Skip to Content
Streetsblog California home
Streetsblog California home
Log In
Active Transportation Program

How Bad Is Newsom’s Proposed Cut to the Active Transportation Program? Awful.

It would have zeroed out the entirety of Cycle 7 - but the legislature has rejected the cuts.

They’d rather put money into this than making streets safer for people on bikes and on foot. Image: Rémi Jouan via Wikimedia Commons

Note: GJEL Accident Attorneys regularly sponsors coverage on Streetsblog San Francisco and Streetsblog California. Unless noted in the story, GJEL Accident Attorneys is not consulted for the content or editorial direction of the sponsored content.

Update, Wednesday afternoon: The CA Legislature just released its own budget proposal, and in it they reject Newsom's proposed cuts to the ATP. The Joint Legislative Budget Plan will now be discussed further, and negotiations will continue until a budget is passed.

In January, Governor Newsom proposed clawing back what remained of the $1 billion "augmentation" to the Active Transportation Program that was added when California was flush with cash a few years ago. Program staff had committed that funding to projects in Cycle 6, but held $200 million in reserve to make sure there was some funding for Cycle 7, which is currently accepting applications.

Newsom saw that $200 million in reserves and decided it would be the only cut he would make to the transportation budget. Then, in May, he proposed taking even more money away from the ATP, for a total of $600 million.

The entire fund estimate for the Active Transportation Program, covering four years of programming and allocations, comes to $568 million from all funding sources, including state and federal monies and the uncommitted portion of the "augmentation."

If his proposal stands, there will be no Cycle 7 funding for the ATP.

Contrast this with the State Highway Account, which is expected to be about $5.4 billion this year.

Pretending that devastating the ATP will help balance the state budget while California continues to spend billions on highway expansions is not only anti-climate, it just doesn't make sense. The ATP is a rounding error compared to the state transportation budget, and it's one of a few parts of that funding that reliably supports climate action.

Negotiations continue in the legislature, with some state lawmakers expressing concern about the ATP funding and asking why the State Highway Fund is not being tapped to backfill it. (Answer: they don't want to cut highway spending). But more people need to speak up.

Advocates are urging people to reach out to their legislative representatives and get them to support funding for the ATP. CalBike provides an easily edited call-to-action form for contacting budget decision makers at the legislature. They are proposing a "people-first mobility budget" that would shift funding from highway expansions to give the ATP a reliable funding source and to build complete streets and other projects that help reduce the need to drive, and would focus the rest of the highway budget on repairing and maintaining state-owed roads.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog California

The Real Reason Why Traffic Engineers Design So Many Deadly Roads

Hint: they aren't deliberately trying to get us killed.

June 18, 2024

Q&A With Christopher White, the Bicycle Coalition’s New Director

Christopher White was named as the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s new executive director almost a week ago.

June 18, 2024

Tuesday’s Headlines

Think like Amazon to make transportation sustainable; Administrator of CA e-bike program under investigation; Richmond wants to tax Chevron's output; More

June 18, 2024

Construction Nearing Completion for OC Streetcar, Opening Expected Summer 2025

Tracks and stations appear nearly complete for the 4.1-mile streetcar. Through Santa Ana much of the light rail project is accompanied by curb-protected bike lanes.

June 17, 2024
See all posts