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Assistance for Active Transportation Program Applicants

Mayor Sam Liccardo (in the blue shirt) on ‘Bike to Work Day’ in 2016. Photo: Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious photostream

The Active Transportation Program just released its call for applications for its fifth funding cycle, in which it expects to award $446 millin in funding over the next four years to encourage increased biking, walking, and transit use and increase safety for people not in cars.

To help cities and counties that are planning to apply for the grants, the Safe Routes Partnership has put together a series of webinars to talk about what has been successful for past applicants. This week's webinar, taking place on Thursday at 2 p.m., will focus on the application question referred to as the Statement of Project Need.

This is a key question that can be worth a lot of points in the final scoring. It's important for applicants to make clear how their proposed project aligns with local needs, because the people scoring may know little to nothing about the local context or community. That's in part because, to reduce potential conflicts of interest, ATP applications are scored by a team who are not from the area where the project is proposed. Successful applications include a compelling statement that explains the local context and how the project helps support public health.

The ATP is an underfunded and highly competitive program. Applications are complex and can take a lot of staff time to complete, yet the projects funded play a key role in helping make biking and walking safer in California. California Transportation Commission staff have spent the last year offering workshops and technical assistance both to help applicants with limited capacity to apply, and to help improve, expand, and increase the impact of projects that do apply.

The Safe Routes Partnership webinar will discuss the scoring rubric for this one question, so that applicants know what evaluators are looking for. It will include an introduction to the Healthy Places Index, which offers metrics to determine disadvantaged community status.

The webinar will take place on Thursday, April 2 at 2 p.m. Register for it here.

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