The CV Link multi-use path will not be recommended for ATP funding. Image: CV Link
Just before the California Transportation Commission (CTC) was set to approve staff recommendations on Active Transportation Program funding, the largest project on the list was moved down and is no longer recommended for funding. CTC staff recommended that CV Link receive $24.3 million, or almost a fifth of the total funding available, for a fifty-mile multi-use path connecting cities in the Coachella Valley. However, a mistake was discovered in its application, which led to its score being revisited. The new score put it further down the list, so that it will not be recommended for funding at tomorrow’s CTC meeting in Riverside.
The immediate consequence is that funding is freed up for five other projects that hadn’t previously made the cut-off. Those include: a project to build bike and pedestrian connections in Sunnyvale (which had been recommended for only partial funding, but will now receive its full request of $4.8 million); the Central Avenue Complete Street Project in Alameda (for $7.3 million); the McGowan Parkway, a bike lane and pedestrian improvements in Yuba County (for $1.2 million); pedestrian improvements along First Street in Santa Ana (for $4.5 million); a regional Safe Bicycling and Wayfinding project connecting the cities of Compton and Carson (for $1.6 million); and Long Beach’s Citywide 8-80 Connections project (for $6.7 million).
CV Link is a planned multi-use path that would have allowed bicycles and pedestrians, as well as “low-speed (up to 25 mph) electric vehicles”—golf carts—to travel along its route. Eventually the path would connect Palm Springs to the Salton Sea, although not in the first phases of construction.
In their funding application, planners had to address the question of how the project would benefit disadvantaged communities, in keeping with equity requirements in state law. The project emerged with a high score in this section, showing that the areas it served had a low median household income.
Equity advocates reviewing the ATP applications noticed this—and that it didn’t seem to ring true. The communities that the CV Link would go through include areas of very high median income, and closer inspection revealed that those areas weren’t included in the calculations used for the application.