CalBike Condemns Governor’s Cuts to Active Transportation

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SACRAMENTO, California (May 10, 2024) — Governor Gavin Newsom’s May Revise of the California budget, issued today, increases the cuts to the Active Transportation Program from $200 million to $600 million. The program pays for critical pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements and is the only transportation program singled out for significant cuts. In 2023, the program gave $539 in grants, so the governor’s cuts are equivalent to eliminating an entire 2-year funding cycle for bike and pedestrian infrastructure.

There is no need for this cut because there is no deficit in transportation funding. 

California’s transportation budget has more money than ever, thanks to federal programs like the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The Active Transportation Program must be backfilled from the State Highway Account or from the influx of federal funds. 

California Governor Gavin Newsom. Photo by Bureau of Reclamation – CC BY-SA 2.0

The Active Transportation Program is chronically underfunded and unable to greenlight most of the shovel-ready projects submitted for funding. Local governments are clamoring for support for active transportation projects and help to curb the rising death toll on our streets. This senseless budget cut does not serve our communities or our residents.

“In a time of climate crisis, the governor is choosing to cut funding for a transportation program that is also a climate program. He made a one-time commitment to active transportation, which was key to meeting the state’s climate goals, but has since tried to take the money back multiple times,” CalBike’s Policy Director, Jared Sanchez, says. “We have no time to waste, and yet California keeps taking actions that increase driving, fueling climate change. If Governor Newsom wants to be seen as a climate champion, he must match his actions to his words.”

San Francisco Bay Trail. Photo by Dave Iltis

Cutting the Active Transportation Program will deepen our climate crisis.

CalSTA’s landmark Climate Plan, CAPTI, pledged not only to increase one-time funding for the ATP but to increase the program year over year in recognition of the critical importance of walking and bicycling projects to advance climate and equity for our communities. The May Revised Budget proposal does the opposite and undermines CalSTA’s commitment by pulling back one-time funding and significantly reducing funding to the program over the next several years.

As the negative effects of climate change in California grow every year, we should be increasing active transportation funding, not cutting it. We must not close our budget deficit at the expense of our climate and safety. CalBike calls on the legislature to reverse the governor’s cuts and restore full funding to the Active Transportation Program.

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