This just in: Active transportation is finally getting some love in Sacramento. A bill was introduced today to double the funding available for projects and programs that encourage people to walk or ride bikes by making streets and paths safe and comfortable for them.
Assemblymembers Eduardo Garcia, (D-Coachella), Autumn Burke (D-Los Angeles), and David Chiu (D-San Francisco) introduced A.B. X1-23 this afternoon. The last-minute bill, part of the special session on transportation called by Governor Brown to discuss transportation funding in California, is the first one to directly address making streets and roads safe for people who don’t drive cars. It’s so new it’s not even up on the state’s legislative information website yet.
“We believe that, in the ongoing conversations about generating dollars for transportation, we cannot forget the nonmotorized portion of our stakeholders,” said Garcia. “As we discuss future funding for transportation, we want to make sure we recognize that nonmotorized transportation plays a key role. It’s important for climate change policy, it’s important for public health–including obesity–and it’s important for folks with disabilities.”
The bill would double the amount of money in the Highway Transportation Account that is allocated to the Active Transportation Program, which funds projects that encourage and promote walking and riding bikes. The bill also incorporates assurances that the funding would be available to disadvantaged communities.
“This bill has a direct correlation with other state policies,” said Garcia, including climate change policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and Caltrans goals to double the portion of trips made by bicycling and walking.
The bill seeks to do a number of things: Read more…