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California has $77 million in Transportation Enhancements funds for quick action

State suggests quick action to access Transportation simulus dollars for bike/ped projects

Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, Caltrans has $77M in Transportation Enhancements (TE) funds. Caltrans needs to program $28 million of these funds for TE projects located on the State Highway System. The remainder of the funding will be programmed by your Metropolitan Planning Organization (click here to see the list for the amount each MPO/RTPO is receiving). This TE funding is your best chance to get bike/ped/Safe Routes to School projects built through ARRA.

The State Legislation for ARRA, ABX3 20, requires that the state first fund TE projects that can be built by the California Conservation Corp or a local equivalent, and then that agencies fund bike/ped projects. We have heard that Caltrans is planning to fund their entire $28M in TE funds on landscaping projects (except for one bike project), but not all of these landscaping projects are able to be constructed by the Conservation Core, as such, we feel that Caltrans is not meeting the state legislative requirements, as there was never a call for TE projects from the local Caltrans Districts to the Congestion Management Agencies or cities.

We're writing to urge you to do two things right away:

1) Do you have a bike/ped project that is shovel ready that is located on the State Highway System? If so, this might quality for the $28M for the state share. Please send the following information about the project by Noon on Wednesday, April 8 to brooke@saferoutespartnership.org so that we can notify Caltrans, and possibly the Governor, the Legislature, and the CTC with a list of projects:

* Your name, title, organization
* Email, phone
* Name of project
* Location of project
* Brief description of project (ie: type of project, what it will connect, etc)
* What state highway it is located on
* Caltrans District number
* Cost

2) Do you have a local bike/ped or Safe Routes to School project that is shovel ready? If so, we urge you to contact your MPO/RTPO and your Mayor to:

* Propose the project that you want to see funded (click here to see the list for how much money your region will receive)
* Ask them what the process will be for programming the ARRA TE funds, and work with your local city to get your project considered.

Please help us to quickly develop a list of bike/ped projects that are ready to go on the State Highway System. Caltrans may ask the CTC to take action to finalize projects next week, so we have to move very quickly.

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