $2 billion set aside for the construction of truly Complete Streets. We define Complete Streets as streets that include all the elements needed to make it safe to reach destinations by walking or biking. This funding is essential to help communities implement GHG- and VMT-reducing projects.

25% of the Federal Trust Fund to VMT-reducing projects, including but not limited to implementing transit priority corridors on streets and highways. This would shift an additional $2.5 billion and strengthen the state’s recent efforts in meeting its GHG and VMT reduction goals.

75% of combined state and federal funds to continue to prioritize repair and maintenance of state-controlled roads. The remainder of the state budget plus $7.5 billion in federal funding adds roughly $15 billion. This fix-it-first allocation will pay for needed repairs such as fixing potholes, hardening infrastructure against extreme weather and other failures, and scheduled repaving. No repair projects should include new lanes, interchanges, or other infrastructure that would increase VMT. The $15 billion is more than enough to continue to meet the targets in the State Highway System Management Plan and the Transportation Asset Management Plan, and the goals of SB 1 and its associated programming.

At least half of the above spending should go toward improving infrastructure in historically underserved areas. Transportation racism has created a system of haves and have-nots. No neighborhood should have missing sidewalks, a lack of safe street crossings, streets in disrepair, and a lack of adequate transit connections, but years of malign neglect have led to terrible street conditions in many disadvantaged communities. This funding will provide literal reparations: repairing the damage of racism, one crosswalk at a time.

Zero funding for increased highway capacity. No new freeway lanes, overpasses, or interchanges. California has enough high-capacity, high-volume, high-speed streets. It’s time to build slow streets for people. This shift in funding will allow the above priorities to be implemented.

OUR APPROACH
Agency Action

We’ll work with California environmental and transportation agencies like to steward state-level policies, programs, and guidelines to align transportation spending with the state’s climate and equity goals

Legislation

We’ll shape, support, sponsor, and work to advance legislation that addresses Invest/Divest strategic priorities, leading with safety, equity, and decarbonizing California’s transportation sector.

Budget

We’ll advocate for funding increases for active transportation projects and implementing Complete Streets by divesting and reallocating money from harmful freeway expansion projects and biased traffic enforcement.

OUR INVEST PILLARS

Invest in Complete Streets: Prioritize new safe, accessible, and equitable infrastructure that makes biking, walking, and micromobility convenient and appealing. Invest in safe roadways for all transportation modes, bringing us closer to Vision Zero and our ambitious climate goals.

Invest in Just Streets: We’re expanding the definition of a Complete Street to mean one where people of all identities and bodies are safe from police harassment. To accomplish this, we must decriminalize biking and walking, including bikes treating stop signs as yields—often used in biased, pretextual policing—to make our complete streets safe for all identities and bodies. Remove discriminatory barriers based on class, race, gender, age, ability, and other identities and invest in communities where the safety of all residents is paramount.

Invest in Complete Communities: No more bike lanes to nowhere. Invest in connected bikeways and pedestrian paths that provide safe, integrated access to essential destinations, making active transportation a viable option for more Californians.

Invest in Thriving Communities: Invest in long-term neighborhood safety, security, and wealth that connects sustainable transportation options with affordable housing that is integrated with healthy destinations. We must empower the communities most impacted by harmful transportation investments to choose their own goals, strategies, and projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, local toxic air, and lethal streets.

OUR DIVEST PILLARS

Divest from Freeway Expansion: Don’t build one more mile of dead-end infrastructure that increases traffic, damages communities, increases fossil fuel dependence, and creates new maintenance bills that California can’t afford to pay. Divest from failed traffic mitigation policies that lead to gridlock, and invest those funds in infrastructure to move California into the future.

Divest from Climate Collapse: Transportation is the biggest contributor to GHG emissions, so we must divest from projects that increase VMT and invest those funds in low- or no-carbon transportation alternatives.

Divest from Environmental Racism: Low-income communities of color are harmed the most by toxic air, freight distribution, displacement, and gentrification pressures. It’s time to divest from projects that bring environmental degradation and invest those funds in historically marginalized communities.

Divest from Enforcement and Criminalization: Californians need safety from the violence of cars, freight trucks, and other forms of publicly-subsidized harm that especially burden and criminalize Black and brown bodies/communities. Divest from racist, militarized traffic enforcement and invest in community resources to support and protect vulnerable residents.

Divest from Policing as a Street Safety Solution: Law enforcement is often positioned as the prevailing authority on street safety, ignoring other forms of community protection. We cannot trust the police to enforce traffic laws equitably without the removal of white supremacy from law enforcement. Therefore, we must remove police enforcement from Vision Zero and other safe streets strategies.

More About the Invest/Divest Movement

Happy bike riders making their way down an extra wide bike lane on a verdant street.