From the California Bicycle Coalition:
URGENT ACTION NEEDED
Identify local bike-ped projects for stimulus funding
The federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 provides California with $77 million for transportation enhancement (TE) projects, a category of federal transportation funding that includes bicycle-pedestrian projects.
Of this amount, $48 million in funds is allocated to metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) and regional transportation planning agencies (RTPAs). Click here to see the list of each MPO/RTPO and the amount of ARRA funding (far right column) it is receiving.
The balance of $29 million in ARRA funding goes to Caltrans to be spent on TE projects on the state highway system.
Earlier this year the state enacted Assembly Bill X3-20, which prioritizes the spending of TE funds provided by ARRA. The bill gives first priority for funding to TE projects that can be built by the California Conservation Corps or local equivalents, and gives second priority to bike-ped projects. These priorities apply to MPO/RTPA projects as well as Caltrans projects.
Caltrans intends to obligate as much of this funding as possible, including the portion allocated to MPO/RTPA projects, by June 30, 2009, so any local bike-ped projects must be completely ready to go out to bid. This is why we need to act now!
Here’s what you can do:
Help ensure that ready-to-build bike-ped projects in your area receive ARRA funding from your local MPO or RTPA.
These projects can be on any local road or state highway, and can include pathway and sidewalk improvements. ”Ready-to-build” means designed, already through the environmental review process, and ready to go out to bid.
1) Ask your MPO or RTPA about its process for distributing TE funds — each agency does this differently.
2) Gather the following information about each project you’d like to recommend:
- Name of project
- Location of project
- Brief description of project (type of project, what it will connect, etc.)
- Cost (estimate if you don’t know for sure)
3) Ultimately, it’s your county or incorporated city that applies to the MPO/RTPA for TE funds to build bike-ped projects. Contact your mayor, city council members, county supervisors and/or city or county engineers, urge them to nominate your recommended project(s) for ARRA funding, and provide them with the above information for each project, along with your name, organization name (if appropriate), email address and phone number. Keep following up with them until you find out which projects will receive funding and how that funding will be distributed.