For this 2013 budget, California Governor Jerry Brown proposes a consolidation of several bicycle and pedestrians programs into a single budgetary bucket called the Active Transportation Program (ATP). Several advocacy groups have issued petitions to ensure funding for bicycle programs remain at current levels.
Brown proposes the consolidation of five existing programs — Transportation Alternatives Program, the Recreational Trails program (which funds things like hiking and mountain bike trails), Safe Routes to Schools, Environmental Enhancement and Mitigation Program, and the Bicycle Transportation Account — into a single Active Transportation Program administered by the state Business, Transportation and Housing Agency.
Currently, projects are eligible for grants under several programs, and project sponsors often find it necessary to submit multiple applications for the same project. According to the Governor’s office, the new consolidated Active Transportation Program will streamline this process and fund high‑priority projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the objectives of Chapter 728, Statutes of 2008 (SB 375), as well as provide safety benefits. Brown’s 2014 budget proposes $134.2M for this program, which is 92% of last year’s level of funding for the programs the ATP will replace.
What does this mean specifically? The Recreational Trails Program administered by the California Department of Parks and Recreation will go away. Mountain bikers and hikers must compete with Safe Routes programs for grants from the same pot of money. If Steinberg’s SB375 greenhouse emissions law is used to decide on who receives funding, I think mountain bikers and IMBA might be the big loser here.
The California Bicycle Coalition petition asks Governor Brown to:
- Increase the initial ATP funding at $147M.
- Dedicate at least $46M for the state Safe Routes to School program.
- Dedicate at least $10M for urban forestry, local parks, resource lands and roadside recreation and trails projects.
- Continue to allocate, at the minimum, California’s share of these funds from MAP-21, the federal transportation law, for recreational trails for the Recreational Trails program, and
- Allocate the balance to the new Transportation Alternatives Program.
Safe Routes to School California has their own petition asking Governor Brown to maintain previous levels of funding and to leave a dedicated funding source of Safe Routes.
Like CalBike’s petition, the Rails to Trails Conservancy’s petition asks Governor Brown to increase funding while preserving dedicated funding and ensuring staff salaries for several programs.
People for Bikes also has a petition, which essentially has a modified version of the CalBike petition.
With so many petitions, which do you sign? Just sign all three — they mostly don’t conflict. Here are the links again:
For all of these, the signing deadline is Monday, January 28 2013, so do it now before you forget over the coming weekend.