California Policy Local Government Metropolitan Planning NewsFlash SB 375 Transportation Funding

Strategic Growth Council 2010 Funding Recommendations for Prop 84 Sustainable Communities Planning Grants

The Strategic Growth Council received $94 million in requests for approximately $23 million in available funding under the Sustainable Communities Grant Program created under Proposition 84 in 2009 — with 153 applications completed and deemed eligible for scoring, per the Program Guidelines.  The Application Review and Ranking Committee, comprised of 30 interdisciplinary staff, recommended 44 applicants. Total amount of recommended awards for this funding cycle: $23,050,485. The Planning Grants and Incentives Management Team at the Department of Conservation provides their recommendation report to the Strategic Growth Council here.

The Grant Program Includes Three Focus Areas:

  • Focus Area #1: Local Sustainable Planning ‐ Eligible Applicants: Cities and Counties
  • Focus Area #2: Regional SB 375 Plus ‐ Eligible Applicants: Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs)
  • Focus Area #3: Regional Planning Activities with Multiple Partners ‐ Eligible Applicants: Cities, Counties, Regional Transportation Planning Agencies (RTPAs), Joint Powers Authorities (JPAs) and Councils of Governments (COGs).

Focus Area #1 Recipients (24 out of 100 selected)

  • Concord
  • Richmond
  • Arvin
  • Monterey Park
  • Santa Monica
  • Mendocino County
  • Merced (City)
  • Town of Mammoth Lakes
  • Anaheim
  • Dana Point
  • Calimesa
  • Chino Hills
  • Victorville
  • San Diego (City)
  • San Francisco
  • Stockton
  • San Luis Obispo (City)
  • San Luis Obispo (County)
  • South San Francisco
  • Morgan Hill
  • Capitola
  • Santa Cruz (County)
  • Yolo
  • Yuba

Focus Area #2 Recipients (8 out of 11 selected)

  • Metropolitan Transportation Commission –Association of Bay Area Governments

  • Tahoe Regional Transportation Planning Organization

  • Monterey Bay Area Association of Governments

  • Sacramento Area Council of Governments

  • San Diego Association of Governments

  • San Joaquin Council of Governments (8 MPOs)

  • San Luis Obispo Council of Governments

  • Shasta County Regional Transportation Planning Agency

Focus Area #3 Recipients (4 out of 18 selected)

  • Kings County Association of Governments
  • Western Riverside Council of Governments
  • Sacramento County
  • Riverbank (City)

Economically Disadvantaged Community (EDC) Recipients*

  • Fresno
  • Calipatria
  • Corcoran
  • Los Angeles (City)
  • South Gate
  • Adelanto
  • Stanislaus
  • Farmersville
  • Kings County Council of Governments
  • San Joaquin Valley COG (8 MPOs)
  • Sacramento Area Council of Governments
  • Tahoe Metropolitan Planning Organization
  • Yuba County
  • City and County of San Francisco
  • Richmond
  • Mendocino County
  • Town of Mammoth Lakes
  • Calimesa
  • Victorville
  • San Diego (City)

*An EDC may be a community or neighborhood within a city or county. Italicized communities above reflect those selected as “EDC Set-Aside Awards” not within a Focus Area (8 out of 24 selected)

California Policy Complete Streets Education/Webinars Public Health Transportation Funding

Safe Routes to School Conference Highlights Role of Public Health

The Second Annual Sacramento Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Conference held on November 11, 2010 highlighted the role of active transportation in children’s health, while providing resources for local governments and school districts across California.

Public Health Impacts

The Safe Routes to School National Partnership’s California Policy Manager, Jessica Meaney, led the conference describing how SRTS programs are a way to create environmental, policy and behavioral changes which increase physical activity and prevent childhood obesity. Citing that a third of peak morning vehicle traffic in southern California is a result of school-related trips, the speaker noted the opportunities that exist for SRTS program to promote children’s health while making a significant impact on reducing vehicle trip demand. Sarah Underwood, UC Davis Master of Public Health Candidate, shared statistics demonstrating that the risk of childhood health problems far exceeds more commonly feared parental risks such as abduction. The “stranger danger” concern often expressed as a reason for parents to not allow their children to walk or bike to school was challenged by the following statistical realities of the likelihood that a child would:

  • Become overweight or obese in Sacramento region: 1 in 3
  • Have asthma in Sacramento region: 1 in 6
  • Be struck by lightning next year: 1 in 500,000
  • Be abducted by a stranger next year: 1 in 610,000

More statistics and leading health research on the link between promoting active transportation to schools and childhood health can be found on the National Safe Routes to School Partnership website. Additionally, the California Department of Public Health recently launched the Safe Routes to School Technical Assistance Resource Center within the California Active Communities.

Federal and State Funding Sources

California Active Communities provided extensive information on funding sources for California Safe Routes to School projects and programs, focusing heavily on non-infrastructure grant opportunities. While California SRTS funding is limited to local governments and requires a 10% match for infrastructure projects around schools grades K-12, federal SRTS funding includes Metropolitan Planning Organizations, local governments and school districts (if partners with government agency) – requiring no match for both infrastructure projects and programs for schools grades K-8. Both the federal and state SRTS programs provide grants ranging from $500,000 to $1 million, and will having their next funding cycle in spring 2011. California Active Communities provides a select list of funding for California SRTS projects from the State of California Department of Public Health, Office of Traffic Safety, and Department of Transportation, and Air Resources Board as well as the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Highway Administration, and the National Center for Safe Routes to School:

California Policy GHG Reduction Local Government NewsFlash Public Transit Transportation Funding

California Propositions Impact Local Governments

Despite the love/hate relationship Californians have with the Proposition system, voters voiced their positions last night on several statewide ballot measures that impact the fiscal and environmental sustainability of our communities.

Policy in Motion's Lauren Michele Congratulates Governor Jerry Brown & San Francisco Giants

With fresh enthusiasm from a Texas defeat in the World Series, voters overwhelmingly rejected an initiative (Prop 23) funded largely by Texas oil interests to suspend California’s effort to curb greenhouse gas emissions. This defeat will allow the California Air Resources Board to continue with its implementation of Assembly Bill 32: Global  Warming Solutions Act. Meanwhile, Governor Schwarzenegger will be handing off the AB 32 baton to California’s next “green governor” – Jerry Brown.

Voters also felt fresh enthusiasm for limiting the State’s ability to take funds from local governments – with the League of California Cities spearheading the campaign in response to the $5 billion in transit and redevelopment funds that were diverted to the General Fund in the 2009/10 budget. Proposition 22 closes the loophole which allowed the State to use gasoline tax revenue for sources other than transportation.

While cities and counties are celebrating victory over protection of local funding streams, the passage of Proposition 26 amends the California Constitution to make the majority of regulatory fees redefined as taxes – making it very difficult for communities to raise additional funds for needed transportation expenditures with a two-thirds majority needed for state or local fees which address environmental impacts. The Legislative Analyst’s Office expects increased transportation spending and State General Fund costs of approximately $1 billion due to Proposition 26 limiting any increases on Vehicle Registration Fees (used for local transportation and air quality programs), Vehicle License Fees and local sales taxes – both important sources of general revenue for local government. Further, local transit operators will be adversely impacted as the recent changes to the State’s transportation funding sources rely heavily on increased sales taxes on diesel fuels.