We’re Looking Ahead to 2022. Donate Today and Help Us Get There
In our last fundraising post, we touched on some of the major stories of 2021. Today, we’re looking forward to what we think will be some of the major stories of 2022. We need your support to keep going. Today, we just passed $5,000 in donations and pledges in our end-of-the year drive. While that’s great, we have a long way to go to reach our goal of $30,000.
Money will be a big question mark for next year, as usual – although in this case it’s not so much “where will we get the money” as much as “what will we do with it?” There’s still a big surplus in the state budget, and legislators have discovered that paying for infrastructure is one way to sidestep hitting state limits on spending – the GANN limit – that would require that money be returned to taxpayers directly. Questions we will be tracking include:
- Will Governor Newsom and the legislature grant the California Transportation Commission’s request for more money for active transportation and transit?
- Will decision makers decide that infrastructure – any infrastructure – is worth investing in just to avoid hitting the GANN limit? Will that encourage more spending on highways rather than transit, rail, and active transportation infrastructure?
- Will the CTC continue to push to widen highways in the name of safety and congestion relief?
- Will Newsom and the legislature be able to come to an agreement on funding for high-speed rail?
Recent history has taught us that all of the progress that has been made can be wiped away with one election. 2022 is an election year in California, with the Governor, Lt. Governor, the entire legislature, and various local offices all on the ballot starting in the spring. Following his overwhelming victory against the recall, it seems unlikely that Newsom will face stiff competition for the top post. But between recent resignations, legislators reaching the ends of their terms, and redistricting changes, there will doubtless be new faces popping up in leadership positions.
But of course the question isn’t just “who” will be winning these elections, but how that will impact state transportation, housing, and greenhouse gas emission goals, and how it might shift the way we design and invest in streets and transit. Several terms on the California Transportation Commission are expiring in January, and at least one of those Commissioners has already decided to step down. What will new commission leadership bring to the discussion on aligning state climate and transportation goals? And how will a brand-new policy at Caltrans to make Complete Streets the default on all Caltrans-led projects play out on the ground?
Streetsblog California plans to continue watching, to keep asking, and to keep informing our readers. Meanwhile, please support us with a regular monthly gift. If you can’t do that, please consider supporting our work with a one-time donation. Thank you to all our readers and supporters!