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Safe Routes to School Update  Chris Morfas
 Dec 28, 1999 15:07 PST 
Bicycle Advocates:

NOW is the time to push your local elected officials and public works
departments to identify projects for which they will seek Safe Routes
to School funding. It's a great opportunity to fund portions of your
jurisdiction's bicycle master plan or even something more creative! I
urge every local bicycle coalition to identify a point person who will
be responsible for ensuring that your community submits an application.

More details of Caltrans' implementation of the Safe Routes to School
bill follow below. CBC will be submitting some remarks about this
process. Please feel free to share your concerns with me by January 5,
and I'll do my best to incorporate them into our letter.

Chris Morfas

California Bicycle Coalition



Surface Transportation Policy Project

12/28/99 -- please circulate!





New guidelines are now being developed by Caltrans for the Safe Routes
to School as a result of the approval of AB1475 by Governor Davis on
October 6th, 1999. Draft guidelines are currently available through
the Caltrans Office of Local Programs at their web site,
or by e-mailing "Local.P-@dot.ca.gov" and requesting a hard copy
of the guidance.

The most important things for public health, community safety and
transportation reform advocates to do ASAP are (1) contact your local
city or county government immediately to begin working with elected
officials and the public works department (the ultimate project
sponsors) on innovative 'safe routes to school' (SR2S) project ideas
and (2) help shape the Caltrans SR2S program guidelines by offering
comments on their draft program guidelines available at the web site
listed above by the deadline of Monday, January 10th. Please send your
comments directly to Randy Ronning at Caltrans,
"Randy_R-@dot.ca.gov" or call (916) 653-4727.

The proposed guidance caps project costs at $500,000, creates a
schedule for two application deadlines in 2000 (April 6th and October
13th), budgets roughly $20 million statewide for each of the two
rounds, and creates two categories of funding: a "safety index" (for
25% of the money) and "work type" (for 75% of the money). STPP will
send a copy of its comments in the next week or so, mostly focused on
the appropriateness of the criteria being proposed. For example, under
"work type" projects, there are categories like "sight distance
improvement" for vehicles that may work counter to the programs goals
of encouraging walking and bicycling and reducing pedestrian and
bicyclists injuries by encouraging faster traffic speeds. The desire to
see innovative projects like traffic calming around schools may also
require a more proactive approach in the proposed guidelines than is
currently described (i.e. including a section defining "traffic
calming" and its benefits for pedestrian and bicycle safety as well as
including more specifics in the "work type" project criteria).

The Safe Routes to School program is a two year trial program only. Its
success will be judged both on its ability to deliver projects that
make it safer for kids to walk and bike to school again and the
interest in the program shown by local governments across California,
i.e. the amount of funding requested versus the amount available. We
desperately need your continued help to make this program a success and
a model for the rest of the country to follow! Please feel free to
contact myself, Gloria Ohland in our southern California office
(gohl-@transact.org or 213-629-2043) or Chris Morfas with the
California Bicycle Coalition (cb-@jps.net or 916-446-7558) if you need
more details.

James Corless

Northern California Office

Surface Transportation Policy Project


(415) 956-7795

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