Sacramento to Debate How to Allocate Stimulus Funds this Week
TransForm tells Streetsblog San Francisco that legislators in Sacramento have prepared draft legislation for how the state should spend federal stimulus money on transportation projects and that there is important advocacy that needs to be done to improve it. AB X3 20 will be introduced imminently and debated this week.
TransForm's action alert calls on legislators to adhere to principals agreed upon by the MTC and generally considered best practice in California:
- Fix it first by maximizing funding for SHOPP: The independent Legislative Analyst’s Office has identified $1.5 billion in needs for projects to maintain the existing state highway system as part of the State Highway Operation and Protection Program. Federal DOT data shows that roadway maintenance and repair creates 9% more jobs than roadway and bridge expansion projects.
- Provide complete streets for all users: Stimulus projects should create complete streets, in order to improve the efficiency and safety of travel by motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians, the disabled and transit users.
- Fund bicying and pedestrian infrastructure with TE dollars: The ARRA directs only 3% of funds to the Transportation Enhancement program. The state should instead use the traditional federal sub-allocation formula for transportation enhancements and direct 10% of all surface transportation recovery funding to TE. Bicycling and pedestrian infrastructure are key to giving people low-cost transportation options and result in local economic activity.