In May 2016, the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) approved a new Transportation Expenditure Plan (TEP), a progressive 30-year transportation expenditure plan designed to, for the first time, move people and not just cars. Bike East Bay heavily influenced the TEP, pushing for more funding for bike & ped projects, more money for transit, and a strong urban limit line. We asked for more than we got, but were pleased with the progressive complete streets program included, and the fact that the plan includes no money for new highway expansions.
Voters on November 8, 2016 gave Measure X 62.5% support, not enough for a 2/3’s threshold to fund the TEP. Despite this setback, the TEP is still approved and official, including its complete streets policies. Several aspects of the TEP can move forward without funding. These include:
- Development of a Contra Costa transit plan
- Peer review of bike/ped project designs
- Countywide bikeway design guidelines
- Early public input on bike ped improvements as part of city repaving project
- Performance audits to evaluate how projects meet adopted goals
- Agriculture protection ordinances
Bike East Bay and our local partners at Bike Concord, Bike Orinda, Bike Lafayette, Bike Walnut Creek, Rich City Rides and Delta Pedalers will continue to work closely with the CCTA to pursue these initiatives.
Transportation Expenditure Plan items for Bicycling and Walking
- $115M for dedicated bike-ped projects, ⅔’s to cities, ⅓ to East Bay Regional Parks District
- $290M for Major Streets/Complete Streets. This is a combination category of major arterial streets that cities want widened and our complete street program that rather than widening makes existing arterial streets work better for all users. While not mandatory, each of the components of a robust complete street project are included here for all projects, and the program is competitive with projects to be evaluated based on program guidelines being developed
- As part of the $290M for the above, there is a $58M pilot complete program that has a near mandatory provision for protected bike lanes, and front loads the $58M in the first five years of the new measure in order to create good example projects. There will be one pilot project selected in each of the four regions of the county. The goal of this this pilot program is to show how streets do not need to be widened in order to move more people.
Comprehensive Complete Street Policy that governs all monies requiring accommodation of all users “wherever possible.” This forward-thinking policy includes:
- Project development guidelines to be developed by CCTA with our input
- Peer review process to be implemented to evaluate and improve projects that don’t fully include accommodations for all users
- Design standards to be adopted and recognize best practices for designing modern bikeways in Contra Costa County
- Local Street money to require cities to adopt procedures to ensure agency departments coordinate their work, consider complete street design standards of CCTA, and provide opportunity for public input early in design process so options can be considered.
- Major collectors and above projects allow for exceptions by Public Works Directors, but only after public input at an approval body (Planning Commission, City Council)
- Bike East Bay is on the Watchdog Committee for the new measure.
Non-Bike Elements We Like in the TEP
Measure X will fund much more than just bike and pedestrian improvement. A significant amount of funding goes towards public transportation:
- $300M for new BART cars. This is a companion agreement with BART in return for BART funding $100 million in access improvements from BART’s own bond measure on the November ballot
- Overall 27% for transit, half to BART, half to other operators
- $100M for Community Development Program to incentivize infill development
- $64M for Safe Routes to School
- No new freeways. 22% for freeway corridors is to improve traffic flow and improve transportation options (including potentially bikeways) along these corridors. There are two freeway interchange projects and on both of them we get improved bike access across the freeway.
- $70M for East County transit extension allows for rebuilding the bike path along Lone Tree Way, severed a decade ago by SR4 Bypass. This can also be funded by other funding. We have an agreement from the BART Director in East County that our bike path will be included in the project.
- Requires development of a Countywide Transit Plan, a first for Contra Costa County
- Includes Advanced Mitigation Program that front-loads all mitigation projects, which increases their capacity
- Strengthened Urban Limit Line (ULL) and its 30-acre exception rule. This provision will require a ‘public benefit’ before any exception is granted by City Councils for development outside the ULL.