California Calls for $360 Million Worth of "Healthy" Transportation Projects

California Department of Transportation officials are calling for bike and pedestrian transportation project applications, for which Caltrans can award $360 million over the next three years.

The funding comes from California's new Active Transportation Program, which was passed by the state legislature and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in September 2013. California's ATP, the largest in the nation, "encourages increased use of active modes of transportation" by increasing mobility and safety for bicyclists and pedestrians (and therefore growing the number of trips by these transportation modes), cutting greenhouse gases, making sure disadvantaged communities can benefit from the program, and providing projects to benefit many types of active transportation users. The ATP has created one comprehensive program from the many smaller programs that previously existed for efficiency and for long-term improvements.

"Today's transportation system is about more than just highways," said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty in a statement. "Active transportation projects are a good investment and will help achieve mobility, safety, and greenhouse gas reduction goals for California."

The ATP funding announcement comes just a month after Caltrans released a report showing that more Californians were taking trips through "alternative transportation," such as walking, biking, and riding transit (see related AASHTO Journal story here).

Of the available funding, 40 percent will be awarded to metropolitan planning organizations in urban areas. Ten percent of ATP funding will go to small urban and rural regions, while the last 50 percent will "be awarded to projects statewide."

Caltrans will accept applications from local and regional transportation agencies through close of business May 21. Caltrans and the California Transportation Commission will then review projects and allocate funding to successful applicants in August and November.

Additional information on Caltrans' ATP funding is available here.