California lacks critical funding to repair our crumbling roads and bridges, but expanding overbuilt freeways and perpetuating California's cars-first culture isn’t a long term solution for 21st century travel demands. Repaving and expanding our current road system doesn’t fix traffic congestion, worsens air pollution, and will continue endangering the lives of our children as they cross the street, especially in low-income communities of color that lack mobility options and have been hemmed in by freeways.
We need to #FixOurRoads so they work for everyone. We need to shift from the cars-first approach to a fiscally-responsible multimodal approach that is focused on moving people instead of vehicles, and ensure that providing access to the destinations people need to reach every day is prioritized over just filling potholes. We need major investments in connected and convenient transit, bicycling, and walking infrastructure.
The California Legislature must support active transportation funding this legislative session. The California Bicycle Coalition and our partners at the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, California Walks, and TransForm, among other groups, are calling for vital policy shifts that will transform how California funds streets and highways. We call on the California Legislature to:
Implement a Complete Streets policy for state-funded street projects: California needs a real #CompleteStreets policy, one that mandates protected biking and walking improvements when state funds are used to repave roads or repair bridges. We are thankful to Senator Jim Beall for including sensible complete streets provisions in SBX 1-1 in the special session that mandate the inclusion of “new bicycle and pedestrian safety, access, and mobility improvements” in every project funded by the state. It calls for sidewalks and protected bike lanes or bike paths in transit-dense areas on most roads with a speed limit over 25 miles per hour. We need these Complete Streets policies in any transportation deal that's made in Sacramento.
Increase dedicated funding for biking and walking: The Active Transportation Program (ATP) is the sole source of state funding dedicated to biking walking and Safe Routes to School projects. Last year, the ATP was underfunded by nearly $800 million for shovel-ready walking, bicycling and safe school access projects. Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, Autumn Burke, and David Chiu's ABX 1-23, doubles the size of the Active Transportation Program (ATP) with a $125 million increase, and includes a bike network grants program that will support local agencies to build whole networks that connect every destination in communities like yours with an unbroken web of bike paths, protected bike lanes, and quiet bicycle boulevards. We need to establish a process for prioritizing projects in disadvantaged communities across all transportation investmentsincluding providing job and workforce development opportunities for disadvantaged community residents and minimum funding levels for SHOPP and STIP to disadvantaged communities. Any California transportation deal must include these provisions.
- Invest in jobs and mobility options for Californians trapped in poverty: Historically, transportation infrastructure has not invested in the economy of the communities it is being built through, which has destroyed local economies and community fabrics, while entrapping people in a cycle of poverty. The state must establish a minimum percentage of funding and a robust process for prioritizing projects in disadvantaged communities across all transportation investments, including providing job and workforce development opportunities for people living in disadvantaged communities. Any California transportation deal must include these provisions.
Now we need your help. Contact your state Senator and Assemblymember now to let them know that you support:
Implementing strong #CompleteStreets policies to ensure that state funding is being spent to build protected bike lanes and improve sidewalks.
Increasing the Active Transportation Program and creating a state program to give cities large grants to build out entire bike and walk networks.
Investing in communities with the greatest need and ensure they benefit from transportation investments, not just being burdened by the risks and negative impacts.
If we really want to #FixOurRoads, we must fix the mistakes of the past. We must shift away from car-centric transportation funding if we want to have a safe, affordable, healthy California.
Supported by: the California Bicycle Coalition, Safe Routes to School National Partnership, California Walks, TransForm.