We are excited to be working with our statewide coalition partners to advance a number of bills in this year’s legislative session, including a Transportation Equity Package of bills that together will improve sustainable, affordable transportation options across the state, especially for low-income Californians.
Notably for Safe Routes to School advocates, AB 2796 would create a set-aside within the Active Transportation Program (ATP) for non-infrastructure and planning. We see this as a critical piece of legislation since both types of projects are competing against large infrastructure projects in the ATP and are often at a competitive disadvantage. We are co-sponsoring this bill with the California Bicycle Coalition, and California Walks, and it is being co-sponsored in the legislature by Assembly Members Richard Bloom and Evan Low. A fact sheet is available here.
AB 2796 is part of the Transportation Equity Package along with the following three bills:
- AB 2332 (E. Garcia): This bill would require the prioritization of State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP) and the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) projects that provide meaningful benefits to the mobility and safety needs of disadvantaged community residents, with a minimum funding floor of 35%.
- AB 2222 (Holden): This bill would continuously appropriate $50 million annually from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund for the Transit Pass Program that will support transit pass programs of public agencies that provide free or reduced-fare transit passes to public school students (K-12) and community college, California State University, and University of California students.
- AB 1982 (Bloom): This bill would require that an eligible traffic signal synchronization project funded through the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund be timed to move vehicles at an average speed of 12 to 15 miles per hour, an ideal speed for people bicycling.
Check out our partner TransForm’s blog post on the Transportation Equity Package for more details.
Other legislation we are tracking:
- AB 1659, which we are sponsoring, would allow communities to expand school zones up to 1,320 feet and lower speed limits to 15 mph within them.
- AB 1550 Would require the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund investment plan to allocate a minimum of 25% of the available moneys in the fund to projects located within disadvantaged communities and a separate and additional 25% to projects that benefit low-income households.
- SB 1000 would require cities to add an environmental justice element to their general plans when they update them.
- SBx1-1 and ABx1-23 from the special session, which would increase funding to ATP and insert complete streets language into existing state transportation funding programs (STIP and SHOPP).
Stay tuned for more legislative updates as this year’s session heats up!