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AB-2796 Active Transportation Program.(2015-2016)

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Amended  IN  Senate  June 30, 2016
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 04, 2016

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2015–2016 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 2796


Introduced by Assembly Members Bloom and Low

February 19, 2016


An act to amend Section 2381 Sections 2380, 2381, and 2382 of the Streets and Highways Code, relating to transportation.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2796, as amended, Bloom. Active Transportation Program.
Existing law creates the Active Transportation Program in the Department of Transportation for the purpose of encouraging increased use of active modes of transportation, such as biking and walking, with specified available funds to be awarded to eligible projects by the California Transportation Commission and regional transportation agencies. Existing law requires the commission to award 50% and 10% of available funds to projects statewide and to projects in small urban and rural regions, respectively, with the remaining 40% of available funds to be awarded to projects by metropolitan planning organizations, with the funds available for distribution by each metropolitan planning organization based on its relative population. Existing law requires the California Transportation Commission to adopt the 2015 program of projects no later than January 31, 2016, with each subsequent program of projects to be adopted by April 1 of each odd-numbered year, and requires the commission to adopt guidelines for the program.
This bill would would, for a program cycle adopted on or after January 1, 2018, require a minimum of 5% of available funds in each of the 3 distribution categories to be awarded for planning and community engagement for active transportation in disadvantaged communities and a minimum of 10% of all available Active Transportation Program funds to be programmed for planning and noninfrastructure purposes, except as provided. provided, and would require at least 50 percent of that amount to be programmed for planning activities to develop comprehensive active transportation master plans. The bill would also require the guidelines adopted by the commission to authorize an implementing agency to expend its own funds in advance of an allocation of funds to the project by the commission and to subsequently be reimbursed for eligible expenditures if the agency, for a project programmed in a future fiscal year, receives commission approval in the form of a letter of no prejudice or the agency, for a project programmed in the current fiscal year, notifies the commission of its intent to expend its own funds in advance of an allocation, as prescribed.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Achieving the Active Transportation Program’s goal of encouraging increased use of active modes of transportation, such as biking and walking, requires a comprehensive approach that addresses nonmotorized infrastructure needs and that employs behavioral change strategies.
(b) Research supported by the Federal Highway Administration has shown that a comprehensive approach that includes, at a minimum, what is commonly referred to as the “5 E’s” results in the greatest mode shift to walking and biking. The 5 E’s are:
(1) Engineering: Creating operational and physical improvements to a roadway that reduce speeds and potential conflicts with motor vehicle traffic and establish safer and fully accessible crossings, walkways, trails, and bikeways.
(2) Education: Teaching the public, especially children, about the broad range of transportation choices and instructing them in important lifelong bicycling and walking safety skills.
(3) Enforcement: Partnering with local law enforcement to ensure traffic laws related to the safety of people walking and biking are obeyed, including laws related to enforcement of speeds, yielding to pedestrians in crossings, and proper walking and bicycling behaviors, and initiating community enforcement, such as crossing guard programs.
(4) Encouragement: Using events and activities to promote walking and bicycling.
(5) Evaluation: Monitoring and documenting outcomes and trends through the collection of data, including the collection of data before and after an intervention.

SEC. 2.

 Section 2380 of the Streets and Highways Code is amended to read:

2380.
 There is hereby established the Active Transportation Program in the department for the purpose of encouraging increased use of active modes of transportation, such as biking and walking. walking, through planning and construction of walking and biking infrastructure and implementation of behavioral change strategies. It is the intent of the Legislature that the program achieve all of the following goals:
(a) Increase the proportion of trips accomplished by biking and walking.
(b) Increase safety and mobility for nonmotorized users.
(c) Advance the active transportation efforts of regional agencies to achieve greenhouse gas reduction goals as established pursuant to Senate Bill 375 (Chapter 728, Statutes of 2008) and Senate Bill 391 (Chapter 585, Statutes of 2009).
(d) Enhance public health, including reduction of childhood obesity through the use of programs including, but not limited to, projects eligible for Safe Routes to School Program funding.
(e) Ensure that disadvantaged communities fully share in the benefits of the program.
(f) Provide a broad spectrum of projects to benefit many types of active transportation users.

SECTION 1.SEC. 3.

 Section 2381 of the Streets and Highways Code is amended to read:

2381.
 (a) The Active Transportation Program shall be funded by state and federal funds from appropriations in the annual Budget Act. Funds for the program shall be appropriated to the department, for allocation by the commission. The amount to be appropriated shall include 100 percent of the federal Transportation Alternative Program funds, except for any federal Recreational Trails Program funds appropriated to the Department of Parks and Recreation; twenty-one million dollars ($21,000,000) of federal Highway Safety Improvement funds or other federal funds; and State Highway Account funds. Future funding may be augmented if state or federal funds increase, or if other funding sources are identified. Funds appropriated for the Active Transportation Program shall be distributed as follows:
(1) Forty percent to metropolitan planning organizations in urban areas with populations greater than 200,000, in proportion to their relative share of population. Funds allocated under this paragraph shall be obligated for eligible projects selected through a competitive process by the metropolitan planning organizations in consultation with the department and the commission and in accordance with guidelines established pursuant to this chapter.
(2) Ten percent to small urban and rural regions with populations of 200,000 or less, with projects competitively awarded by the commission to projects in those regions.
(3) Fifty percent to projects competitively awarded by the commission on a statewide basis.

(b)(1)For each of the funding distribution categories in paragraphs (1) to (3), inclusive, of subdivision (a), a minimum of 5 percent of available funds shall be awarded for planning and community engagement for active transportation in disadvantaged communities.

(2)

(b) (1) A minimum of 10 percent of the total funding available for distribution pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be programmed for planning and noninfrastructure activities, including activities relating to safe routes to school. Of this amount, a minimum of 50 percent shall be programmed for planning activities to develop comprehensive active transportation master plans, including community engagement activities related to the development of a master plan. If a project contains both infrastructure activities and planning and noninfrastructure activities, only the portion of funding used for planning and noninfrastructure activities shall contribute to meeting the minimum percentage required by this paragraph. Any funding programmed for the purposes of the Active Transportation Resource Center shall not contribute to meeting the minimum percentage required by this paragraph.

(3)

(2) If applications submitted in any funding cycle are not sufficient to exceed a minimum percentage required by paragraph (1) or (2), (1), the applicable funds that would otherwise be required to be used for the purpose described in paragraph (1) or (2) may be expended for other authorized purposes.
(3) This subdivision only applies to a program cycle adopted on or after January 1, 2018.
(c) For the purpose of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a), the following shall apply in the region served by the multicounty designated transportation planning agency described in Section 130004 of the Public Utilities Code:
(1) The multicounty designated transportation planning agency shall consult with the county transportation commissions created pursuant to Sections 130050, 130050.1, and 132800 of the Public Utilities Code, the commission, and the department in the development of competitive selection criteria to be adopted by the multicounty designated transportation planning agency, which should include consideration of geographic equity, consistent with program objectives.
(2) The multicounty designated transportation planning agency shall place priority on projects that are consistent with plans adopted by local and regional governments within the county where the project is located.
(3) The multicounty designated transportation planning agency shall obtain concurrence from the county transportation commissions, adopt the projects selected in a comprehensive program of projects, and make funds available to selected project recipients.
(d) The Legislature finds and declares that the program described in this chapter constitutes a highway purpose under Article XIX of the California Constitution and justifies the expenditure of highway funds therefor, and all expenditures of Article XIX funds under this program shall be consistent with Article XIX.

SEC. 4.

 Section 2382 of the Streets and Highways Code is amended to read:

2382.
 (a) The California Transportation Commission shall develop guidelines and project selection criteria for the Active Transportation Program in consultation with the Active Transportation Program Workgroup, which shall be formed for purposes of providing guidance on matters including, but not limited to, development of and subsequent revisions to program guidelines, schedules and procedures, project selection criteria, performance measures, and program evaluation. The workgroup shall include, but not be limited to, representatives of government agencies and active transportation stakeholder organizations with expertise in pedestrian and bicycle issues, including Safe Routes to School programs.
(b) The guidelines shall be the complete and full statement of the policies and criteria that the commission intends to use in selecting projects to be included in the program. The guidelines shall address subjects that include, but are not limited to, project eligibility, application timelines, application rating and ranking criteria, project monitoring, reporting, and transparency, and project performance measurement.
(c) The guidelines shall include a process to ensure that no less than 25 percent of overall program funds benefit disadvantaged communities during each program cycle. The guidelines shall establish a program definition for disadvantaged communities that may include, but need not be limited to, the definition in Section 39711 of the Health and Safety Code and the definition of low-income schools in paragraph (7) of subdivision (b) of former Section 2333.5, as that section read on January 1, 2013. A project eligible under this subdivision shall clearly demonstrate a benefit to a disadvantaged community or be directly located in a disadvantaged community.
(d) The guidelines shall allow streamlining of project delivery by authorizing an implementing agency to do both of the following:
(1) Seek commission approval of a letter of no prejudice that will allow the agency to expend its own funds for a project programmed in a future year of the adopted program of projects, in advance of allocation of funds to the project by the commission, and to be reimbursed at a later time for eligible expenditures.
(2) Notify the commission of its intent to expend its own funds for a project programmed in the current fiscal year of the adopted program of projects in advance of an allocation of funds to the project by the commission upon transmittal of an allocation request and receipt of the request by the commission, and to be reimbursed upon approval of the allocation by the commission for eligible expenditures occurring after the commission’s receipt of the request.

(d)

(e) The California Transportation Commission shall adopt the guidelines and selection criteria for, and define the types of projects eligible to be funded through, the program following at least two public hearings. Projects funded in this program shall be limited to active transportation projects. The guidelines shall ensure that eligible projects meet one or more of the goals set forth in Section 2380 and may give increased weight to projects meeting multiple goals.

(e)

(f) In developing the guidelines with regard to project eligibility, the commission shall include, but need not be limited to, the following project types:
(1) Development of new bikeways and walkways, or improvements to existing bikeways and walkways, that improve mobility, access, or safety for nonmotorized users.
(2) Secure bicycle parking at employment centers, park and ride lots, rail and transit stations, and ferry docks and landings.
(3) Bicycle-carrying facilities on public transit, including rail and ferries.
(4) Installation of traffic control devices to improve the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists.
(5) Elimination of hazardous conditions on existing bikeways and walkways.
(6) Maintenance of bikeways and walkways.
(7) Recreational trails and trailheads, park projects that facilitate trail linkages or connectivity to nonmotorized corridors, and conversion of abandoned railroad corridors to trails.
(8) Safe Routes to School projects that improve the safety of children walking and bicycling to school, in accordance with Section 1404 of Public Law 109-59. including noninfrastructure-related activities to encourage walking and bicycling to school. These noninfrastructure activities may include, but are not limited to, public awareness campaigns and outreach to press and community leaders, traffic education and enforcement in the vicinity of schools, student sessions on bicycle and pedestrian safety, health, and environment, and funding for training, volunteers, and managers of safe routes to school programs.
(9) Safe routes to transit projects, which will encourage transit by improving biking and walking routes to mass transportation facilities and schoolbus stops.

(10)Educational programs to increase biking and walking, and other noninfrastructure investments that demonstrate effectiveness in increasing active transportation.

(10) Noninfrastructure-related activities to encourage walking and bicycling, including, but not limited to, public awareness campaigns and outreach to press and community leaders, traffic education and enforcement, sessions on bicycle and pedestrian safety, health, and environment, and funding for training, volunteers, and managers of walking and bicycling encouragement and safety programs.

(f)

(g) In developing the guidelines with regard to project selection, the commission shall include, but need not be limited to, the following criteria:
(1) Demonstrated needs of the applicant.
(2) Potential for reducing pedestrian and bicyclist injuries and fatalities.
(3) Potential for encouraging increased walking and bicycling, especially among students.
(4) Identification of safety hazards for pedestrians and bicyclists.
(5) Identification of walking and bicycling routes to and from schools, transit facilities, and community centers.
(6) Identification of the local public participation process that culminated in the project proposal, which may include noticed public meetings and consultation with local stakeholders.
(7) Benefit to disadvantaged communities. In developing guidelines relative to this paragraph, the commission shall consider, but need not be limited to, the definition of disadvantaged communities as applied pursuant to subdivision (c).
(8) Cost-effectiveness, defined as maximizing the impact of the funds provided.
(9) The adoption by a city or county applicant of a bicycle transportation plan, pursuant to Section 891.2, a pedestrian plan, a safe routes to school plan, or an overall active transportation plan.
(10) Use of California Conservation Corps or qualified community conservation corps, as defined in Section 14507.5 of the Public Resources Code, as partners to undertake or construct applicable projects in accordance with Section 1524 of Public Law 112-141.
(11) Other factors, such as potential for reducing congestion, improving air quality, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and increasing and improving connectivity and mobility of nonmotorized users.

(g)

(h) For the use of federal Transportation Alternative Program funds, or other federal funds, commission guidelines shall meet all applicable federal requirements.

(h)

(i) For the use of federal Highway Safety Improvement Program funds for active transportation projects specific to reducing fatalities and serious injuries, the criteria for the selection of projects shall be based on a data-driven process that is aligned with the state’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan.

(i)

(j) The guidelines may include incentives intended to maximize the potential for attracting funds other than program funds for eligible projects.

(j)

(k) In reviewing and selecting projects funded by federal funds in the Recreational Trails Program, the commission shall collaborate with the Department of Parks and Recreation to evaluate proposed projects, and to ensure federal requirements are met.

(k)

(l) To ensure that regional agencies charged with allocating funds to projects pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 2381 have sufficient discretion to develop regional guidelines, the commission may adopt separate guidelines for the state and for the regional agencies relative to subdivision (f). (g).